What is SQL?

  SQL (pronounced 'Sequel') stands for 'structured query language' and refers in general to the technology often used for database systems. I think of the entire database as a spreadsheet which is composed of rows and columns. SQL is the computing strategy that makes this - and more - possible.

As an example, when you catalog a new document into your document management system, you are (a) storing the document file someplace, and (b) adding a new 'row' to your database. The 'row' includes 'columns' with information like document name, author name, type of document, date created.. and perhaps much more (recall our explanation of 'taxonomy' yesterday).

One of the great things about a SQL database is that information being entered can be 'validated'. As an example, when you type in an author's initials, the system can check to be sure the set of initials is correct and allowed in the system. This greatly improves the overall accuracy of the information in your system. Read Wikipedia article here.

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