SQL vs. Microsoft SQL Server

Difference Between SQL and Microsoft SQL Server SQL or structured query language is used while working with relational…

Difference Between SQL and Microsoft SQL Server

SQL or structured query language is used while working with relational database management systems for changing or manipulating data. It was developed in 1970s by IBM. Microsoft SQL server is developed by Microsoft which uses SQL as its main query language.

Here are some points to make the understanding of SQL clearer.

  • While working with SQL you can manipulate database by inserting data, querying data to get information, update or delete data and create or modify database schema.
  • SQL was known as SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language).
  • It has various elements like clauses, queries, predicates, expressions and statements and queries are the most used elements.
  • Query is defined in a way so that the DBMS performs required operations to get the desired results from the database.
  • SQL allows different data types, to be included in the columns of the database, like character strings, numbers, bit strings and date and time.
  • SQL was adopted by American National Standard Institute (ANSI) in 1986 and by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987.
  • All the versions of SQL use commands like SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT, WHERE as per the ANSI standards to remain complaint with it.

Microsoft SQL server uses T-SQL and ANSI SQL as its main query language. T-SQL has many additional features which make T-SQL Turing complete. These additional features include procedural programming, supporting functions for string/ data processing and local variables. All the applications need to send T-SQL statement to the server if they have to communicate with MS SQL server.

Main use of Microsoft SQL server is in creation of wed based, enterprise based and desktop based applications. These applications can be accessed from the workstations, Personal Digital Assistant and even internet.

The first version of Microsoft SQL server, SQL server 1.0, was developed for Operating system 2 and was released in 1989. The latest one was released for manufacturing on 21 April 2010 and is known as SQL server 2008 R2. There are many editions of MS SQL server available with different features as per the requirement of the users.

We have now understood that:

  • SQL is a language while MS SQL server is a database server.
  • SQL is used for creating and managing RDBMS while MS SQL server is used for developing database applications with the use of SQL.


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