A vast majority of data is stored digitally today. Almost all the information on the internet is stored in some type of server or database, operated by different companies. To use and manipulate this data, we require a medium that makes it accessible and convenient. Structured Query Language (SQL) is one of the earliest known database management systems, streamlining the process of data collection, storage and retrieval. Let’s discover the characteristics and uses of SQL with this blog.
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What is SQL?
Structured Query Language (SQL) was first developed in the 1970s and is one of the primary Query Languages used for stream processing and relational database management. It enables the same database to be run on several computers at the same time, thus making it highly useful while working in an office. From creation, upgradation to maintenance, there are many uses of SQL. Moreover, it consists of certain sublanguages like DQL, DDL, DCL, etc. which can be understood as specific statements used for carrying out different operations.
List of Famous Databases
- Oracle 12c
- Microsoft SQL Server
- SAP HANA
Advantages of Using SQL
Now that you are familiar with what SQL is, let’s take a look at its imperative advantages for data collection, storing and manipulation, etc.
- Higher Processing Speed: SQL generally operates at a high speed when users explore the database. It helps in retrieving large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.
- Minimal Coding Requirement: SQL is highly user friendly, i.e. it is easy to use. Someone with no coding experience can easily learn basic SQL coding within a few days. The code structure is also simple, borrowing heavily from English sentences with minimal use of special characters.
- Easier to Manipulate Data: With SQL, it is very easy to view and manipulate the existing data on the database. With a few queries, users can update or change the uploaded information on the database, thus making it helpful for storing dynamic information.
- Easier Data Mining: Among other uses of SQL, it is used for sorting and filtering data by using several queries, making the data more relevant and useful, while reducing redundancy. Under the uses of SQL or MySQL, it is integrally applied to maintain their database. Thus, it becomes easier to navigate if the users are familiar with SQL.
- Restricted Access: SQL is widely considered a safe and protected database. The system is password protected on every device, thus making it difficult for malicious users to use the data without consent.
- Reliable for Complex Queries: SQL is highly-reliable to deliver correct results on complex queries by users, as compared to other Database Management systems.
Uses of SQL
SQL has a wide range of applications in today’s world. Being one of the most basic Database Management systems, SQL is a pathway language for students who wish to pursue Database Management. It also has many applications, like MySQL, Ingres, Oracle, Skybase and others. Here are some of the primary uses of SQL:
As a Data Definition Language (DDL)
Amongst the prominent uses of SQL, it is applied as Data Definition Language (DDL) in order to define and modify the structure of data. The commands under DDL are used to add, remove or modify the tables within a database. Create, Drop, Alter, are some of the commonly used DDLs. Further, using DDL, anyone can independently curate a database and structure it as well as utilise and discard it at the end.
As a Data Control Language (DCL)
When SQL is applied as a Data Control Language, it is mainly to control the permissions and rights to perform certain actions on the database. When it comes to the uses of this SQL sub-language, it is mainly utilised by the Database Administrator to give or take back permission from the users. “Grant” and “Revoke” are examples of DCL. Further, the uses of SQL with this sub-language is to secure the database against misuse or corruption.
As a Data Manipulation Language (DML)
DML refers to the SQL commands used to make changes within the database. These are used to insert, edit or delete the existing data, even up to a single cell or entry. Some examples of DML are “Insert”, “Update”, ”Delete”. When it comes to the uses of SQL as DML, it simply corresponds to its ability to maintain an already existing database by entering more chunks of data and modifying, extracting and storing it.
As a Client-Server Language & Structuring Internet Architecture
In order to support the client/server architecture, SQL is applied as a Client-Server language to build a connection between the front-end and back-end and thus lending assistance to the design. Amongst the various uses of SQL, it can also be utilised as a part of the three-tier architecture pertaining to a client, an application and a database and this way it gives a clear structure to the Internet architecture.
Scope & Applications of SQL
Once you are aware of the different uses of SQL, you must also know about its application and scope in various areas. Below we have elaborated some of the major areas where SQL is extensively applied.
In back-end development, software applications are created and include the integration of front-end applications with the database so that the user can access them without any problems. Back-end developers ensure that the inner workings of an application are smooth, minimising bugs and corruption of data. These are required for developing all types of web pages and applications that are available online. The several uses of SQL make it an essential part of the Back-end Development for insertion, retrieval and upgradation of data.
A Database Administrator is tasked with the duty of updating, maintaining and adding to the online database of an organisation. As we explored the uses of SQL above, you must have come across its role in database administration as it makes sure that the data is kept secure and database integrity is maintained. All big organisations today have a database, which is maintained by administrators. SQL is used to record the personal data of employees, users and more such confidential information. Hospitals, Colleges and all such organisations which require maintenance of such data require a Database Administrator.
Data Analytics deals with sorting through large amounts of data to find the required results and observations to plan future steps. In simple terms, a Data Analyst is tasked with the responsibility to go through available data on specific subjects, find combinations and trends in that data that can be used by the organisation and translates the results to be practised by the management. Thus, the uses of SQL are also applied to Data Analyses to explore and search through vast amounts of data using various conditional commands to find the desired results.
Data scientists have a similar job to a data analyst, but they deal with preparing a suitable data model to be used by the analysts. They generally use algorithms and code in SQL to derive required results. They also help analysts in implementing these algorithms to streamline the whole process. Also, their basic operations are research-centric.
Apart from the apparent uses of SQL in Data Science and Administration, it is also increasingly deployed in marketing campaigns as it can help you analyse the impact of marketing campaigns, find out target demographics, consumer behaviour and then curate effective campaigns accordingly.
Here are some more uses of SQL:
- Inventory management in supermarkets
- Employee database in Companies
- Information derivation by end-users
Where is SQL used in real life?
SQL is used in everyday life by some of the biggest companies like Netflix, Linkedin, Amazon, Flipkart, Instagram. Uber for data analysis and performance analysis. Even small companies and startups employ SQL for similar purposes. SQL is a great tool for interacting with databases and fetching vital data. A sound understanding of SQL is vital for a job in data analysis.
Every organisation uses Database Management tools to coordinate and centralise its information, and the most widely used tool out there today is SQL. So, this is all about the aspects and uses of SQL. Want to study data science? Our Leverage Edu counsellors are here to guide you in picking the best course and university in your chosen field as well as throughout the admission process to ensure that you send an impressive application! So, book a free e-meeting with us today to get started on your way to academic excellence!