Even if you are a new Database Administrator for SQL Server and may have heard of the CRUD acronym, you may not necessarily understand the concept. In this post, we will explain the meaning and significance of these operations in detail.

CRUD involves the fundamental operations used in any RDBMS. Although it can mean different things depending on the system, for SQL Server, it is almost always used to map four basic operations on table data. Knowing the following will help you grasp SQL Server query optimization tips better:


C - Create (Insert data in SQL)

R - Read (Select data in SQL)

U - Update (Update records in SQL tables)

D - Delete (Delete data from the table)


Known as the essential operation units, these are responsible for the rich ecosystem that consists of facilities such as resource and transaction control, database performance enhancement, maintaining security, setting up or updating a locking mechanism, and granting object permission/access, among others.


Some key advantages of CRUD operations are:


  1. They help resolve issues: Consider this example for a clearer understanding of this benefit - when SQL Server 2008 was launched with the beneficial MERGE option, users received the ability to carry out insertions, updates, and deletions all in one go. On the other hand, the convenience brought by the MERGE statement does not mean the debug time gets shorter as well.


That’s because debugging a script that contains MERGE statements takes greater effort as they must open an additional SSMS window to verify the source and destination tables. It depends on the merge search condition, after checking which the user will have to compute the anticipated outcome and make a comparison with the MERGE execution result.

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  1. Maintain control on security: Realistically speaking, there are some parts in a data record that are readable but not modifiable without authorization by every user in the database. These help during database query optimization and depend on each user’s access requirements as some can only read/write their own data and are not supposed to have access to other’s information. Thanks to CRUD operation principles, one can successfully attain all kinds of granular access specifications by setting up the correct combination of authorizations on CRUD tasks.


  1. Managing granularity throughout the business model: During the design phase of a business application, business objects are similar to building blocks. For instance, banking apps contain fields such as CUSTOMER, ACCOUNT, and other fields such as PRICE, INTEREST, etc. You can utilize CRUD tasks for such fields and simplify the design process and scalability for application development.

While CRUD is virtually Data Manipulation Language (or DML), it can also be utilized in the form of Data Definition Language (or DDL). This is important to remember when looking for SQL query performance tuning.


One such application, in which we can suppose the database as a container, involves the use of CRUD in the definition of multiple objects including view, table, stored processes, and so on.


If we do use a table in the form of an object, the CRUD operations can be classified as the following:


       C: Build the table

       R: Verify the design of the table

       U: Modify the table

       D: Drop\Delete the table


All these points prove the significance of CRUD operation in SQL Server, especially since it’s useful to know from the point-of-view of database query optimization. These can be extended from tasks related to Data Manipulation Language to those of Data Definition Language.


As a new Database Administrator, you will certainly benefit from carefully considering SQL Server tasks from a CRUD perspective. Doing so will speed up the learning process because you will be able to classify your tasks under each C/R/U/D.