Back To Basics

Back to basics

Let’s start with baby steps

We’re all very excited to read a new blog with a neat trick or a cool and complex feature or even a very useful undocumented function. However that is preaching to the choir. We do that and then we get together and complain that there is no new fresh talent in the database business. Well, it may be a bit hard to get into it if all we do are talking new features and really cool uses of analytical functions.

I think we need a bit of both, some stuff that are not advanced. In fact it does not have to be perfectly accurate or usable in all cases, the most important thing is that for someone new to the field it is understandable and usable for just getting something that works for their experience level.

My intent will be to challenge myself to write things I feel is cringeworthy simple when read by anyone who has been around the block a time or two. If you find something to be “ridiculously basic, annoying that anyone would blog about such newbie content”, then I have achieved my goal.

Still reading? Then you must be looking for such material. I will end this post with a light overview of the mandatory keywords in a select, the stuff often referred to as vanilla SQL. This is the stuff I pretty much assume a reader will be aware of before looking for blogs on more.

Hint: I will be using the emp/dept tables used by Oracle for demo in all demonstrations. I recommend Live SQL for playing, it is a great place to test SQL and learn from others. Just cut and paste the SQL below and runt it and you have the result displayed immediately. You can also sign up for a database for free (for a short time) on Oracle’s cloud. I recommend beginning with Live SQL and moving to paid services when you are ready,

A SQL as basic as they come will look something like this:

select department_id
     , department_name
     , manager_id
     , location_id
  from hr.departments
 where department_id between 40 and 70;

There are three keywords to this SQL – Select, From and Where. Technically a SQL can do without the where clause but that rarely happens in practical SQL used for a purpose.


The select keyword is where you list the columns you want to select the data from.


The from keyword lets you list the table(s) you want to get data from.


The where keyword lists the conditions.

In plain english the SQL translates to “Get me the id and name of the department, the IDs for the manager and the location. I want this data to be fetched from the department table where the department ID is between 40 and 70. Not too far from the SQL itself.

Now, go run it on Live SQL. What is holding you back?

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