Alpha (programming language)

The Alpha language was the original database language proposed by Edgar F. Codd, the inventor of the relational database approach. It was defined in Codd's 1971 paper "A Data Base Sublanguage Founded on the Relational Calculus".[1] Alpha influenced the design of QUEL.[2] It was eventually supplanted by SQL (which is however based on the relational algebra defined by Codd in "Relational Completeness of Data Base Sublanguages"[3]), which IBM developed for its first commercial relational database product.


  1. Codd, E.F., "Data Base Sublanguage Founded on the Relational Calculus", Proc. 1971 ACM-SIGFIDET Workshop on Data Description, Access, and Control, San Diego.
  2. "ALPHA was never implemented, but its ideas were influential on the design of QUEL and (to a much lesser extent) SQL", Date, C.J., The Relational Database Dictionary, 2009
  3. Codd, E.F., "Relational Completeness of Data Base Sublanguages", IBM Research Laboratory, RJ987, 1972.

See also

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