Updated: 04/30/2020 by Computer Hope

Short for Structured Query Language, SQL, originally known as SEQUEL (structured English query language), was developed by Dr. Edgar F. Codd at the IBM research center in 1974. Today, SQL has become the de facto standard database language.

The first commercial version of SQL was introduced in 1979 by Oracle. Today, there are three standards: SQL89 (SQL1), SQL92 (SQL2), and SQL99 (SQL3).

How do you pronounce SQL?

Although originally known as SEQUEL, the acronym was later changed to the "SQL" abbreviation because "SEQUEL" was a trademark of the UK-based Hawker Siddeley aircraft company. Because of this change, there is a lot of confusion if SQL should be pronounced as "es-cue-el" or "sequel." Although both pronunciations are widely used, we follow the Microsoft Manual of Style, which states if you are referring to the structured query language, it's pronounced as "es-cue-el." However, when you are referring to a product or the server running the product, SQL is pronounced as "sequel."


Keep in mind that or types of SQL databases, like MySQL, do have official pronunciations.

Should I use "a" or "an" in front of SQL?

The answer to this question depends on how you're pronouncing "SQL." If it is being pronounced as "es-cue-el," because it starts with an "es" sound, use "an" in front of SQL. However, if you're pronouncing "SQL" as "sequel," then use "a" in front of SQL.

Computer abbreviations, Database, Database terms, DDL, DML, MySQL, Oracle database, Primary key, RDBMS, SQL injection, SQL Server, Synonym