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Animated SQL: Visualizing Query Operations

Steve Jones looks at an interesting site:

While I think SQL is interesting, I know some people struggle with the way the language work. Someone at work posted a link to this site:

I think the idea is this site helps you visualize how a SQL query works. It’s not free form, and I can’t just write any SQL, but you choose a keyword and then a sample query is shown. If you press Visualize, it walks through how this query is processed.

Click through to see how it works and Steve’s thoughts. It looks like they’re using either MySQL or Postgres in the background; it’s hard to tell because both support all of the site functionality including LIMIT/OFFSET (versus TOP and OFFSET/FETCH). Sadly, it’s pretty limited in terms of the queries supported—for example, I tried adding in a quick ROW_NUMBER() window function and that did not go over well. Still, I like this a lot as a teaching tool, especially for people brand new to SQL and haven’t sorted out how to think in sets.