A Beginner’s Handy Guide to SQL Programming and Database Management

There is a lot of buzz nowadays in the tech world when it comes to managing data. Corporate and governments now consider data as crucial asset in terms of taking strategic decisions. However, raw data, which isn’t structured, cannot be used for this purpose, and here comes the importance of a proper database programming language which can convert raw data into useful data. For many decades now, SQL fulfills this role successfully.

SQL or otherwise Structured Query Language allows effective database structuring and communications in order to store and manage a sizable amount of data properly and make use of it for various purposes. This could be the shortest possible definition for SQL, and for a longer version of it, keep on reading this handy SQL guide for beginners.

Nowadays, businesses of all sizes from the smallest online stores to the top Fortune 500 firms use data for their operations. In fact, apart from SQL, there are NoSQL databases also available now in the times of big data, but the basement of many of the strongest databases of the corporate is built on SQL. They manage all these data using structured databases based on SQL. Due to this fact, there is a huge demand for SQL database administrators across the globe. So, those who are looking for a successful IT career, SQL developer is a lucrative option.

In this guide, we will cover the basics of SQL programming, the industries which commonly use it, major SQL databases, and the basic of the SQL language.

The concept of SQL

As we had seen above, data are now the core part of the web and mobile applications. Social media applications like Facebook holds a wide range of user information, including data about their connections online in terms of friends, posts, and likes, etc. In order to hold this huge volume of data, a strong database system is essential. SQL enables the programmers to work effectively with data.

A quick overview of SQL is:

  • SQL lets the users build, access, and manipulate bit databases
  • SQL follows the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and also the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.

The job of SQL

  • SQL works by executing queries against databases
  • SQL helps retrieve the data from a structured database
  • SQL is used to insert records into a database
  • SQL can update the records in a database
  • SQL is used to delete records from a database
  • SQL is used to create new databases
  • SQL can be used to create new database tables
  • SQL is used to create database stored procedures
  • SQL can create database views
  • SQL can be used to set permissions on the tables, views, and procedures

Even though SQL follows the ISO and ANSI standards, there are many versions of SQL language available as specified by RemoteDBA.com. However, for compliance with the ANSI standard, all SQL versions support some major SQL commands like INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, WHERE, etc. in the same structure. Most of the SQL database programs have their proprietary extensions in addition to SQL standard.

Usage of SQL in websites

In order to build a website which can use data from the database, you have to build:

  • RDBMS (relational databases management system) program like MySQL, MS Access, or SQL Server, etc.
  • Use a server-side scripting language as PHP or ASP
  • Use SQL to manipulate data as you want
  • To use CSS and HTML to style the page

The most frequently used SQL commands the programmers need to know are:

CREATE DATABASE – Used to create a new database.

CREATE TABLE – To create new database tables.

SELECT – To find or extract data from the database

UPDATE – Update the data or make any adjustments to the data (edit data)

DELETE – Delete data fields.

As seen above, these are the most common SQL database command used across its variances. More complicated a database becomes; more commands programmers have to use to manipulate it. Click To Tweet All these SQL commands are used when writing the DB queries, which allow programmers to operate data in the databases. In other terms, when you enter these commands to the database system, it can interpret the commands and then process appropriate actions. As a result, there could be a new database or a new record in the database.

E.g.:

CREATE DATABASE db_name

CREATE TABLE table_name

column1 data_type,

column2 data_type,

column data_type

The first query will create a new database. Say, for example, social media apps like Facebook may have databases for various entries as users, use interests, geographic locations, and other user demographics.

The second query helps create a new tale inside the newly created database. Further, preparations of columns are done by specifying the data types to get into each column.

Industries using SQL DB

SQL Databases are now used in the field of technology in all the areas where there is a significant amount of data involved. Some of such industries where data come as crucial are:

In the finance industry, many payment processes and banking applications use a huge volume of data for financial transactions, which needed to be handled in a secured manner. Behind all the processes, there is a very complicated database. Bank database systems have a very complicated requirement with additional security requirements and risk compliances for SQL codes.

Many music applications like Pandora and Spotify also use high-volume databases. Among many other things, databases will help such applications to store a vast library of files and albums from various artists and operate all these data to find what users are looking for and store more and more user data.

For aspiring programmers, it is the right time to learn SQL and practice it. As one of the top programming languages for the database, SQL is now used by a lot of companies in all industries. Click To Tweet If you are planning to learn some on-demand skills, then SQL is the apt choice to make. You can enter into the database administration industry by learning the basics of SQL and then further broaden your knowledge base to various SQL applications and also by covering the NoSQL database management concepts.

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Trudy Seeger

Trudy Seeger is a remote database administrator associated with RemoteDBA.com . He is in working in the database management industry for the past 10 years. He likes to share his knowledge through informative blog posts across the web.