When it comes to the most popular programming languages, SQL and python never fails to maintain their spot. Any person associated with the subject of computer science must have come across these two languages. But one of the most common questions that strike the mind of beginners is which one is better? This article will help you analyse the pros and cons of SQL and python and put an end to this never-ending debate, “SQL Vs Python”.
Things were different a few years ago. There was a lack of programming languages to support software engineers. SQL(Structured Query Language), back then was one of the most useful languages and was widely used for fetching records and quick data insights. Data commonly existed in the form of a relational database. SQL proved to be a boon when it came to writing applications and reports.
But now the scenario is a bit different. Data exists in the form of different shapes n sizes. It varies from plain text to CSV files. In such a case python comes into the scenario. Python comes with a variety of libraries and associated platforms. In the current time period, python has been the most preferred programming language throughout the world. This is because of its diverse toolkit that supports visualization and statistical analysis.
Perks of using SQL and Python
Every programming language comes with some advantages and so do SQL and python. SQL is generally known for its queries and its ability to extract data. One of the benefits associated with SQL is merging multiple tables in a database. Although, you can’t use it for high-level data transformation and manipulation. Python on the other hand is famous for its specialized libraries. Thus a smart person uses SQL to fetch data and python for manipulating it.
From the above context, you can say that both these languages work hand in hand.
What is the difference between SQL and Python?
Python and SQL are both programming languages with different utilities. SQL can be a great benefit when you want to access or extract data. On the other hand, python is mostly used to experiment with data.
Let’s study an example to differentiate between SQL and Python.
Consider a database table named “school”, which contains information related to a school. It consists of several entries which include student’s name, admission number, roll no., father’s name, class, contact number etc. So, let’s see how can we query this set of data with the help of SQL and python.
SQL can be used to retrieve the data from this database using the command, SELECT * FROM school. If a person wants to search a particular student, suppose a student whose roll number is 322, you can use the command SELECT * FROM school WHERE rollno=322.
Whereas when it comes to python, you can retrieve data with the help of pandas by executing statements like
All students data: student
Student of roll no. 322: student[student.rollno== 322].Name
From the above information, you must have realised that python and SQL are really similar but as we move towards more complex queries, the difference between them increases.
Evolution of SQL
SQL was developed by Donald D.Chamberlin and Raymond F.Boyce. These two people actually developed the database management system in the year 1974 at IBM. Initially in the 1970s, the father of database management systems, Dr E.F. Codd published his idea of relational databases in a paper. It actually inspired IBM and which resulted in the formation of a group just for prototype development. After which a language named DSL, also known as Alpha was proposed by Codd. It went through multiple stages of refinement and finally was named SQL.
In today’s world, practically every website’s back-end development is based on a SQL database. And SQL is the standard language for expressing your database requirements. Some of the types of SQL databases are mentioned below.
- MySQL– There are tables in this database that are linked together in some way. It is the default configuration for all WordPress installations and is pronounced “My Sequel.”
- PostgreSQL– This type of database, also known as Postgres, is best suited for more experienced developers. Consider it a more long-lasting variant of MySQL.
- SQLite– It can be really beneficial for testing basic apps. It is because it’s a portable and compact SQL database.
Evolution of Python
Python found its origin initial in the 1980s. In the 1980s, Guido Van Rossum, who was from the Netherlands started working to derive the language. He also worked for better readability. And thus, finally, in the year 1991 Python was invented. Another amazing fact about python is that it was named after, “Month Python’s Flying Circus” which was a well-known British TV series back then.
If you consider today’s scenario, most tech companies use Python generally for data science or exploration. Some of the most well-known versions of python widely used are python2 and python 3. Python 3 was expected you take over python 2 by the end of 2020. But somehow Python 2 is one of the most used versions of python. Although it is considered that python 2 might lose its security features and bug fixes. So, it is advisable to start working with python 3.
If you want to know about Applications of Python. Click here
Which one to use: python or SQL?
SQL is simpler compared to python when it comes to coding. Mostly it is used to form a combination of aggregate functions, subqueries, JOINS etc.
Now, if you consider python, it is more like a Lego set that contains each component serving a specific function. The libraries are made up of specific components that will assist you in creating something in that field.
Many corporate applications use relational database management systems, which necessitate prior knowledge of SQL. It gives you a step-by-step guide to getting the information you need. On the other hand, Python is more readable and portable, which allows the development of almost anything with the help of appropriate tools and libraries.
According to us, both languages have their own benefits. Python can be considered more versatile and dynamic with multiple applications. On the other hand, SQL can be used for retrieving data from a relational database.
The use of both languages can be really beneficial. These days software engineers, DevOps
Engineer, Data Scientist use the combination of these two programming languages for better results.
Hence we believe learning both programming languages is important and it can help to achieve milestones.