English Query harnesses a natural language processor to interpret sentences and process them into SQL queries that are sent to SQL Server for processing. If you had a table named Customers that contained a list of all your customers and their addresses, telephone numbers , ages, and email, you could issue the following requests for information:
Show me all the customers. How many customers are there? Show customers with their address and phone and email.
English Query examines these queries and converts them into standard SQL queries:
select CustomerID from customers select count(distinct CustomerID) from customers select CustomerID, address, phone, email from customers
Notice that in these examples, English Query didn't get all the columns from the Customers table. Instead, it returned just the customer identifier (in this case, the CustomerID ). You can define which column identifies a row in a table, but, by default, English Query assumes that the primary key should be used.
In the case of an OLAP cube, English Query converts your questions into MDX to query directly against the cube.
Translating English Commands
The English Query parser is fairly robust. With a little help, it can understand commands as vague as "Who rented the most movies last week?" Although the parser can understand a wide range of questions, users will quickly learn the most efficient way to get the answers they need. The following sentences all generate the same SQL query in English Query:
Show me a list of all of the customers in my database. Are there any customers? Give me a complete list of my customers, please. List all customers. Customers.
All of these sentences produce this SQL query:
Select CustomerID from Customers
SQL Clauses and Their English Query Equivalents
If you already know SQL, you are familiar with the rules that enable you to get answers to your questions. Listed here is a table that shows you how to translate the components of a SQL SELECT statement into the appropriate English Query words or phrases that provides the same result.