||Oracle Tips by Burleson
SQL: The Standard RDBMS
The Structured Query Language (SQL) is the
lingua franca of all relational database management systems (RDBMS).
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accepted SQL as the
standard relational database language in October 1986 (ANSI
X3.135-1986). SQL has also been accepted by the International
Standards Organization (ISO standard 9075) and by the U.S.
government in the Federal Information Processing Standard FIPS-127.
A security enhancement has been added and is covered in ANSI SQL
Addendum I and issued as X3.135-1989 and 9075-1989. SQL92 is the
most recent standard, and Oracle’s implementation is
entry-level-compliant and has numerous extensions that make it one
of the best SQL implementations available. Oracle9i SQL is
documented in Oracle9i SQL Reference, Release 1(9.0.1), Part No.
A90125-01, June 2001, Oracle Corporation. The latest SQL standard,
simply titled SQL3, was supposed to be approved by 1999;however, not
much is being said about it since its initial release in 1999, so it
would appear to have stalled. Fortunately, much of the Oracle object
features are supposedly SQL3- (SQL99-; described below) and
The latest SQL standard, published by ANSI
and ISO, is often called SQL99. The formal names of the new standard
ANSI X3.135-1999, “Database Language
SQL,” Parts 1 ("Framework"), 2 ("Foundation"),
("Bindings")ISO/IEC 9075:1999, “Database Language SQL,” Parts 1
("Framework"), 2 ("Foundation"), 3 ("Bindings")
The Oracle9i server, Oracle precompilers for
C/C++ release 8.1, Oracle Precompiler for COBOL, release 8.1, and
SQL*Module for ADA release 8.0.4 provide full or partial conformance
with the ANSI and ISO standards. The Oracle SQL Reference Manual,
Release 1 (9.0.1) provides charts in Appendix B that show which
sections of the database are in compliance, and more important,
which are not.
NIST testing of database compliance has been
suspended, so we have to take the vendors’ word (Oracle) about
compliance for SQL3.
SQL is considered to be a nonprocedural
language, because of the way it processes sets of records and
provides automatic data access, or navigation. SQL also uses query
optimization; that is, the RDBMS kernel determines the optimum
method to reach the desired data so you don’t have to. Under
Oracle8, Oracle8i, and Oracle9i, a cost-based or a rules-based
approach can be used. SQL is designed to be simple to learn and use.
Despite this simplicity, SQL provides a rich command set under which
virtually any combination of data in a database can be retrieved and
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