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Transact-SQL Reference (Database Engine)

Transact-SQL is central to using SQL Server. All applications that communicate with an instance of SQL Server do so by sending Transact-SQL statements to the server, regardless of the user interface of the application.

The following is a list of the kinds of applications that can generate Transact-SQL:

  • General office productivity applications.

  • Applications that use a graphical user interface (GUI) to let users select the tables and columns from which they want to see data.

  • Applications that use general language sentences to determine what data a user wants to see.

  • Line of business applications that store their data in SQL Server databases. These applications can include both applications written by vendors and applications written in-house.

  • Transact-SQL scripts that are run by using utilities such as sqlcmd.

  • Applications created by using development systems such as Microsoft Visual C++, Microsoft Visual Basic, or Microsoft Visual J++ that use database APIs such as ADO, OLE DB, and ODBC.

  • Web pages that extract data from SQL Server databases.

  • Distributed database systems from which data from SQL Server is replicated to various databases, or distributed queries are executed.

  • Data warehouses in which data is extracted from online transaction processing (OLTP) systems and summarized for decision-support analysis.

To view the Transact-SQL reference topics

To view the list of topics in the Transact-SQL reference section of SQL Server Books Online, follow these steps:

  1. On the SQL Server Books Online toolbar, click the Sync with Table Of Contents button.

  2. On the Contents tab, expand Transact-SQL Reference.


When viewing this content in the MSDN Library, use the Table of Contents to browse for topics or search for commands by name.

For a list of Transact-SQL functions by category, see Functions (Transact-SQL).

For a short tutorial about how to write Transact-SQL, see Tutorial: Writing Transact-SQL Statements.