Pros and cons of SQL?

Soldato
Joined
3 Apr 2003
Posts
2,928
Hey guys,

Got an essay to do (well its only 500 words) about the pros and cons of SQL, somehow i have to fit this into 500 words which is going to be the challenge. I have no SQL experience at all as am only just starting a database module at uni, figured asking anyone with experience here for some pointers couldnt hurt. Not looking for a load of info to steal am just wondering what you would consider to be the BIGGEST pros and conns of SQL so that i know where to focus my research.

Cheers all
 
Permabanned
Joined
9 Aug 2009
Posts
12,236
Location
UK
Bit of a dumb question.

Pros are obvious.
For cons I'd probably focus on backwards compatibility and security.

500 words is nothing, so I don't rly see the point of this exercise.
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Aug 2006
Posts
2,979
They probably mean the pros and cons of SQL as a Structured Query Language.

Look into why its used for DBMSs' and not much else. What is the reason for SQL. Why not used elsewhere. Why are there so many different standards/versions per vendor.

I'm assuming stuff like that will highlight some pros and cons.
 
Soldato
Joined
3 Apr 2003
Posts
2,928
They probably mean the pros and cons of SQL as a Structured Query Language.

Look into why its used for DBMSs' and not much else. What is the reason for SQL. Why not used elsewhere. Why are there so many different standards/versions per vendor.

I'm assuming stuff like that will highlight some pros and cons.

very helpful, thank you.

unfortunately to the one above, I can't just tell them it's pointless and not do it. Nor just write any old 500 words which is indeed easy. This counts towards my degree so I want to put effort and time into everything no matter how small.

Thanks again
 
Man of Honour
Joined
11 Mar 2003
Posts
10,706
Location
Greenock, Scotland
SQL's flexibility is both it's greatest strength and it's greatest weakness.

If you know what you're doing and understand the data it's great. If you don't then you can easily write something which will just chew resources on the server and probably give the wrong answer.
 
Associate
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
940
Location
Manchester
SQL's flexibility is both it's greatest strength and it's greatest weakness.

If you know what you're doing and understand the data it's great. If you don't then you can easily write something which will just chew resources on the server and probably give the wrong answer.

Pretty much this, its easy to do good stuff with it. Its even easier to break whole applications!!
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Aug 2006
Posts
2,979
The main cons are the many different standards/versions per vendor.

ANSI 86 is probably the most backwards compatible version. Now, its not very portable due to all the specific vendor specific additions.
 
Soldato
Joined
25 Nov 2002
Posts
3,463
pro: good for returning relation data from a database
con: not very good at making a cup of tea

There must be some more context to the question? In terms of other programming languages? or in terms of things like object/relational impedance? (I suspect it won't be the latter).

Just "SQL" or a specific flavour of SQL?

Do they mean things like a lack of control of flow? variables? that sort of thing?

To be honest, I've been writing T-SQL for so long I can only vaguely remember what standard vanilla-flavoured SQL does and doesn't have...
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Aug 2006
Posts
2,979
Just "SQL" or a specific flavour of SQL?

To be honest, I read the question, as pros and cons in SQL in general. Otherwise, it would be more specific.

Its a fairly easy question to answer, and not too detailed.
 
Soldato
Joined
27 Sep 2005
Posts
4,359
Location
London innit
Optimised for storing structured data with defined relationships, requires understanding of set theory. Can be difficult to maintain if normalise too much or too little. Some performance implications may not be understood at design time, and prohibitive to engineer out later. Poor choice for storing unstructured data, documents. Modern OOP software often emphasises compound objects which may not be a good match with SQL. Foreign keys can enforce referential integrity. Transactions are important, again for maintaining known state an data integrity. SQL skills are widely available, as is ecosystem of tools to produce useful reports.

Pick a few if those points, write a paragraph on each and avoid straying from SQL an into the underlying DBMS.

For context, assume you are comparing SQL to alternatives - document stores like Mongo, KVP stores like Redis and serialisation of complex data types to files on a disk.
 
Soldato
Joined
31 Oct 2005
Posts
8,608
Location
Leeds
Awful question,

SQL is rubbish for brushing my teeth with....

As previously said, advanced queries without calling indexes on tables containing vast amounts of data (try selecting one single row on a table of millions, where the col1 = varchar (e.g. 123456 and you search using 123456 as a number, the system is going to have to convert the whole table for the search string, hence massive overheads)
 
Top