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SQL (Structured Query Language - Simpel Query Language) is the standard language for accessing databases. Knowledge of SQL is invaluable for anyone wanting to interact (store, retrieve, manipulate) data from a database. Using of a good SQL tool like SQL*XL allows the user to interact with the data in the database.

Although SQL is an ANSI standard different dialects exist for the different database types. There is specific Oracle, SQL Server, Access, ... syntax. The basic statements are the same luckily.

SQL Data Query Language (DQL)
Using DQL data is retrieved from tables in the database. This is done through a so called SELECT statement in which we indicate what should be retrieved from which table.

SELECT * from Customers;
This statement retrieves all rows and all columns from the Customers table.

SELECT cust_id, cust_name from Customers where cust_town = 'NEW YORK';
This statement retrieves the id and name for all customers from New York.

SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML)
Using DML data in a database is added, altered or deleted. Using an INSERT statement a row is added to a table. An UPDATE statement is used to modify the data in a row and the DELETE statement is used to remove a row.

SQL Data Definition Language (DDL)
Using DDL database objects can be created, altered or deleted. Using a CREATE TABLE statement a table can be created. Deleting a table is done using the DROP TABLE statement. Similarly views and other database objects can be created and deleted.

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