This page is designed to be a central source of information about the SQL standards process and its current state. It also contains pointers to other sources of information about the SQL standard. The information available here is:
- Current Status
- Parts of the SQL Standard and Timeline
- How to Get Copies of the Standards
- The SQL Standards Process
- Disclaimer and Credits
While the SQL Standard is often perceived as established technology, rather than the innovative, cutting edge technology it was when the standards process started in early 1980's, it is still an expanding, evolving, relevant standard.
The original SQL standard was completed as a USA ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard in 1986, and adopted as an ISO (International Standards Organization) standard in 1987. Expansions and revisions were released in 1989 and 1992.
To allow relevant pieces to progress at different rates, the SQL standard has been divided into multiple parts. Two of these parts were completed in the 1990's, as additions to SQL-1992. SQL/CLI (Call Language Interface) was completed in 1995 and SQL/PSM (Persistent Stored Modules) was completed in 1996. Revisions and expansions to Parts one through five were completed in 1999.
Following the completion of SQL:1999, there has been significant work on SQL with Java (a Sun trademark) and XML, as well as the use of SQL to manage data external to an SQL database.
Another revision to all of the parts was completed as SQL:2003. Since SQL:2003, the SQL standards committees have expanded XML support and corrected some errors. The expanded SQL/XML standard was published in 2006 and a full revision of all nine parts was published in 2008.
In 2007, WG3 made the decision that, following the completion of SQL:2008, four of the nine parts were stable enough that they did not need additional expansion. The remaining five parts, SQL/Framework, SQL/Foundation, SQL/PSM, SQL/Schemata, and SQL/XML, are on target for completion of another revision in 2011.
In addition to the SQL standards, there is a separate set of specifications called SQL/MM that is a multi-media expansion of the SQL Standard.
Over the years, the SQL standard has expanded and multiplied. Parts have been split out and rejoined. As a result, the pedigree and status of the various pieces of completed and developing standards can be quite confusing.
The following three charts may help to clarify the parts of the standard. The first provides a brief explanation of the part. The second is a timeline that shows activity for each part for each version of the standard. The third shows the number of pages devoted to each part in each of the standards.
Because of ANSI and ISO copyright restrictions, copies of the SQL standards specifications are available only for purchase.
Electronic (PDF) of printed copies of the SQL standards are available from several sources.
- ISO – http://www.iso.ch, click on "ISO STORE", and search for 9075. Prices are in Swiss Francs.
- ANSI – http://www.ansi.org/, click on "Access Standards - eStandards Store" and search for "SQL Language".
- Make sure you choose the 2008 versions
- Note that there are two variants of each document:
- INCITS/ISO/IEC 9075-*-2011
- ISO/IEC 9075-*:2011
(The "INCITS/ISO/IEC" variants of the documents are US$ 30.00 per document. The "ISO/IEC" variants range from US$ 180 to US$ 451 per document. The content of the documents is identical.)
The process of creating a standard involves a lot of work by a lot of people, and a certain amount of bureaucracy.
In the international arena, the SQL Standard is developed by a committee designated as ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 32 Data Management and Interchange/WG 3 – Database Languages. This committee is made up of delegations from the participating countries.
- Convenor – Keith Hare - USA
- Editor – Jim Melton – USA
- Active participants are:
- Great Britain
WG3 usually meets twice a year to discuss and process proposed changes, additions, and/or corrections from various participants.
Each of the member countries have different organizations and procedures for determining who will be members of the delegation to WG3 and which proposed changes will be supported.
Within the USA, the SQL Standards work is done by the ANSI INCITS DM32.2 Database committee.
Note: DM32.2 used to be INCITS H2 until mid 2009 when INCITS restructured committees to match the ISO/IEC SC 32 structure.
INCITS (InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards) is an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accredited standards producing organization. According to the INCITS web site (http://www.incits.org):
INCITS is sponsored by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), a trade association representing the leading U.S. providers of information technology products and services
Participation within DM32.2 is by technical experts from companies – one vote per company. The current membership of the committee is:
- Chair: Don Deutsch – Oracle Corporation
- Vice Chair: Keith Hare – JCC Consulting, Inc.
- Secretary – Mike Gorman – Whitemarsh
- International Representative – Krishna Kulkarni – IBM
- Editor – Jim Melton – Oracle
- Participating Companies
- Bentley Systems
- JCC Consulting, Inc.
- Oracle Corporation
- Software Workshop, Inc.
- Whitemarsh Information Systems
Within the international SQL standards efforts, SQL/MM is the responsibility of the committee ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 32/WG 4 SQL/Multimedia and application packages. The current parts of SQL/MM are:
- SQL/MM Part 1: Framework
- SQL/MM Part 2: Full Text
- SQL/MM Part 3: Spatial
- SQL/MM Part 5: Still image
- SQL/MM Part 6: Data mining