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Chapter 1. SQL History and Implementations

In the early 1970s, the seminal work of IBM research fellow Dr. E. F. Codd led to the development of a relational data model product called SEQUEL, or Structured English Query Language. SEQUEL ultimately became SQL, or Structured Query Language.

IBM, along with other relational database vendors, wanted a standardized method for accessing and manipulating data in a relational database. Although IBM was first to develop relational database theory, Oracle was first to market with the technology. Over time, SQL proved popular enough in the marketplace to attract the attention of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which released standards for SQL in 1986, 1989, 1992, 1999, and 2003. Since 1986, competing languages have allowed programmers and developers to access and manipulate relational data. However, few were as easy to learn or as universally accepted as SQL. Programmers and administrators now have the benefit of learning a single language that, with minor adjustments, is applicable to a wide variety of database platforms, applications, and products.

SQL in a Nutshell, Second Edition, describes five common implementations of SQL2003:

  • IBM's DB2 Universal Database Version 8 for Linux, Unix, and Windows

  • MySQL Version 4

  • Oracle Database 10g

  • PostgreSQL Version 7

  • Microsoft's SQL Server 2000

We also cover Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), but to a lesser degree, in Appendix B.

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