Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete

What Does Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete Mean?

Create, retrieve, update and delete (CRUD) refers to the four major functions implemented in database applications.


The CRUD functions are the user interfaces to databases, as they permit users to create, view, modify and alter data. CRUD works on entities in databases and manipulates these entities. Any simple database table enforces CRUD constraints.

Techopedia Explains Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete

For instance, a simple student database table adds (creates) new student details, accesses (reads) existing student details, modifies (updates) existing student data such as subjects, and deletes student details when students leave the school.

The commands corresponding to these operations in SQL are INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE. INSERT adds new records, SELECT retrieves or selects existing records based on selection conditions, UPDATE modifies existing records and DELETE removes tables or records.

The most efficient way to accomplish CRUD in SQL is through stored procedures, which are automated and controlled by the person managing the procedure generation process. The individual SQL commands INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE can be executed by a single statement that calls the stored procedure.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…