In this chapter, we began a long journey through the SQL language and saw how we can use it to insert and retrieve data from our databases and tables. You may feel that you do not have a solid grasp of the language. Unfortunately, one of the language's greatest strengthsbeing based on the English languagealso tends to make it very difficult to describe. Add to that the slight variations in each database server's interpretations and implementations of SQL, and it's easy to see how it can occasionally be aggravating to work with.
We have covered the basics in this first chapter on the language and hopefully have started to convince you that SQL is an extremely powerful and feature-rich query language. We are also fortunate because most of our web applications will not require us to use much in the way of advanced SQL, which could prove distracting.
After this chapter, we should have a basic idea of our key database operationsinsertion, retrieval, deletion, and updating/modification. This will be the basis on which we enter the next chapter, where we will cover transactions, qualifying and sorting our data, using functions, and modifying the structure of tables in our databases.