The standard, though originally ANSI isn't really ANSI anymore. In fact, I imagine far more people develop it from the ISO/IEC outside of ANSI.

ANSI calls it ISO/IEC 9075-4:2016, and the ISO/IEC make no mention of even ANSI involvement

Regardless, ansi isn't really relevant.

If that's too vague and you're afraid of people accidentally tagging things with it, you can always go with iso-9075 and make ansi-sql-standard redirect to it, or even iso-sql-standard.

  • 1
    If you have a look at my answer you might find that the ANSI standard possibly never was an "ANSI" standard to begin with, but rather the adoption of another bodies specification. The same is valid for ISO/IEC. It might be fair to state that INCITS is probably the only body that would merit its own tag.
    – John K. N.
    May 3, 2018 at 11:28

3 Answers 3


seems to be more general.

I suggest we make both and synonyms to . ANSI and ISO have both been associated with the standard and I've seen used both the terms "ANSI SQL" and "ISO SQL" (and "ANSI/ISO SQL"), and still being used.

  • 1
    I've never heard the literal expression, i.e. "ANSI SQL standard", though I've heard "(the) SQL standard" and "ANSI SQL". To me, "ANSI SQL standard" implies that there's another, competing, standard. That's not what the reality is, though, at least not what it's been for the last so many years (I'm not sure how many competing SQL standards there were at various times), as there is just one standard now and it should be enough to call it just the SQL standard.
    – Andriy M
    May 3, 2018 at 10:20
  • 1
    @AndriyM wouldn't making them synonyms show that? May 3, 2018 at 10:26
  • Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I disagree with the synonyms proposal. My only point was that sql-standard makes more sense to me as the actual tag. I'm absolutely fine with both of your synonym suggestions. Perhaps ansi-sql could be a good choice for a synonym too.
    – Andriy M
    May 3, 2018 at 11:24
  • For historical reasons SQL-86 was released by ANSI and later adopted by ISO. Subsequently SQL 89 was previously approved by ANSI and later adopted by ISO (iirc), but at some point ANSI just stepped out of those roles and the work went into the ISO JTC. May 3, 2018 at 15:11

ANSI References in 2018

There are still strong references to the "ANSI" standard as can be seen in the following excerpt from a page in the Oracle 12c documentation:

(Emphasis by me)

ANSI Standards

The following documents of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) relate to SQL:

  • ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075-1:2011, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 1: Framework (SQL/Framework)

  • ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075-2:2011, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 2: Foundation (SQL/Foundation)

  • INCITS/ISO/IEC 9075-3:2008, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 3: Call-Level Interface (SQL/CLI)

  • ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075-4:2011, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 4: Persistent Stored Modules (SQL/PSM)

  • INCITS/ISO/IEC 9075-9:2008, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 9: Management of External Data (SQL/MED)

  • INCITS/ISO/IEC 9075-10:2008, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 10: Object Language Bindings (SQL/OLB)

  • ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075-11:2011, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 11: Information and Definition Schemas (SQL/Schemata)

  • INCITS/ISO/IEC 9075-13:2008, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 13: SQL Routines and Types using the Java Programming Language (SQL/JRT)

  • ANSI/ISO/IEC 9075-14:2011, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 14: XML-Related Specifications (SQL/XML)

These standards are identical to the corresponding ISO standards listed in the next section.

Also, in 2012, ANSI adopted this part, which is not an ISO standard:

  • INCITS 500:2012, Information technology—Database languages—SQL—Part 14: Row Pattern Recognition (SQL/RPR)

You can obtain a copy of ANSI standards from this address:

American National Standards Institute 25 West 43rd Street, fourth floor New York, NY 10036 USA Telephone: +1.212.642.4900 Fax: +1.212.398.0023 Web site: http://www.ansi.org/

Reference Database SQL Language Reference (Oracle Docs)

It seems like ANSI, INCITS and ISO/IEC are all contributing to the sql-standard.

But what do these institutions do?


(Emphasis mine)

As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.

The Institute oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more. ANSI is also actively engaged in accreditation - assessing the competence of organizations determining conformance to standards.

Reference: About ANSI (ansi.org)


(Emphasis mine)

INCITS -- the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards -- is the central U.S. forum dedicated to creating technology standards for the next generation of innovation. INCITS members combine their expertise to create the building blocks for globally transformative technologies. From cloud computing to communications, from transportation to health care technologies, INCITS is the place where innovation begins.

Reference: Where IT all begins (incits.org)


(Emphasis mine)

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international (standardisation) organization with a membership of 161 [national standards bodies].

Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

Reference: About ISO (iso.org)

The reference linke to the 161 bodies of ISO links to an overview of all the participating bodies which can be found here:

Reference: ISO: a global network of national standards bodies (iso.org)

When clicking on the link for ANSI you are referred to the following tidbit of information:

(Emphasis mine)

Since it was founded in 1918, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has coordinated the development of voluntary consensus standards in the United States and has represented the needs and views of U.S. stakeholders in standardization forums around the globe. ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO and, via its U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). ANSI is also a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

ANSI does not write standards; rather, the Institute accredits standards developers that will establish consensus among qualified groups. Its guiding principles " consensus, due process and openness " are followed by the 220 distinct entities currently accredited to develop and maintain nearly 10 000 American National Standards (ANS). Though all ANS are developed as voluntary documents, U.S. federal, state, or local bodies are increasingly referring to ANS for regulatory or procurement purposes. Many ANS are also national adoptions of globally relevant international standards.

Reference: ANSI - United States (iso.org)


  • ANSI itself does not define or create standards, but rather accredits existing standards.
  • ISO itself groups standards, based on member's recommendations.
  • INCITS seems to be the only board that creates standards!

My vote

I vote to have a sql-standard and all other tags be modified to be synonyms of sql-standard.

Currently these would be:

  • ansi-sql-standard
  • iso-sql-standard
  • As a point of reference, the standards themselves don't self-reference using ANSI, so my guess is Oracle just doesn't understand the standard, I mean they messed up NULL; we have to be open to the idea that they never read it to begin with. May 3, 2018 at 15:02
  • INCITS is a member organization of ISO. They're not the only one. I'm not sure why you would highlight them at all. Anyone in the JTC should be given equal weight en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_JTC_1/SC_32 May 3, 2018 at 15:08
  • @EvanCarroll the copy I have (Date: 2011-12-21) mentions ANSI in the first page. May 3, 2018 at 17:56
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ I believe that's because they either sold it, or it's their draft spec. It may also be in the context of a copyright notice or the link/email address to their store May 3, 2018 at 18:23
  • 1
    @EvanCarroll I highlighted INCITS because they were in the Oracle listing regarding sql-standards. But yes, you are right: JTS could be listed as a body that defines standards.
    – John K. N.
    May 4, 2018 at 9:22

My only reservation with renaming to is that it might be added by users asking about SQL Server Standard Edition.

  • It is technically an ISO standard, in that ISO organizes the developing body -- the JTC. And, they publish the standard and coordinate their member bodies to sell and distribute it. So, iso-sql-standard also works. And, ISO doesn't add credibility for the NSA's private cabal. =) May 5, 2018 at 14:58
  • 1
    @EvanCarroll But what happens when a new private cabal comes along ;)
    – Paul White Mod
    May 5, 2018 at 14:59
  • We march to dba.meta and Tag rename [iso-sql-standard] to [sql-standard] May 5, 2018 at 15:47

You must log in to answer this question.

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