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Query By Example (QBE)

Definition - What does Query By Example (QBE) 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.

Techopedia explains Query By Example (QBE)

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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