Encyclopedia of Database Systems

Living Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7993-3_1091-2



SQL is the world’s most widely used database query language. It was developed at IBM Research Laboratories in the 1970s, based on the relational data model defined by E. F. Codd in 1970. It supports retrieval, manipulation, and administration of data stored in tabular form. It is the subject of an international standard named Database Language SQL.

Historical Background

Early Language Development

In June 1970, E. F. Codd of IBM Research published a paper [1] defining the relational data model and introducing the concept of data independence. Codd’s thesis was that queries should be expressed in terms of high-level, nonprocedural concepts that are independent of physical representation. Selection of an algorithm for processing a given query could then be done by an optimizing compiler, based on the access paths available and the statistics of the stored data; if these access paths or statistics should later change, the algorithm...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Codd EF. A relational model of data for large shared databanks. Commun ACM. 1970;13(6):377–87.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
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    Codd EF. A data base sublanguage founded on the relational calculus. In Proceedings of ACM SIGFIDET workshop, 1971, p. 35–68.Google Scholar
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    Astrahan MM, et al. System R: a relational approach to database management. ACM Trans Database Syst. 1976;1(2):97–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Chamberlin D, Boyce R. SEQUEL: a structured english query language. In: Proceedings of ACM SIGFIDET workshop, 1974, p. 249–64.Google Scholar
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    Chamberlin D, et al. SEQUEL 2: a unified approach to data definition, data manipulation, and control. IBM J Res Develop. 1976;20(6):560–75.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
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    Feuerstein S, Pribyl B. Oracle PL/SQL programming. Sebastopol: O’Reilly; 2005.MATHGoogle Scholar
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    Microsoft SQL Server Development Center. Transact-SQL reference. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189826.aspx
  8. 8.
    Database Language SQL. Standard ISO/IEC 9075-1, -2, etc. Available at: http://www.iso.ch
  9. 9.
    Database Language SQL. Standard ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075-1, -2, etc. Available at: http://www.ansi.org
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    Melton J, Simon AR. SQL:1999-understanding relational language components. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2002.Google Scholar
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    Melton J. Advanced SQL:1999-understanding object-relational and other advanced features. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2003.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Codd EF. Does your DBMS run by the rules? ComputerWorld, 21 Oct 1985. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codd’s_12_rules
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    Sanders RE. ODBC 3.5 developer’s guide. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1998.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sun Developer Network. JDBC overview. http://java.sun.com/products/jdbc/overview.html

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IBM Almaden Research CenterSan JoseUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tore Risch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information TechnologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden