Differences Between SQL and T-SQL [with Example]

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Differences Between SQL and T-SQL [with Example]:  SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a standard programming language used for managing and manipulating relational databases. SQL allows users to interact with databases by performing tasks such as querying data, inserting, updating, and deleting records, creating and modifying database structures, and controlling access to the data.

SQL Example:

Let’s assume that the following table is an employees table which includes the following:

Data Query:

To retrieve all employees from the table:

SQL Example1

For retrieving specific columns like the first name or the last name of all employees in the HR department:

SQL Example2

Features of SQL:

SQL (Structured Query Language) has several key features that make it a powerful and versatile language for interacting with relational databases. Here are some of the main features of SQL:

Data Querying: SQL allows users to retrieve specific data from a database using the SELECT statement. Users can specify the columns they want to retrieve, apply filters using the WHERE clause, perform sorting using ORDER BY, and aggregate data using functions like SUM, COUNT, AVG, etc.

Data Manipulation: SQL supports various commands for modifying data in the database. The main data manipulation commands are INSERT (for adding new records), UPDATE (for modifying existing records), and DELETE (for removing records).

Data Definition: SQL enables users to create and modify the structure of the database. It includes commands such as CREATE TABLE (for creating new tables), ALTER TABLE (for modifying existing tables), and DROP TABLE (for deleting tables).

Data Integrity: SQL allows the definition of constraints on the data to enforce data integrity. Common constraints include NOT NULL (to ensure a column cannot have NULL values), UNIQUE (to enforce unique values in a column), PRIMARY KEY (to define a unique identifier for a table), and FOREIGN KEY (to establish relationships between tables).

Joins: SQL provides powerful capabilities to combine data from multiple tables using JOIN operations. This allows users to retrieve related data from different tables in a single query.

Views: SQL allows the creation of virtual tables known as views. Views are based on the result of a SELECT query and provide a way to simplify complex queries and encapsulate data access.

Transactions: SQL supports the concept of transactions, which ensures that a series of related database operations either all succeed or all fail together. Transactions help maintain data consistency and integrity.

Data Security: SQL includes commands to manage user access and permissions on database objects. Administrators can grant or revoke privileges to control what actions users can perform on the data.

 Aggregation and Grouping: SQL allows the grouping of data using GROUP BY statements and the application of aggregate functions like SUM, COUNT, AVG, etc., on the grouped data.

Subqueries: SQL permits the use of subqueries, which are queries nested within other queries. Subqueries can be used to break down complex problems into simpler parts.

These features make SQL a powerful tool for managing and manipulating data in relational databases, and it remains a fundamental and widely used language in the field of data management.

Read Blog? Why SQL is important for Data Analysts?

What is T-SQL?

T-SQL stands for Transact-SQL, which is Microsoft’s proprietary extension of SQL (Structured Query Language). It is a powerful and feature-rich language used primarily with Microsoft SQL Server, although it is also supported in Azure SQL Database and Azure Synapse Analytics.

T-SQL includes all the standard SQL features for querying, manipulating, and defining data in a relational database, along with additional enhancements and extensions provided by Microsoft.

T-SQL Example:

Assuming we have a database named “SampleDB” and want to create a table called “Students” with the following structure:

T-SQL Example1

Now, let’s insert some data into the “Students” table:

T-SQL Example2

Next, we’ll create a simple stored procedure that retrieves students whose age is less than a specified value:

T-SQL Example3

Now, we can execute the stored procedure to get students younger than a specified age (e.g., 23):

T-SQL Example4

The result of the above query would be:

T-SQL Example5

In this example, we created a table “Students,” inserted some data, and then defined a stored procedure “GetStudentsByAge” to retrieve students based on their age. We executed the stored procedure with the parameter @MaxAge set to 23 to get the desired result.

Features of T-SQL:

T-SQL (Transact-SQL) is a powerful and feature-rich extension of SQL (Structured Query Language) developed by Microsoft. It adds several enhancements and capabilities to standard SQL, primarily used with Microsoft SQL Server. Here are the key features of T-SQL:

Transact-SQL Programming: T-SQL supports procedural programming with features like variables, control-of-flow statements (IF…ELSE, WHILE, etc.), and local variables, allowing developers to write complex logic and create dynamic queries.

Stored Procedures: T-SQL enables the creation of stored procedures, which are pre-compiled sets of SQL statements. Stored procedures enhance performance, security, and code reusability by allowing the execution of a series of SQL statements as a single unit.

User-Defined Functions (UDFs): T-SQL allows the creation of user-defined functions that can encapsulate logic and calculations, making it easy to reuse the code within queries.

Triggers: T-SQL supports the creation of triggers, special types of stored procedures that automatically execute in response to specific events (INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE) on a table. Triggers are commonly used for enforcing business rules and maintaining data integrity.

Error Handling: T-SQL provides robust error handling capabilities using TRY…CATCH blocks. Developers can catch and handle errors gracefully, allowing for better control over the application’s behavior in case of errors.

Common Table Expressions (CTEs): T-SQL supports CTEs, temporary result sets that can be referenced within a single SQL statement. CTEs help simplify complex queries and make code more readable and maintainable.

Window Functions: T-SQL includes window functions that allow for calculations across a set of rows related to the current row. Window functions, used with the OVER clause, enable tasks like ranking, aggregation, and calculating moving averages.

Dynamic SQL: T-SQL supports dynamic SQL, which enables the construction and execution of SQL statements at runtime. This feature allows developers to create more flexible and customizable queries based on varying conditions.

XML Support: T-SQL includes features to work with XML data, enabling querying and manipulation of XML documents within the database.

Full-Text Search: T-SQL provides full-text search capabilities, allowing users to search for words and phrases within text columns efficiently.

Difference between SQL and T-SQL:



Used for manipulating data in a database. An extension of SQL that is used in Microsoft SQL Server Databases and software.
SQL is an open-source query language. T-SQL is developed and owned by Microsoft
SQL statements are executed one at a time also called “non-procedural.” T-SQL executes statements in a “procedural” way so that code is blocked in a logical and structured manner


The blog clearly determines the differences between SQL vs T-SQL with examples. The features of SQL and T-SQL help in understanding the importance of both in the field of Data Science and how it is essential to be proficient in your skills. While SQL remains an open-source query language, T-SQL is owned by Microsoft and is an extension of the SQL used in the SQL server database of Microsoft.

Read Blog?? Advanced SQL Tips and Tricks for Data Analysts


Is T-SQL different from SQL?

Structured Query Language is known as SQL. To maintain and work with relational databases, one must utilize a standard programming language. For interacting with databases, including actions like data querying, insertion, updating, and deletion, SQL offers a set of instructions and syntax.

Because SQL is a declarative language, the database management system (DBMS) handles the actual implementation while you just declare the data you wish to obtain or alter.

Transact-SQL is referred to as T-SQL. It is a proprietary addition to SQL that Microsoft created and incorporates into Microsoft SQL Server. Beyond the basic SQL syntax, T-SQL also has additional features and functions. Since it is entirely compatible with SQL, all common SQL queries will function as expected with T-SQL, which also offers additional SQL Server-specific features.

What is SQL vs T-SQL vs PL SQL?

SQL is the query language used for working and maintaining relational databases. T-SQL is an extension of SQL used by Microsoft SQL server databases. Pl SQL stands for Procedural Language Extensions SQL which is an Oracle database.

What are the advantages of T-SQL over SQL?

There may be various advantages of T-SL over SQL which includes:

  1.     Fast processing of queries including large volumes of data
  2.     Server traffic minimization because of data processing with minimum overhead.
  3.     Secure data access and transactions
  4.     It’s simplicity makes even complex logic in T-SQL easier to read and understand. 

Read Blog? How to drop a database in SQL server?


  • Rahul Kumar

    Written by:

    I am Rahul Kumar final year student at NIT Jamshedpur currently working as Data Science Intern. I am dedicated individual with a knack of learning new things.