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Beginning Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Programming by Robert Vieira

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Chapter 3. The Foundation Statements of T-SQL

At last! We've finally disposed of the most boring stuff. It doesn't get any worse than basic objects and tools, does it? Unfortunately, we have to lay down a foundation before we can build a house. The nice thing is that the foundation is now down. Having used the clichéd example of building a house, I'm going to turn it all upside down by talking about the things that let you enjoy living in it before we've even talked about the plumbing. You see, when working with databases, you have to get to know how data is going to be accessed before you can learn all that much about the best ways to store it.

In this chapter, we will discuss the most fundamental Transact-SQL (T-SQL) statements. T-SQL is SQL Server's own dialect of Structured Query Language (SQL). The T-SQL statements that we will learn in this chapter are:

  • SELECT

  • INSERT

  • UPDATE

  • DELETE

These four statements are the bread and butter of T-SQL. We'll learn plenty of other statements as we go along, but these statements make up the basis of T-SQL's Data Manipulation Language (DML). Because you'll generally issue far more commands meant to manipulate (that is, read and modify) data than other types of commands (such as those to grant user rights or create a table), you'll find that these will become like old friends in no time at all.

In addition, SQL provides many operators and keywords that help refine your queries. We'll learn some of the most common of these in this chapter.

While T-SQL ...

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