Initially developed at IBM, SQL was originally called SEQUEL or Structured English Query Language. It was originally designed to manipulate and retrieve the data stored in IBM’s original quasi-relational database management system. Since it was developed, it has made lives easier for countless data science and data analytics professionals. SQL has made working with data and databases so much easier and simpler.
What is SQL?
SQL or Structured Query Language, pronounced as ‘s-e-q-u-e-l,’ is a language of databases and a very important tool used by professionals spread across multiple domains to work with large volumes of data and spreadsheets. It is a very important query language that has been designed to retrieve specific information from databases.
What is a Stored Procedure?
A set of SQL statements stored in a database in a compiled form is called a stored procedure. The procedure can be utilized by multiple programs to perform and accomplish specific tasks, thereby reducing the need to write separate code for every program and task. A stored procedure would accept the parameters and executes the T-SQL statements written in the stored procedure, and then returns the result set for the code, if any.
Why are Stored Procedures used?
Stored procedures have become a very important part of using SQL. They are immensely helpful for users in many ways:
· Boosting productivity and performance as the same SQL code can be reused many times by different programs
· Effectively managing data access for end-users as stored procedures let them insert or modify the data but preventing them from tampering with or writing new procedures
· Maintaining data integrity by ensuring all data gets entered consistently
· Reducing network traffic between the client and the server by executing commands in a procedure as a single batch of code
· Improved security by limiting direct access to the data tables and restricting possibilities of hacking & data breach
· Supporting multiple platforms and languages for different client applications so the same procedures can be used by embedding the standard procedure in the program
· Processing large volumes of data quickly
· Providing a helpful suite of tools to users for developing & managing critical business applications
What does a Stored Procedure apply to?
A stored procedure applies to:
· SQL server
· SQL database
· SQL Managed Instance
· Synapse Analytics
· Parallel Data Warehouse
What is the Stored Procedure syntax?
The Stored Procedure syntax is as below:
CREATE PROCEDURE procedure_name
Example code for creating a Stored Procedure
Suppose, we wanted to create a stored procedure called ‘SelectAllDoctors.’ This procedure would select all records from a database called the ‘Doctors’ table. Then, here’s is the code that would be used for creating the stored procedure.
CREATE PROCEDURE SelectAllDoctors
SELECT * FROM Doctors
Once done, execute the above code using:
How are stored procedures different from functions?
Here is how stored procedures are different from functions:
· Functions require more code than stored procedures to achieve the same results. With functions, the BEGIN and END codes and RETURNS and RETURN arguments are mandatory, which is not the case with stored procedures.
· Functions are less flexible than stored procedures as they require the schema for invoking them to be clearly defined and specified.
· Functions let users return only one variable or one table, while stored procedures will let users have several parameters.
· Functions have a more strict and rigid structure while stored functions are more flexible
· Functions support lesser clauses and functionalities than stored procedures
· A stored procedure cannot be invoked inside a function, but a function can be invoked inside a stored procedure
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