Data Manipulation Language

Part of the You Can Learn SQL series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, YouCanLearnSeries.com
Updated:
September 1, 2004

The Data Manipulation Language (DML) is SQL statements that operate on the tables to retrieve, delete, insert into and update specific data.

There are four commands available in the DML that allow you to manipulate the data in the database.
1. SELECT
2. INSERT
3. UPDATE
4. DELETE

The SELECT statement allows you to retrieve data from the database to view or insert into another table.

The SELECT statement allows you to retrieve data from the database to view or insert into another table.

The INSERT statement will place new, additional data into a table, basically it adds a row.

INSERT Statement will place new, additional data into a table.

The UPDATE statement gives you the ability to change data in a row or multiple rows.

UPDATE statement changes data in a row or multiple rows.

The DELETE statement is a powerful command to remove rows from a table. You must be careful with this command so you don’t delete important data. If you don’t qualify your DELETE statement you can remove all the rows in a table with the push of a button.

DELETE statement removes rows from a table.

Each of these statements has qualifiers that allow you to restrict the number of rows returned, deleted, inserted or updated. These qualifiers depend on the statement used. Some of these qualifiers are:
WHERE CLAUSE
GROUP BY CLAUSE
HAVING CLAUSE
ORDER BY CLAUSE
UNION OPERATOR

In review, the Data Manipulation Language represents SQL commands used to manipulate data in a database, normally at the table level.



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