SQL vs Microsoft SQL Server | SQL vs SQL Server Differences
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a computer language for databases. It is used for accessing and manipulating data in Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS). Microsoft SQL server is a Relational Database Server produced by Microsoft. It uses SQL as its primary query language.
SQL has the capabilities to insert data in to a database, query data for information, updating/ deleting data in a database and creating/modifying database schema. SQL was developed by IBM in early 1970s and was initially called SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language). SQL language has several language elements called clauses, expressions, predicates, queries and statements. Among these, most widely used are the queries. Queries are defined by the user in such a way that it describes the desired properties of the subset of data that it needs to retrieve from the database. Then the Database Management System performs the necessary optimizations to the query and executes the necessary physical operations to produce the results of the query. SQL also allows data types such as character strings, bit strings, numbers and date and time to be included in columns of the databases. American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), adopted SQL as a standard in 1986 and 1987 respectively. Even though SQL is an ANSI standard, there are many different versions of the SQL language. But to comply with the ANSI standard all of these versions support the widely used commands such as SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT, WHERE in a similar manner.
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft SQL server is a database server that uses SQL, more specifically, T-SQL and ANSI SQL as its primary query languages. T-SQL extends SQL by adding several features such as procedural programming, local variables and supporting functions for string/ data processing. These features makes T-SQL Turing complete. Any application, which needs to communicate with MS SQL server, needs to send a T-SQL statement to the server. Microsoft SQL server can be used to create desktop, enterprise and web based database applications. It provides an environment that allows creating databases, which can be accessed from workstations, the Internet or other media such as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The first version of MS SQL server was released in 1989 and it was called the SQL server 1.0. This was developed for Operating System/2 (OS2). Since then there have been several releases of MS SQL server and the latest release is the SQL Server 2008 R2, which was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2010. MS SQL server is also available in multiple editions that include feature sets customized for different users.
To summarize, SQL is a computer language for creating and managing relational databases and Microsoft SQL server is a database server that uses SQL as its primary query language and it can be used to develop database applications. So it is evident that these two are different things where one is a computer language and the other is a computer application.