What is SQL

SQL is a computer technology product to organize, manage and retrieve data stored by a database.

The name SQL comes as an abbreviation for “Structured Query Language”. Originally termed as Sequel, the technology was later renamed to SQL on disclosure that the term Sequel was the copyrighted trademark of a leading aircraft company. However, it’s still pronounced as Sequel significantly due to its historical importance.


SQL is a language used to interact with a computer database. More specifically, it works with one particular type of database known as a relational database. The word “Relational” means there is some type of relations between the tables in a database. It makes it easier and faster for information to be stored in many different tables that are related to each other. Small databases have a few dozen tables. Large databases, like those on a website for online shopping, have several thousands of tables; or even several tens of thousands.

How SQL Works?

Figure given here shows how SQL works. The client system in the figure has a database that stores essential information. If business environment, the database might store production, sales, payroll or inventory data. On a personal computer systems, the database might store personal data, lists of people and their contact information, or data derived from a bigger computer system.


The database is controlled by a computer program dubbed a database management system (DBMS), which is a relational database management system (RDBMS) in case of the SQL.

When data is to be retrieved from a computer database, the SQL language is used to transfer the request, which is then processed by the DBMS to invoke the requested data, and return it to you.

This process of requesting data from a database and receiving results is termed as a database query - hence the name “Structured Query Language”.