Both DBA.SE and Stack Overflow suffer from a similar problem, when users post sql related questions there is a tendency to solely tag the question with but exclude the RDBMS.

This is great if they are looking for an ANSI standard answer but more times than not, they want an answer for a specific database product. Since they've left off the RDBMS, this leads to comments and/or answers which guess the possible solution, and frustration for users.

I've seen this DBA Meta post and it says it should be used:

when the question has a direct relation with SQL.

But that's pretty much ever question here. It seems like this is far too broad of a tag especially if the users don't include the RDBMS they are targeting.

So my question is, does the make sense here on DBA? Should the tag be removed?


4 Answers 4


I personally think should be removed, as the majority of people posting questions on Database Administrators and Stack Overflow are targeting the specific RDBMS that they are working on.

It's just human nature to tag - since you type sql, this tag is the first to appear.

Also, the wiki definition of states:

Structured Query Language (SQL). For questions about the language, not Microsoft SQL Server (tag sql-server).

"SQL" is an acronym for "Structured Query Language", it is used in relational database management systems (RDBMS) to query, update, delete, and insert data as well as modify the structure of the database. To get better answers, a tag for the DBMS being used should also be added (i.e., oracle, postgresql, sql-server).


Probably not. There's if anyone is truly looking for that.


I think is a perfectly valid tag.

Many questions here are not concerned with the Structured Query Language. In fact, I just skimmed the latest questions rolling in and the majority is concerned with other things, like DB design, protocol questions, replication, etc. NoSQL DBs are also on topic here: MongoDB, Cassandra, CouchDB etc., where the tag is obviously not applicable.

should be used when the question concerns the language itself. Complex queries and such. Still a common tag, but not noise.

Most of the time it should be combined with an RDBMS tag. The problem with questions typically isn't the presence of this tag, but the absence of an RDBMS tag - where appropriate. Or confusing with , for which MS is to blame mostly - grabbing such a misleading name for their product.

Discussion about that is ongoing on meta:

My take on it:

I am not asking many question, but wasn't there something implemented along these lines already?

  • 3
    I recently edited lots of questions which were tagged both [sql] and [server]. All but one were incorrectly tagged. So a whole lot of those incorrectly tagged questions have been fixed. Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 10:36

My gripe with is that is an alias to it. So tagging questions about other query languages results in them being tagged which is incorrect.

The -> synonym was removed in July 2018.

  • I think you'll agree that there's hardly any point in query as a tag. Yes, it could have been burninated, but I don't see much harm in its being made a synonym of sql. I think questions about SQL are more numerous here than questions about any other query language.
    – Andriy M
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 13:42
  • 3
    I disagree. The whole point of tags is to be able to categorise things properly. Tags which are seldom used are actually very useful! I'd very much rather [query] be kept and actively removed from questions which are (better) tagged with [sql]. Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 13:59
  • 2
    But what does query tell you about the question? Wouldn't it be better to tag the question with a specific query language rather than just query? What kind of DBA.SE question could be tagged query?
    – Andriy M
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 15:00
  • 2
    My opinion on this subject has been gradually changing recently. Now I agree with your gripe completely. This recent question ended up with the sql tag which had nothing to do with the OP's issue. I'm now convinced that sql should either go or be made a synonym of another tag, possibly query. Just making the record straight.
    – Andriy M
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 6:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .