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Difference between SQL and programming languages

Basic Concept of SQL

SQL is a non-procedural language that is designed specifically for data access operations on normalized relational database structures. The primary difference between SQL and other conventional programming languages is that SQL statements specify what data operations should be performed rather than how to perform them.SQL is a simple and powerful language used to create, access and manipulate data and structure in the database.SQL is the only language through which you create.

Concept of Programming Languages 

To solve problems in a procedural programming language (such as Basic, C, C++, PASCAL, and so on), you write lines of code that perform one operation after another until the program completes its tasks. The program may execute its lines of code in a linear sequence or loop to repeat some steps or branch to skip others. In any case, when writing a program in a procedural language, the programmer specifies what is to be done and how to do it.

Let’s Differentiate Briefly 

SQL, on the other hand, is a non-procedural language in that you tell SQL what you want to do without specifying exactly how to accomplish the task. The DBMS, not the programmer, decides the best way to perform the job. Suppose, for example, that you have a CUSTOMER table and you want a list of customers that owe you more than $1,000.00. You could tell the DBMS to generate the report with this SQL statement:

 SELECT NAME, ADDRESS, CITY, STATE, ZIP, PHONE_NUMBER,   
        FROM CUSTOMER
        WHERE BALANCE_DUE > 1000.00 ; 

If writing a procedural program, you would have to write the control loop that reads each row (record) in the table, decides whether to print the values in the columns (fields), and moves on to the next row until it reaches the end of the table. In SQL, you specify only the data you want to see. The DBMS then examines the database and decides how best to fulfill your request .

Although it is an acronym for “Structured Query Language,” SQL is more than just a data retrieval tool. SQL is a:

  • => Data definition language (DDL), for creating (and dropping) database objects such as tables, constraints, domains, and keys.
  • => Data manipulation language (DML), for changing values stored in columns, inserting new rows, and deleting those you no longer want.
  • => Data control language (DCL), for protecting the integrity of your database by defining a sequence of one or more SQL statements as a transaction in which the DBMS must complete all statements successfully or have none of them affect the database. DCL also lets you set up the security structure for the database.
  • => Query language, for retrieving data.

In addition to the DDL, DML, DCL, and query functions, SQL maintains data integrity and coordinates concurrent access to the database objects. In short, SQL provides all of the tools you need for controlling and interacting with the DBMS. 

Despite all that it does, SQL is not a complete computer language (like Basic, C, or FORTRAN) because it contains no block (BEGIN, END) statements, conditional (IF) statements, branch (GOTO) statements, or loop (DO, WHILE, FOR) statements. Because it lacks input statements, output statements, and common procedural language control methods, SQL is considered a data sub-language

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