What is the Difference Between SQL and SQL Server?

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The above question is a very common one. Asking about the difference between SQL and SQL Server is one of the first questions people ask when start working with databases.

This short post answers this question.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a language that is used for accessing and managing data stored in Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMSs). SQL became a standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986, and of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987.

An example of standard SQL command is the below:

SELECT *
FROM tableA
WHERE id=1

SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System developed by Microsoft. In SQL Server, you can store, organize and retrieve data, among other, using SQL statements. In addition to the standard SQL language which is fully supported by SQL Server, you can also use many other statements and commands. All these fall under Transact-SQL (or T-SQL). T-SQL is Microsoft’s proprietary extension to the SQL and provides a large number of extensions in terms of functions, views, system catalogs, stored procedures, etc. which enhance the user’s experience with SQL Server.

An example of a T-SQL command is the below:

SELECT *, CAST(GETDATE() AS DATE) as CurrentDate
FROM tableA
WHERE id=1

Read also: What is SQL Server Management Studio

Check also: My eBooks on SQL Server

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About artemakis 6 Articles
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server Architect, Author, Software Developer and a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Among other, via his initiative SQLEBooks.com, Artemakis authors and publishes eBooks on different topics on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA). Additionally he is the founder of the SQLArtBits initiative that aims to provide the technical community with simple, yet powerful and high-quality SQL Server tools. Currently, the highlights of these tools are DBA Security Advisor and In-Memory OLTP Simulator. Artemakis's official website can be found at aartemiou.com. Artemakis's blogs can be found at: SQLNetHub.com and TechHowTos.com.