We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Data Definition Language?

M. McGee
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A data definition language is a computer programing or scripting language that defines a data structure. By definition, these languages need to do three things—create, delete and modify data structures. What they do outside those three areas is immaterial, as long as they perform those three tasks. Any language may be a data definition language, but the term is most commonly applied to structured query language (SQL) and extensible markup language (XML) schemas.

When the term data definition language came into use, it applied to a model made by the Conference for Data System Languages (Codasyl). The process defined two major areas of data structure development—the data definition language made the actual structure of the database, and the data manipulation language defined the methods of placing data in the structure. Since then, these two terms have expanded and become generic terms for the processes they cover.

The generic terms now apply to any languages that perform their original functions. Both SQL and XML perform all of the tasks required and provide many features that were absent from the original model because they had not been invented yet. Other languages provide these capabilities as well; they are just used much less often.

In order to be a data definition language, the language needs to provide three functions. The first main function is the construction of data structures; basically, these are tables designed to hold onto specific groups of information. They often appear like a spreadsheet, holding onto pages of cross-referenced information. For instance, the sheet may have a list of a business’s customers down one side and list of available products along the top. The sheet would have a listing of when those customers purchased individual products down on the table portion.

The next main function is the deletion of data structures. This is not the same as the deletion of an entire database or file; it is a much more selective process. It may remove a specific page of information or an entire portion of a multidimensional array. In either case, the data must be removed without affecting other data structures, even if they are all held in the same file.

The last main function is the alteration of a data structure. This is a broad category that covers a lot of situations. A table may have columns added or renamed, or an entire database may need to be split into two different databases. In any situation, they must be altered in a way that no information is lost, destroyed or created during the process. This prevents anomalous information from entering the data system.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M. McGee
By M. McGee , Former Writer
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences. With a background in communication-related fields, he brings strong organizational and interpersonal skills to his writing, ensuring that his work is both informative and engaging.

Discussion Comments

M. McGee

M. McGee

Former Writer

Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences....
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.