Skip to content

What Is An SQL Database?

  • by

SQL database have been around for a long time and are in use to this day. This blog we provide an introduction to what an SQL database is, and then compare some of the most popular databases: MariaDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL (sometimes called Postgres).

What Is a SQL Database?

SQL is a shorthand as Structured Query Language. It’s the language used in relational databases. SQL databases are used for relational database. SQL databases is set of tables which store an exact collection of structured data.

SQL database SQL database has been the tried-and-true backend business tool and is at the core of all we do in the digital age. SQL was developed around 1970 by IBM to allow access to IBM’s System R database system.

The history of SQL Databases

The value of having the ability to access multiple records with one command that doesn’t require specifying the method to access a particular record was quickly acknowledged by the computing community. It quickly became the standard query language for various relation management systems for databases, or RDBMS, such as IBM’s DB2 and, in 1979, Relational Software Inc.’s (now called Oracle Software) Oracle V2 database server for Vax systems. Then, in 1986, SQL was accepted as a standard language by ANSI as well as ISO standards organizations , which paved opening the doorway to Microsoft SQL Server and the numerous open source databases available in the present.

The RDBMS we have in the past rely upon SQL for the engines that lets us execute all the necessary operations in order to build, access, modify and remove data as required. From an open-source perspective, the RDBMSs are MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL as the most frequently utilized open source RDBMS used in production today. A lot of Fortune 100 companies across several different industries, including healthcare, financial, retail and many others have turned to open source alternatives to significantly reduce their overall cost of ownership as compared to pay-for play offerings for example, Oracle Database server and Microsoft SQL Server.

For details on the best SQL editor, click here.

Examples of SQL databases

MariaDB and MySQL

MariaDB along with MySQL are Open Source SQL Database servers that originally began as MySQL. But due to concerns over what the future holds for MySQL following its acquisition from Oracle Software, MariaDB was separated from the project and became its own entity , but it maintains its compatibility with MySQL protocol and APIs for clients as well as tables and table definition files.

It means many instances third party software can be used with both versions and could be considered an alternative to any version. Since MySQL’s acquisition MySQL, Oracle has been an extremely benevolent steward of the open source project . majority of the concerns that people had in the beginning days after the acquisition haven’t been realized, but some of the open source purists might still favor MariaDB to MySQL.


PostgreSQL is an object-relational management system for databases (ORDBMS) rather than an entirely RDBMS system similar to MySQL as well as MariaDB. It means PostgreSQL data models are built upon the relational database model, but it may also incorporate object-oriented models, too. In real life, that implies that we’ll are seeing PostgreSQL used in more complicated and diverse data models and we also see MariaDB and MySQL employed for less heavy data models.

The idea of PostgreSQL was born from in the Ingres initiative in UC Berkley in 1982, PostgreSQL was developed with the intention of introducing the fewest features needed to support all of the most popular data types. This “biggest price for your money” philosophy continues to be the driving force behind the growth of PostgreSQL to the present. For those who are open source enthusiasts, this is usually the preferred database since it is an open source project, backed from those who are part of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group which is a non for profit company that cannot be sold because of the fact that it was founded.

What’s the future of SQL Databases?

In recent years, innovative technology has emerged to address the requirements of databases that are able to handle massive sets of data in very high throughput without compromising stability or accessibility. NoSQL (Not only SQL, which is also known as Non-SQL) databases are becoming more popular to meet the demands. NoSQL databases store data in a different manner than traditional databases, using JSON key-value or key-value databases , to mention two of the most popular storage options. PostgreSQL is a database that uses JSON along with its OORDMS method is a testament to the enduring power for the NoSQL databases.

But it’s going to take an extended time before the sun sets on the classic SQL database. The degree to which SQL databases are a part of our lives implies that they are extremely functional and durable. RDBMS will continue to be the mainstay of business for a long time to in the future.