This question is different but similar to this request looking for SQL-89.

The first draft of SQL is labeled SQL-86. Numerous references are made to it. Is this available to download? Wikipedia doesn't even have a page for it. I'm interested in it for historical reasons.

It seems to also be called

  • ANSI X3.135-1986
  • CAN/CSA Z243.47-88
  • ISO 9075:1987
  • SQL/1
  • NBS FIPS 127

The spec is cited in documents from the period as coming from ANSI Technical Committee X3H2.

I know there is webstore.ansi.org, but I can not find the X3.135-1986 document. I can however find X3.168-1989 spec which is available under X3.135-1992 Searching for both X3.168, and X3.135 do not permit me to buy the 1986 spec.

  • 2
    Why don't you reach out to ansi.org (or iso.org) and ask? Apperently you are willing to pay for it. Just because you cannot buy it online, doesn't mean they won't sell it if you ask. On the other hand: later standards supersedes each other so they might just point to to SQL:2016 instead. Just ask and see what happens. – Markus Winand Mar 30 '17 at 9:12
  • @MarkusWinand I had already did that, I got the response I was expecting. Now it's a community problem if someone finds it later. ANSI and Google are empty handed. – Evan Carroll Mar 30 '17 at 15:55
  • Amazon seems to be out of stock, too ;) – ypercubeᵀᴹ Mar 30 '17 at 16:04
  • I cannot find SQL-86, but I found a draft copy of SQL-92 here: contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~shadow/sql/sql1992.txt – Razvan Socol Jan 18 '18 at 6:25
  • @RazvanSocol that's linked on Wikipedia, =) – Evan Carroll Jan 18 '18 at 6:27

HTML SQL-86 Google Groups

I found some references about an HTML version of SQL-86.

The new URL for the HTML translation of SQL-86 is:


The reason for this move is that I am taking a job in another lab and I had to get it off of my PC hard drive.


Unfortunately this link is broken, but I believe the OP is still working at NIST >as a Computer Scientist.

I've sent him a request via LinkedIN, and now I'm waiting for a reply.

The answer:

To Joan and others interested in SQL-86,

The 'HTML version' was a demonstration project that was never completed. Your best bet is to try to obtain the ANSI specification through interlibrary loan.

V/R, — David Flater National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S.A.

comp.databases Newsgroup Posting

I've found new references dated 12 Oct 89 about ANSI X3.135-1986: it's from newsgroup comp.databases where someone else was interested on this document. There is a response by Merrill Holt to the initial inquiry. Merrill Holt claims to be "a member of the X3H2 SQL and X3H2.1 RDA committees.", that seems likely as they're writing from a Sybase email address. He/she says,

The ANSI and ISO documents are identical (ISO 9075:1987 == ANSI X3.135-1986 and ISO 9075:1989 == ANSI X3.135-1989). All of these standards are known informally as SQL 1 as compared to future drafts which are referred to as SQL 2 and 3.

SQL 1   SQL 86  ANSI X3.135-1986   ISO 9075:1987 
        - level 1 DML & DDL 
        - level 2 DML & DDL 
        SQL 89  ANSI X3.135-1989   ISO 9075:1989 
        - level 1 DML & DDL 
        - level 2 DML & DDL 
        - IEF - new for 89

The answer points out to this company that may have the document:

Global Engineering 
2805 McGaw Ave 
Irvine, CA 92714

It turns out ISO does mention ISO 9075:1987 however they have it listed as obsolete and retired and are not currently selling it.

US Army Corps of Engineers

And I've found one available exemplar at:

US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center Library
3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS.

enter image description here

I'm not sure this is the original book covers.

Linda Hall Library

I've found one exemplar at Linda Hall Library

Other potential names

It seems some sources references this as ISO/TC 97/SC21/WG3 N117. However, I'm not sure how to read this or if this designation refers to the document or not. This source helps break down the acronyms.

  • TC refers to "Technical Committee"
  • SC refers to "Sub Committee"; 21 is Systems
  • WG is usually working group.
  • N117 may be a document or something published like a SQL spec.

I reached out to them

Hello Evan,

Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we do not sell or offer the 1986 version of the SQL standard (ANSI X3.135-1986) for historical reasons. In general, we offer few historical documents, as the revisions mark important changes. However, as your research into the subject has indicated, you can buy some later versions, as well as the current ISO/IEC 9075-1:2016 document on our store.

Sorry, please let us know if you have any other questions.

I wrote again to them asking if they could offer it for free for historical and educational purposes (because they're not selling it). They actually responded to that too,

Sorry, but we don't have that standard at all. ANSI X3.135-1986 was published in print, which we haven't offered for years now. The document isn't even in our database.

However, it might be useful to contact ISO/IEC JTC 1, the joint technical committee responsible for the publication of the newest edition of the standard. You can reach the ISO Editorial Program Manager here:

Being unable to find a copy and having ANSI unwilling to sell a copy, it seems that SQL-86 is lost in the age of the internet.

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