What is the difference between SQL and SQL Server? This question is a very common one among people that just started working with databases.

This short post answers this question.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a language that is used for accessing and managing data stored in Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMSs). SQL became a standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986, and of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987.

An example of standard SQL command is the below:

SELECT *
FROM tableA
WHERE id=1

SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System developed by Microsoft. In SQL Server, you can store, organize and retrieve data, among other, using SQL statements. In addition to the standard SQL language which is fully supported by SQL Server, you can also use many other statements and commands. All these fall under Transact-SQL (or T-SQL). T-SQL is Microsoft’s proprietary extension to the SQL and provides a large number of extensions in terms of functions, views, system catalogs, stored procedures, etc. which enhance the user’s experience with SQL Server.

An example of a T-SQL command is the below:

SELECT *, CAST(GETDATE() AS DATE) as CurrentDate
FROM tableA
WHERE id=1