Meadowlark: Sheffield based computer consultancy

Programming languages we use

Structured Query Language: SQL

SQL is the de-facto means by which databases are queried. If you develop small desktop databases using Microsoft Access or Lotus Approach, then you may not be aware of its existence, but it is fundamental to the majority of database applications.

Microsoft Sequel Server, MYSQL, Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and all the other major database products are driven by this language, which has the capacity to determine a databases structure, its content, and how it functions.

An example of SQL may help clarify its role:


The above selects every column in the table Customer where the primary field has a value of 46

The select statement above is very simple, but these types of statements can become very complicated when there are database joins and complex Where clauses.

SQL has been with us since the 1970s, and its role in providing high performance databases is in no way diminished, despite competition from alternatives like XML.

What you can expect from computer hardware in the future?

1. Smaller faster, cheaper, lighter computers for the desktop.  They will be no larger than a DVD drive.  They will be silent, and run free software, and much of this will be web based.  They will use solid state disks, and large quantities of cheap memory.

2. More powerful mobile phones will largely replace traditional PCs.  The screens of mobiles will occupy as much of the phone as physicallly possible.  "Soft buttons will have largely replaced mechanical buttons in top of the range phones.

3. Sophisticated screen display technology will be available that will allow us to use bigger computer monitors in smaller less likely workplaces.

4. Micro-factories: places of work no bigger than a loft extension, where budding entrepreneurs labour in their free time "printing" products with 3D printers and selling their wares by the internet.