Following up on a post from last week, our resident SQL guru Rudy Limeback provides some more thoughts on the matter of what’s so bad (or so good) about SQL:
Yes, I ♥ SQL, primarily because knowledge of this ubiquitous language allows me to be immediately productive in working with so many different database systems.
Imagine if each time you wanted to obtain information from a different database system, you had to learn a completely different language.
Instead, all that is necessary is to learn the small, inconsequential differences between one database system’s implementation of SQL and the next.
This is due in no small part to the effort of many people and vendors to define the SQL standard. That so few database systems faithfully support all aspects of the standard is no serious knock against the advantages of having a standard language.
Further, SQL is drop dead simple. There are only a few basic clauses:
- GROUP BY
- ORDER BY
As well, you’ll need some simple concepts like INNER and OUTER JOINs, UNIONs, and subqueries. With these basic tools, you can solve even the most
complex data retrieval problems.
That said, it’s a lot like chess. You can learn the basic moves in half an hour, but you need to invest the necessary time to improve your skills. Practice, practice, practice.
It looks like we’re making some progress toward debunking the “SQL sucks” myth!