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What is T-SQL?

Instructor: David Gloag
The ability to organize and access information is as important as collecting it. In this lesson, we'll take a look at SQL, the variation T-SQL, what they are used for, and some examples.

Information is Not Enough

We've collected all this information, and now we need to use it. But what good are sales records if a business doesn't calculate the profits? What good are your medical records to your doctor if she/he can't see patterns or trends? And what good is traffic pattern information to city planners if they can't use the information to address congestion? The truth, not that much. It isn't enough to simply collect information. We must be able to organize it and derive some meaning or conclusions from it. That is where SQL comes in.

What Is SQL?

SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a language that is designed for working with databases. It was developed by IBM in the early 1970s and released as a commercial product by Oracle in 1979. The language is comprehensive, and incorporates a variety of commands for you to use. For example:

  • SELECT - a command used to retrieve information from a database.
  • INSERT - a command used to add information to a database.
  • UPDATE - a command used to change information that already exists in a database.
  • DELETE - a command used remove information from a database.
  • CREATE - a command used to generate a new object in a database.

When used in concert, SQL provides a structured framework for the access, maintenance, and management, of information.

What Is T-SQL?

T-SQL stands for Transact-SQL. It is a proprietary extension, developed by Microsoft and Sybase, to the standard SQL language. Like SQL, T-SQL is used to access, maintain, and manage, information. But it contains additional features (more on that in the next section) that allow it to perform its intended purpose more easily than SQL could on its own. You should note that it is restricted in one significant way, it is meant to work with only relational databases. That is, databases that organize information into tables, where each row is a record, and each column in a row is a field.

Differences Between SQL and T-SQL

Besides the relational database restriction, T-SQL differs from SQL in a number of significant ways, including:

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