After seeing my one millionth question with the tag SQL and no tag for DBMS, I'm starting to wonder if anyone else thinks this would be a nice feature. This would probably only apply to Stack Overflow.

It seems like it is a common problem when people post SQL questions and it can be difficult to answer without that specified. If not required, would it be possible to pop up a little reminder saying that they should add a tag for what DBMS it is for?

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    It's not always required to know the DB in use to help, but it almost always helps. In the cases where it's required, I think the questioner is told relatively quickly that they need to specify. But I don't agree with requiring a DBMS tag to go along with the SQL tag. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 22:17
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    What do you think about the pop-up reminder when they enter that tag? Similar to what happens when a newbie upvotes and it reminds you to accept if the answer solved your problem. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 22:25
  • I think that'd require some changes to the tagging system and I don't know if there are enough tags that would benefit from it to support the feature request - plus, what if you are genuinely interested in SQL without a DB (ie, just the SQL language itself)? Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 22:27
  • If someone is generally interested in only SQL then it seems like having the pop up and not requiring it wouldn't be a problem. I do see your point about the amount of work it may require vs. the reward. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 22:34

3 Answers 3


I think if it is database specific that it should be labeled that way, and I edit that when I see it.

There are many generic SQL questions out there now that are DB-agnostic, so I don't think it can be a hard-and-fast rule. Personally, I wish the and were better separated.

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    Just the other day I was thinking of suggesting that tsql show up as t-sql to make it easier to visually differentiate.
    – Gabe
    Commented Apr 2, 2011 at 5:28

While I agree that there are database-agnostic queries, and requiring people to specify a database is a bad idea, I think it would be a nice idea if a message could pop up, something to the effect of:

You have selected the tag; would you like to specify a relational database (, , ) as well?


You have selected the tag; if this question is specific to a relational database, please select the appropriate tags (, , for example).

I just saw what feels like my one-millionth -only question as well, and it ended up being a database-specific question.


I would love for SQL to stay SQL without any popups.

Wouldn't it be great if all SO questions are given multi-dbms answers, the ANSI compatible one first, and if possibly much better performing, then alternative in specific DBMS. If a problem is not solvable in standards compliant SQL, then move on to DBMS specifics.

We all do what we can to standardize the world of SQL, one bit at a time. Remember when the world of web browsers was IE vs Netscape and even version hacks between the two? HTML5 is the future. Here's to the successor of SQL:2003.

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    Nothing keeps me from writing an answer in standard SQL if I know the users's RDBMS. But many problems are RDBMS-specific. There is nothing to be gained by withholding that information, but quite a bit to be lost. Commented Oct 31, 2011 at 14:56
  • +1 @ErwinBrandstetter: there is a LOT to be gained by keeping the Ask Question page simple.
    – Andomar
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 16:46
  • I agree with @ErwinBrandstetter . How often is someone working with multiple RDBMSes? This approach might prove useful to some small number of generic SQL questions, but from my experience, most are not generic. Most are about "how to accomplish X" or "why does Y behave like this". For query only questions, there are so many vendor-specific factors to consider, and the O.P. will hopefully post what they have already tried, which is typically already vendor specific. Hence, while such a popup would be annoying in some situations, it would seem to help more than it would hurt. Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 0:49

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