SQL: From traditional databases to big data

Yasin Silva, Isadora Almeida, Michell Queiroz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Scopus citations


The Structured Query Language (SQL) is the main programing language designed to manage data stored in database systems. While SQL was initially used only with relational database management systems (RDBMS), its use has been significantly extended with the advent of new types of database systems. Specifically, SQL has been found to be a powerful query language in highly distributed and scalable systems that process Big Data, i.e., datasets with high volume, velocity and variety. While traditional relational databases represent now only a small fraction of the database systems landscape, most database courses that cover SQL consider only the use of SQL in the context of traditional relational systems. In this paper, we propose teaching SQL as a general language that can be used in a broad range of database systems from traditional RDBMSs to Big Data systems. This paper presents well-structured guidelines to introduce SQL in the context of new types of database systems including MapReduce, NoSQL and NewSQL. A key contribution of this paper is the description of an array of course resources, e.g., virtual machines, sample projects, and in-class exercises, to enable a hands-on experience with SQL across a broad set of modern database systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450338561
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Event47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016 - Memphis, United States
Duration: Mar 2 2016Mar 5 2016


Other47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, SIGCSE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Big Data
  • Databases curricula
  • SQL
  • Structured query language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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