Introduction to relational databases with SQL

July 1, 2015

Where & When

Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre - Room 206. Wednesday 1st July from 1:30-3pm.

Dany Vohl

Dany is a PhD student from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing. His research focusses on finding computational solutions to problematics related to the Astronomy Petascale Era in order to accelerate discovery.

Introduction to relational databases with SQL

Have you ever wondered how transactional websites (e.g. ebay, amazon) retrieve the items that you search for, or how your employer generates your payslips? Most use a Relational Database: a structured solution to represent and manage data.

Relational databases are also very useful to run analytics (data mining) on large quantities of data. To interact and query the database, a simple language called SQL (sometimes pronounced ‘sequal’) is used.

Such powerful tools can be extremely useful for researchers from all disciplines, from astronomy to social economics. In this session, I will introduce Relational Databases (e.g. SQLite, MySQL) and cover the basics of the SQL language.

Installing software

For this tutorial, we will use SQLite along with DB Browser for SQLite . You may already have SQLite on your machine. sqlite3 comes pre-installed on Mac OS X and Linux. Windows users can download SQLite from the SQLite website or follow the Software Carpentry SQLite installation instructions.

Another popular option is MySQL. Both SQLite and MySQL are free, but MySQL is a heavier solution.

What we worked on

Dany put together a really fantastic workshop website that goes through the basics of setting up and querying a database using the DB Browser for SQLite. For those that couldn’t attend the workshop this is a great resource. You can work through the tutorial in your own time. Installing DB Browser is really easy, but if you do run into problem feel free to drop into one of the SHW Hacky Hour sessions and we’ll help you out.

Useful resources

Dany’s website includes some really useful links;

*discipline specific

Also, if you want create a similarly fabulous website, check out the templates from HTML5 UP

Attended By



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