Is SQL Server a Scripting Language?


Larry Thompson

Is SQL Server a Scripting Language?

SQL Server is a widely used relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It is primarily used to store, retrieve, and manipulate data in databases.

However, it is important to note that SQL Server itself is not a scripting language. Instead, it uses a query language called Structured Query Language (SQL) to interact with databases.

What is a scripting language?

A scripting language is a programming language that allows users to write scripts or small programs to automate tasks or control software applications. These languages are typically interpreted rather than compiled and are often used for tasks such as web development, system administration, and automation.

SQL as a query language

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a standardized language for managing relational databases. It provides a set of commands and syntax for creating, modifying, and querying databases.

SQL allows users to retrieve specific data from databases using SELECT statements, insert new data using INSERT statements, update existing data using UPDATE statements, and delete data using DELETE statements.

SQL supports various operations:

  • Selecting specific columns from tables
  • Filtering data based on conditions using WHERE clause
  • Combining data from multiple tables using JOIN clauses
  • Aggregating data using functions like COUNT(), SUM(), AVG(), etc.
  • Ordering the result set using ORDER BY clause

While SQL is not considered a traditional scripting language like JavaScript or Python, it does support some scripting-like features such as variables, control flow statements (IF-ELSE, CASE), and stored procedures that allow users to write more complex logic within the database.

Using SQL Server with Scripting Languages

Although SQL Server itself is not a scripting language, it can be used in conjunction with scripting languages to build dynamic and interactive web applications. Scripting languages like PHP, Python, and JavaScript can connect to SQL Server databases using appropriate drivers or libraries.

These scripting languages can then execute SQL queries and retrieve data from the database to generate dynamic content for web pages.

In a PHP application, you can use the mysqli extension or PDO (PHP Data Objects) to connect to a SQL Server database and execute queries. The PHP code can handle user input, process form data, interact with the database using SQL queries, and display the result on web pages.


In summary, SQL Server is not a scripting language itself but rather an RDBMS that uses SQL as its query language. While SQL provides some scripting-like features for more complex logic within the database, it is commonly used in conjunction with scripting languages to build dynamic web applications.

Understanding the distinction between SQL Server and scripting languages is essential for developers working with databases.

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