Query By Example

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What Does Query By Example Mean?

Query by example (QBE) is a query method implemented in most database systems, most notably for relational databases. QBE was created by Moshe Zloof at IBM in the 1970s in parallel to SQL’s development. It is a graphical query language where users can input commands into a table like conditions and example elements. It’s a common feature in most database programs.

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Techopedia Explains Query By Example

Query by example is a query language used in relational databases that allows users to search for information in tables and fields by providing a simple user interface where the user will be able to input an example of the data that he or she wants to access. The principle of QBE is that it is merely an abstraction between the user and the real query that the database system will receive. In the background, the user’s query is transformed into a database manipulation language form such as SQL, and it is this SQL statement that will be executed in the background.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.