Chapter 2. MySQL SQL Syntax and Use
Structured Query Language (SQL) is the language that the MySQL server understands, so fluency with SQL is necessary for effective communication with the server. When you use a program such as the mysql client, it functions primarily as a way for you to send SQL statements to the server to be executed. You must also know SQL if you write programs that use the MySQL interface provided by your programming language, because the interface functions as the means that allows you to communicate with the server by issuing SQL statements.
Chapter 1, "Getting Started with MySQL and SQL," presents a tutorial introduction to many of MySQL's capabilities. Now we'll build on that material to go into more detail on several areas of SQL implemented by MySQL:
Several aspects of how the MySQL server executes SQL statements can be modified by setting its SQL mode. Instructions for doing this are given in "The Server SQL Mode."
MySQL's SQL statements may be grouped into several broad categories; Table 2.1 lists representative statements for each. Some of the statements in the table are not covered here because they are more appropriately discussed in other chapters. For example, the administrative statements GRANT and REVOKE for setting up user privileges are dealt with in Chapter 11, "General MySQL Administration." Chapter 12, "MySQL and Security," provides further details on what privileges are available and what they allow. The syntax for all SQL statements implemented by MySQL is listed in Appendix E, "SQL Syntax Reference." That appendix also covers the syntax for using comments in your SQL statements. In addition, you should consult the MySQL Reference Manual for additional information, especially for changes made in the most recent versions of MySQL.