What does "SQL" stand for?


Quick Answer

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a set of instructions that allows a user to access a relational database. While it is not the only language to do this, as of 2014, it remains the only language that nearly all databases understand.

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Full Answer

Originally developed for in-house use at IBM in the early 1970s under the name SEQUEL, the language's potential was quickly realized. Before 1980, after consumer testing, SQL saw a commercial and military release based on the IBM prototype. SEQUEL was changed to SQL due to trademark conflicts with a U.K.-based aviation company. The main criticism of SQL is its failure to adhere to uniform standards.

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