A query is a way of requesting information from a database. A query can be either a select query or an action query. A select query is a query for retrieving data, while an action query asks for additional actions to be performed on the data.
However, you don’t just type in a random request and wait for the answer to be returned to you. You must write queries based on a set of pre-defined code so that the database can understand what you want. This code is called query language.
The standard query language for database management is Structured Query Language or SQL. This is different from MySQL. SQL is a database language and MySQL is the software that uses this language. Although SQL is very popular, it is not the only language. Others you may come across are AQL, DMX and Datalog.
How Does a Query Work?
Let’s say you want to order a large coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. You pull up to the window and ask for a large coffee. The employee will understand your request and return with your hot beverage. A query works in the same way, except that it takes place through a database. You use SQL to make your request, and the database understands this language and will follow through with the request.
There are a few other ways you can request data aside from placing queries. For example, you can use the available parameters that come with your software. Choose a parameter to get the desired input, and the system will guide you. However, these parameters are limited and not as flexible as writing your own queries.
Another option is to use “query by example”, which shows you a set of code with some blank areas. In these areas, you can write and specify the fields and values of your data. Of course, writing queries from scratch gives you the most flexibility and is the best choice when you want to manipulate data. You will need some understanding of SQL, though.
What If I Don’t Know SQL?
Learning SQL is not too difficult, even for those who aren’t comfortable with computer science. While this language is most commonly used among database developers, database administrators and others, you don’t need a career in SQL to use and learn this language. In fact, it’s often used by marketers and scientists, too.
A basic crash course in SQL can give you the background you need to write queries. But not everyone has the time or desire to learn SQL, and it’s okay if you don’t. That’s what Arkware is here for! We can fill in the gaps so that you can use your database efficiently and effectively. To learn more about the database services we offer, contact us today for a free consultation.