Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Temporal Extensions in the SQL Standard

  • Krishna KulkarniEmail author
  • Jan Michels
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_80729


Both ANSI and ISO published a revision of the SQL standard in 2011, referred to as SQL:2011 [1]. An important new feature of SQL:2011 is the ability to create and manipulate tables whose rows are associated with one or more temporal period definitions.

Historical Background

The first attempt at extending the SQL standard for temporal data support was made in 1995. A set of proposals incorporating the language extensions based on (but not identical to) TSQL2 [2] was submitted to both ANSI and ANSI SQL committees for consideration. However, this effort was abandoned in 2001 because of various reasons. A new attempt at standardizing temporal extensions with a different set of constructs was made in 2008. These language extensions are now part of SQL:2011.


The literature on temporal databases recognizes two dimensions of time for temporal data support, e.g., see [ 3]:
  • Valid time, the time period during which some information is regarded as correctly reflecting the...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    ISO/IEC 9075-2:2011. Information technology – database languages – SQL – part 2: foundation (SQL/Foundation); 2011.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Snodgrass R, editor. The TSQL2 temporal query language. Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1995.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Snodgrass R. Developing time-oriented database applications in SQL. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 1999.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Allen JF. Maintaining knowledge about temporal intervals. Commun ACM. 1983;26(11):832–43.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kulkarni K, Michels J-E. Temporal features in SQL:2011. SIGMOD Rec. 2012;41(1):34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ConsultantSan JoseUSA
  2. 2.Oracle CorporationRedwood ShoresUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Richard T. Snodgrass
    • 1
  • Christian S. Jensen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Aalborg UniversityAalborg ØstDenmark