SQL (Structured Query Language) is a programming language used to manage and manipulate relational databases. Here are some of the key characteristics of SQL:
- Declarative: SQL is a declarative language, meaning that you specify what you want the database to do rather than how to do it. You give the database a query, and it figures out how to execute it.
- Relational: SQL is based on the relational model, which means that data is stored in tables, and relationships between tables are defined through primary and foreign keys.
- Data manipulation: SQL allows for a wide range of data manipulation operations, including selecting, inserting, updating, and deleting data.
- Querying: SQL provides powerful querying capabilities that allow you to retrieve data from one or more tables based on specific criteria.
- Transactions: SQL supports transactions, which means that a series of database operations can be grouped together into a single atomic unit of work. If any part of the transaction fails, the entire transaction is rolled back, ensuring the integrity of the database.
- Security: SQL provides robust security features, including user authentication and authorization, to ensure that only authorized users can access and modify the database.
- Portability: SQL is a standard language that is supported by all major database systems, making it a highly portable and widely-used language for managing and manipulating data.