Is SQL Scripting or Coding?


Scott Campbell

Is SQL Scripting or Coding?

When it comes to working with databases, SQL (Structured Query Language) is an essential tool. However, there is often confusion about whether SQL should be considered scripting or coding. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of SQL and determine whether it falls into the category of scripting or coding.

What is SQL?

SQL is a programming language specifically designed for managing and manipulating data in relational databases. It provides a standardized way to interact with databases and perform various operations such as querying, inserting, updating, and deleting data.

Characteristics of Scripting

Scripting languages are typically used for automating tasks and controlling software applications. They are often interpreted rather than compiled, allowing for rapid development and easy modification.

Scripting languages usually have the following characteristics:

  • Interpreted: Scripts are executed line by line at runtime without the need for compilation.
  • Dynamically Typed: Variable types are determined at runtime rather than during compilation.
  • Limited Complexity: Scripts tend to focus on specific tasks and lack extensive features found in full-fledged programming languages.

Characteristics of Coding

Coding refers to the process of writing instructions in a formal programming language to create software applications. Unlike scripting languages, coding involves compiling source code into machine-readable instructions that can be executed by computers.

Coding typically exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Compiled: Code is transformed into machine-readable instructions before execution.
  • Type Safety: Programming languages often enforce type safety, requiring explicit declaration of variable types.
  • Complexity: Coding allows for the creation of complex software applications with extensive features and functionalities.

SQL: Scripting or Coding?

Based on the characteristics mentioned above, it is clear that SQL leans more towards scripting rather than coding. SQL statements are interpreted by the database management system (DBMS) at runtime, making it an interpreted language. Additionally, SQL lacks some of the complexity and advanced features found in general-purpose programming languages.

However, it is important to note that SQL can still be considered a powerful language with its own syntax and rules. It allows for the creation of complex queries and data manipulations, making it a valuable skill for anyone working with databases.


In conclusion, while SQL shares some similarities with scripting languages, it is primarily used for querying and manipulating data in databases. Its interpreted nature and focus on database operations differentiate it from traditional coding languages. Understanding this distinction is crucial when deciding how to approach SQL development and when considering its role in software development as a whole.

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