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SQL - (pronounced "sequel")

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it is a very powerful and diverse language used to create and query databases. Its loose syntax makes it easy to learn, but mastering its intricate architecture may take a bit longer.

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Arming yourself with a firm understanding of its structure and mechanics will allow you to build simple, dynamic applications for the web or to create robust applications using data and databases.

The loose structure and flexibility of this language make it an ideal candidate for the web, especially since there are more than a handful of database applications available for developers o use for free, such as Microsoft's SQL Server Express and MySQL.

SQL - Fundamentals

Some of the basic functions of SQL are inputting, modifying, and dropping data from databases. In this tutorial, we use command line examples to give you an idea of what SQL is capable of. Coupled with the use of web languages such as HTML and PHP, SQL becomes an even greater tool for building dynamic web applications.

SQL - Tutorial Scope

Reading further, you will encounter a number of hands-on examples intended to introduce you to SQL. The majority of these examples are intended to span across the different available variations of SQL, but the primary focus of this tutorial is Microsoft's SQL Server Express.

SQL - Getting Started

To get started, you will need to install Microsoft SQL Server Express. For installation help, we suggest you go straight to the developer homepage:

SQL Server Express Download:

It is preferred that you select SQL Server Express 2008 for this tutorial. This version of SQL is available for private use for free, and we've provided the link to Microsoft's site, or you can find the download page by searching for "SQL Server Express" on Google.

Follow the online installation guide that Microsoft provides, and launch SQL Server Management Studio Express to connect to your SQL database. This Management Studio Application will be your temporary home for the remainder of the tutorial.

SQL - World Wide Web

Building a website on SQL architecture is quickly becoming the standard among web 2.0 sites. With a SQL backend, it is fairly simple to store user data, email lists, or other kinds of dynamic data. E-Commerce web sites, community sites, and online web services rely on SQL databases to manage user data or process user purchases.

SQL has become popular among web developers due to its flexibility and simplicity. With some basic knowledge of HTML, PHP, and a database program such as Microsoft's SQL Server, a developer becomes capable of creating complex websites and applications while relying on online web services to provide a SQL backend in which user data is stored. This tutorial will provide you with just a small taste of this type of programming and architecture.

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