What is a SQL Identifier (ie SQL Name)?

Data System Architecture


In Sql, an Identifier is a name that identifies an SQL object such as:

  • a column
  • a table
  • a view


"my table name", my_table_name

Definition / Structure

The definition in BNF is:

<SQL language identifier start> ::= <simple Latin letter>

<SQL language identifier> ::= <SQL language identifier start>
    [ { <underscore> | <SQL language identifier part> }... ]

<SQL language identifier part> ::=
                <simple Latin letter>
              | <digit>

It means that a SQL name:

  • should start with a simple Latin letter
  • followed by characters that are an underscore, a simple Latin letter and a digit.

Note that names may have a space if it's enclosed in some database.

You can find the full definition in the chapter 5.4 of ANSI 1992.

Data Type

Identifier may also refer to a SQL data type that is used to define a column that hold a key value generated.

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