Sql – capitalize the SQL keywords?


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Is there a good reason to use upper case for T-SQL keywords?

Simple question. I personally find a string of lowercase characters to be more readable than a string of uppercase characters. Is some old/popular flavor of SQL case-sensitive or something?

For reference:

    case when this.Column2 is null then 0 else this.Column2 end
from dbo.SomeTable this
    inner join dbo.AnotherTable another on this.id = another.id
    this.Price > 100


    CASE WHEN this.Column2 IS NULL THEN 0 ELSE this.Column2 END
FROM dbo.SomeTable this
    INNER JOIN dbo.AnotherTable another ON this.id = another.id
    this.Price > 100

The former just seems so much more readable to me, but I see the latter way more often.

Best Solution

I agree with you - to me, uppercase is just SHOUTING.

I let my IDE handle making keywords stand out, via syntax highlighting.

I don't know of a historical reason for it, but by now it's just a subjective preference.

Edit to further make clear my reasoning:

Would you uppercase your keywords in any other modern language? Made up example:

USING (EditForm form = NEW EditForm()) {
    IF (form.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK) {
       IF ( form.EditedThing == null ) {
          THROW NEW Exception("No thing!");
       RETURN form.EditedThing;
    } ELSE {
       RETURN null;


Anyway, it's pretty clear from the votes which style is more popular, but I think we all agree that it's just a personal preference.