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Advantages and Disadvantages of SQL

Last Updated : 02 May, 2023
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Structural Query Language (SQL) is a powerful and widely used programming language designed for managing and manipulating relational databases. It was first developed in the 1970s by IBM researchers, and has since become a standard language for managing and querying databases across various platforms and industries. SQL enables users to perform complex operations such as querying, inserting, updating, and deleting data in a database. Its simple and user-friendly syntax allows even non-technical users to interact with databases and retrieve data without having to write lengthy lines of code. SQL also provides a standardized way of communicating with databases, ensuring that data is consistent and uniform across different systems. Its popularity and versatility have made it a must-have skill for data professionals and developers, as it is used extensively in various applications such as web development, data analytics, business intelligence, and more.

Need of SQL : 

  • It is widely used in the Business Intelligence tool. 
  • Data Manipulation and data testing are done through SQL. 
  • Data Science tools depend highly on SQL. Big data tools such as Spark, Impala are dependent on SQL. 
  • It is one of the demanding industrial skills. 

Advantages of SQL : 
SQL has many advantages which makes it popular and highly demanded. It is a reliable and efficient language used for communicating with the database. Some advantages of SQL are as follows: 

  1. Faster Query Processing – 
    Large amount of data is retrieved quickly and efficiently. Operations like Insertion, deletion, manipulation of data is also done in almost no time. 
  2. No Coding Skills – 
    For data retrieval, large number of lines of code is not required. All basic keywords such as SELECT, INSERT INTO, UPDATE, etc are used and also the syntactical rules are not complex in SQL, which makes it a user-friendly language. 
  3. Standardized Language – 
    Due to documentation and long establishment over years, it provides a uniform platform worldwide to all its users. 
  4. Portable – 
    It can be used in programs in PCs, server, laptops independent of any platform (Operating System, etc). Also, it can be embedded with other applications as per need/requirement/use. 
  5. Interactive Language – 
    Easy to learn and understand, answers to complex queries can be received in seconds. 
  6. Multiple data views – 
  7. Scalability: SQL databases can handle large volumes of data and can be scaled up or down as per the requirements of the application.
  8. Security: SQL databases have built-in security features that help protect data from unauthorized access, such as user authentication, encryption, and access control.
  9. Data Integrity: SQL databases enforce data integrity by enforcing constraints such as unique keys, primary keys, and foreign keys, which help prevent data duplication and maintain data accuracy.
  10. Backup and Recovery: SQL databases have built-in backup and recovery tools that help recover data in case of system failures, crashes, or other disasters.
  11. Data Consistency: SQL databases ensure consistency of data across multiple tables through the use of transactions, which ensure that changes made to one table are reflected in all related tables.

Disadvantages of SQL : 
Although SQL has many advantages, still there are a few disadvantages. 
Various Disadvantages of SQL are as follows: 

  1. Complex Interface – 
    SQL has a difficult interface that makes few users uncomfortable while dealing with the database. 
  2. Cost – 
    Some versions are costly and hence, programmers cannot access it. 
  3. Partial Control – 
    Due to hidden business rules, complete control is not given to the database. 
  4. Limited Flexibility: SQL databases are less flexible than NoSQL databases when it comes to handling unstructured or semi-structured data, as they require data to be structured into tables and columns.
  5. Lack of Real-Time Analytics: SQL databases are designed for batch processing and do not support real-time analytics, which can be a disadvantage for applications that require real-time data processing.
  6. Limited Query Performance: SQL databases may have limited query performance when dealing with large datasets, as queries may take longer to process than in-memory databases.
  7. Complexity: SQL databases can be complex to set up and manage, requiring skilled database administrators to ensure optimal performance and maintain data integrity.

    Applications of SQL : 

  • SQL is used by developers and DBAs (Database Administrators) in writing Data Integration Scripts. 
  • It is used to deal with analytical queries to analyze the data and get instincts from it. 
  • Retrieving Information 
  • Modification/Manipulation of data and database table such as Insertion, Deletion and Updation. 


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