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DML: Data Manipulation Language

DML: Data Manipulation Language

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In the world of managing databases, DML (Data Manipulation Language) is important for handling and changing data effectively. This is a subset of SQL (Structured Query Language) that focuses on modifying the data stored in databases. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced database administrator, understanding it is essential for effective data management.

This article will discuss DML concepts, commands, and examples in different database systems. The systems include Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle. The article will cover the basics of DML, including commands and examples.

Demonstrating how DML works in Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle databases. By the end of this article, you will understand DML and be able to use it confidently in your database projects.

What is DML?

DML stands for Data Manipulation Language, a subset of SQL that deals with modifying the data stored in databases. It encompasses a set of commands used to insert, update, delete, and retrieve data from database tables. These commands are essential for performing CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations, which form the backbone of data manipulation.

Data Manipulation Language is important for managing databases. It helps users interact with data efficiently. DML is a crucial component of database management. It enables users to work with the data stored in databases.

It offers a standardized way to manipulate data, regardless of the specific DBMS. Whether you’re working with Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Oracle, the fundamental concepts of DML remain the same.

DML Commands


Use the INSERT command to add new records into a database table. You can specify the values to insert into specific columns of the table. Here’s an example of an INSERT command:

INSERT INTO Employees (FirstName, LastName, Email)
VALUES ('John', 'Doe', '[email protected]');

In this example, we are adding a new entry to the “Employees” table. The entry includes the name ‘John’ for the first name, ‘Doe’ for the last name, and ‘[email protected]’ for the email address.


The SELECT command retrieves data from one or more database tables. You can choose which columns to get and use filters to refine the results. Here’s an example of a SELECT command:

SELECT FirstName, LastName, Email
FROM Employees
WHERE Department = 'Sales';

This query gets the first name, last name, and email of employees in the Sales department from the Employees table. The query specifically looks for records where the Department column is ‘Sales’.


The UPDATE command modifies existing records in a database table. It allows you to change the values of specific columns based on specified conditions. Here’s an example of an UPDATE command:

UPDATE Employees
SET Salary = Salary * 1.1
WHERE Department = 'Marketing';

In this example, we increase the salary of employees in the Marketing department by 10%.


The DELETE command removes one or more records from a database table based on specified conditions. Here’s an example of a DELETE command:

WHERE EmployeeID = 1001;

This command deletes the record from the “Employees” table where the “EmployeeID” column is equal to 1001.

DML in Different DBMS

DML commands have similar basic syntax in different DBMS, but there may be slight variations in each system. Let’s look at some examples of queries in popular DBMS, for instance Microsoft SQL Server:


INSERT INTO Customers (CustomerName, ContactName, Country)
VALUES ('Awesome Inc.', 'John Smith', 'USA');


SELECT ProductName, UnitPrice, UnitsInStock
FROM Products
WHERE CategoryID = 1;


SET ShippedDate = GETDATE()
WHERE OrderID = 10248;


DELETE FROM OrderDetails
WHERE Quantity = 0;

These examples demonstrate how to use DML commands in different RDBMS to manipulate data effectively. While the syntax may vary slightly, the core functionality of DML remains consistent across systems.

While NoSQL databases like MongoDB have different query languages compared to SQL used in relational databases, they still provide similar functionality for data manipulation. Let’s explore the equivalent DML commands in MongoDB:


db.users.insert({user_id: "abc33", name: "sayali", age: 22})

In MongoDB, you can use the insert() method to add new documents to a collection. The above example inserts a new document into the “users” collection with the specified fields and values.


db.users.find({age: {$ne: 22}})

To retrieve documents from a collection in MongoDB, you use the find() method. The above query selects all documents from the “users” collection where the “age” field is not equal to 22.


db.users.update({}, {$set: {join_date: new Date()}}, {multi: true})

In MongoDB, you can update documents using the update() method. The above query updates all documents in the “users” collection by setting the “join_date” field to the current date. The multi: true option ensures that multiple documents can be updated.


db.users.remove({status: "D"})

To delete documents from a collection in MongoDB, you use the remove() method. The above query removes all documents from the “users” collection where the “status” field is equal to “D”.

These are just a few examples of the DML operations in MongoDB. MongoDB provides a rich query language with many more options and operators for data manipulation, allowing you to perform complex queries and updates on your data.

Best Practices for Using DML

To ensure efficient and secure data manipulation using DML, consider the following best practices.

Use Parameterized Queries

When constructing DML statements, especially those involving user input, use parameterized queries to prevent SQL injection attacks. Parameterized queries separate the data from the SQL statement. This ensures that the system treats user input as data, not code that it can execute.

This helps prevent SQL injection attacks. Parameterized queries protect the database from malicious input.

Handle Transactions Properly

Use transactions when you need to execute multiple DML operations as a single unit of work. Transactions are important for maintaining data integrity. They allow you to undo changes if any part of the operation fails, ensuring that your data remains consistent.

Implement Proper Error Handling

When running DML statements, make sure to use error handling to catch and deal with any issues that may come up. This helps in identifying and resolving issues promptly, preventing data corruption or inconsistencies.

Optimize Queries

Analyze and optimize your queries for better performance. Use appropriate indexes, avoid unnecessary joins, and filter data efficiently to minimize the amount of data retrieved or processed. Regularly monitor and tune your queries to ensure optimal performance.

Validate and Sanitize Input

Before using user input in DML statements, validate and sanitize the data to prevent potential security risks. Implement input validation checks to ensure data integrity and protect against malicious or unintended modifications to the database.

Use Appropriate Access Controls

Implement proper access controls and permissions for users executing DML statements. Grant users only the necessary privileges to perform their required tasks, following the principle of least privilege. This helps in maintaining data security and preventing unauthorized modifications.

Regularly Backup and Monitor

Regularly backup your database to protect against data loss or corruption. Implement monitoring mechanisms to track DML activities, detect anomalies, and audit changes made to the database. This helps in maintaining data integrity and facilitates troubleshooting and recovery processes.


DML (Data Manipulation Language) is a powerful subset of SQL that enables efficient data manipulation in databases. You can manage and change data in databases by using commands like INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, and DELETE.

This article discussed DML concepts and commands. It also provided examples using popular DBMS like Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle. During our discussion, we studied the best practices for using DML. This included parameterized queries, transaction handling, error handling, query optimization, input validation, access controls, and regular backups and monitoring.

By learning DML and using these tips, you can make sure your database projects run smoothly and securely. Whether you are new to database administration or have years of experience, it is important to understand DML. DML is crucial for managing data effectively and creating strong database applications.

Remember, the key to success is practice and continuous learning. Experiment with various commands. Continue acquiring new methods.

Keep yourself informed about the newest features and enhancements in your selected database system. With dedication and practice, you’ll become proficient in using DML to manipulate data effectively and efficiently.

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