Greetings! Welcome to SQL, and prepare yourself to learn one of the most critical tools in the developer's arsenal. SQL (Structured Query Language) is no ordinary programming language. It has one purpose, and one purpose only--to manipulate data stored in a database. If you've completed the prerequisite courses, you'll know now that databases of one form or another drive a great deal of the software in the world. SQL enables us to use databases, whether we're browsing through the database ourselves, or programming a SQL statement into some other language for dynamic database manipulation. SQL transcends other languages--programs are rarely written in SQL, rather, SQL can be embedded in nearly any other language to give access to the data contained in the database.
We begin with a generic treatment of SQL syntax and semantics as a prerequisite to the product-specific topics above.
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