The 15 Shades of SQL

Since SQL:1999 the standard is divided into several parts numbered from 1 though 14 (as of SQL:2016). Some of them were never released (5-8, 12), others never became mainstream. Leaving the meta-part (part 1) aside, only part 2 (the SQL language), part 11 (Information Schema) and part 14 (XML) became widely implemented.

Part 1 - Framework

A rough overview and some definitions of commonly used terms. The 2011 version of this part is available for free from ISO (look for SQL).

Part 2 - Foundation

Defines most of the SQL language (other parts extend it—e.g., for XML functionality).

Part 3 - Call-Level Interface (SQL/CLI)

Describes C and COBOL APIs to access SQL databases.

Part 4 - Persisted Stored Modules (SQL/PSM)

Defines a language used for server-side programming (“stored procedures”).

Part 5 - Host Language Bindings (SQL/Bindings)

Merged into part 2 with SQL:2003 (withdrawal notice).

Part 6 - Global Transaction Support (SQL/Transaction)

Never released(?)

Part 7 - Temporal (SQL/Temporal)

Never released. Temporal support was eventually added to SQL:2011 part 2.

Part 8 - Extended Object Support

Never released. Content absorbed into other parts (notice).

Part 9 - Management of External Data (SQL/MED)

Defines mechanisms to access data stored outside the database.

Part 10 - Object Language Bindings (SQL/OLB)

Defines how to embed SQL statements into Java programs. This is not JDBC, which treats SQL statements as strings (“dynamic SQL”).

Part 11 - Information and Definition Schemas (SQL/Schemata)

Defines INFORMATION_SCHEMA and DEFINITION_SCHEMA, which were covered in part 2 prior SQL:2003.

Part 12 - Replication (SQL/Replication)

Never released.

Part 13 - Routines and Types Using the Java Programming Language (SQL/JRT)

Defines how to run Java inside the database.

Part 14 - XML-Related Specifications (SQL/XML)

Defines the XML data type and methods to work on XML documents. Appeared with SQL:2003.

Part 15 - Multi dimensional arrays

Not yet published (see ISO).

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Markus Winand teaches efficient SQL—inhouse and online. He minimizes the development time using modern SQL and optimizes the runtime with smart indexing. His book entitled SQL Performance Explained has become standard reading.

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