SQL syntax

SQL syntax is presented in modified BNF notation.

The meta-symbols of BNF are listed in the following table.

Table 1. BNF meta-symbols
Symbol Meaning
| Or. Choose one of the items.
[ ] Encloses optional items.
* Flags items that you can repeat 0 or more times. Has a special meaning in some SQL statements.
{ } Groups required items so that they can be marked with the symbol |.
( ) . , Other punctuation that is part of the syntax.
The following example shows how SQL syntax is presented:
  ON tableName ( simpleColumnName [ , simpleColumnName ]* ) 
Command-line syntax for running Java programs and utilities (as well as examples) always begins with the command java:
java org.apache.derby.tools.ij

This documentation attempts to be JVM neutral, but any command line examples or syntax using JVM specific references should be verified with your JVM documentation.