Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Temporal Query Languages

  • Christian S. JensenEmail author
  • Richard T. Snodgrass
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_407


Historical query language


A temporal query language is a database query language that offers some form of built-in support for the querying and modification of time-referenced data, as well as enabling the specification of assertions and constraints on such data. A temporal query language is usually quite closely associated with a temporal data model that defines the underlying data structures that the language applies to.

Historical Background

When the relational data model was proposed by Codd, he also proposed two query languages: relational calculus and relational algebra. Similarly, temporal data models are closely coupled with temporal query languages.

Most databases store time-referenced, or temporal, data. The ISO standard Structured Query Language SQL [ 5] is often the language of choice when developing applications that utilize the information captured in such databases. In spite of this, users realize that temporal data management is at times difficult...
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Recommended Reading

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    Böhlen MH, Gamper J, Jensen CS. How would you like to aggregate your temporal data? In: Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning; 2006. p. 121–36.Google Scholar
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    Kulkari K, Michels J-E. Temporal features in SQL:2011. ACM SIGMOD Rec. 2012;41(3):34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    McKenzie E, Snodgrass RT. An evaluation of relational algebras incorporating the time dimension in databases. ACM Comput Surv. 1991;23(4):501–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Melton J (ed). ISO/IEC 9075, Database Language SQL:2011 Part 2: SQL/Foundation, Dec 2011.Google Scholar
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    Snodgrass RT (ed)., Ahn I, Ariav G, Batory D, Clifford J, Dyreson CE, Elmasri R, Grandi F, Jensen CS, Käfer W, Kline N, Kulkarni K, Leung TY, Lorentzos N, Roddick JF, Segev A, Soo MD, Sripada SM. The TSQL2 temporal query language. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1995.Google Scholar
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    Snodgrass RT. Developing time-oriented database applications in SQL. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Dataware VenturesTucsonUSA