LINGUIST List 3.779

Wed 14 Oct 1992

Sum: Natural Language to SQL

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Chris McNeilly, SUMMARY: Natural Language to SQL

Message 1: SUMMARY: Natural Language to SQL

Date: Tue, 13 Oct 92 13:27:20 EDSUMMARY: Natural Language to SQL
From: Chris McNeilly <>
Subject: SUMMARY: Natural Language to SQL

Earlier I requested information about natural language to SQL systems.
I received several responses and here is the summary. In my original
post I noted difficulties that I have been having with the system I am
currently using, Natural Language. Most of the replies I received
were concerning Natural Language and were very positive, and I agree.
I would certainly recommend Natural Language. My particular database
schema more than anything else is causing the situation.
Additionally, the support from NL has been outstanding and they have
gone out of their way to help me solve this problem.

Thanks to all who responded,


EasyTalk - Intelligent Business Systems

 From: Jeremy Pitts (

No info. other than it exists.

Essex project (No name given) - Essex University

 From: Steve Jones

"There was a pretty successful project developing this interface at
Essex University. A friend of mine was on the research team.

He's Chris Fox,"

Intellect - from Artificial Intelligence Corporation

 From: John Nerbonne (

"Intellect produces interfaces to a number of DBMS, including SQL/DS."

Language Access - IBM (in Sweden)

 From: Milan Richter (

"Another product is called (not sure exactly) "Language Access",
developed by IBM in Sweden. Contact the nearest IBM office. I believe
it was developed in Prolog."

 From: Jeremy Pitt (

"The IBM SAA LanguageAccess system may be what you are looking for.
Program Number 5688-172, General Information GH19-6680. I've not
used it."

Loqui - from BIM

 From: Lieve Debille (

"There was an article on Loqui in the January 1991 issue of SunExpert."

Natural Language - from Natural Language Inc.

 From: David Boltz (

"I should mention that I have only heard good comments about Natural
Language Inc."

(I can also recommend NLI. CMc)

Parlance - BBN

 From: John Nerbonne (

"In addition to the systems I sent you information about earlier, you
should definitely look into PARLANCE, engineered and marketed by BBN,
based on their ATN work of the late '70s and early '80s. This system
has by far the most NL research expertise behind it of any currently
on the market."


 From: Jocelyn Paine (

"Chris - somebody posted a Prolog-to-SQL translator to
comp.lang.prolog about three weeks ago. I didn't save it, and it is no
longer amongst the current articles, but if you post a request to
comp.lang.prolog, you should be able to contact the author. This in
conjunction with a Prolog NLP front-end (possibly CHAT-80) might do
what you want."

Q&A - from Symantec

 From: John Nerbonne (

"Symantec markets Q&A, an interface to dBASE; again, there have been
rumors oof more ambitious ventures but I don't know of any."

SAS/ENGLISH software. (919) 677-8123.

 From: David Boltz (

"I have never had a chance to use the product, but I have heard
some good things about it."

SQL/QMF - from Philips Communications and Processing Services

 From: Herman J. Woltring <>

"You could try the SQL/QMF facilities of Philips Communications & Processing
Services, Building VA-181, Philips, P.O.B. 218, NL - 5600 MD EINDHOVEN, The
Netherlands, Tel. +31.40.785 767 / 782 400 (Mr T. Bulle) for details and
further contact information. QMF is a report generator used in connection
with QSL."


Chris McNeilly
Sterling Software
Work 703-356-3551
FAX 703-821-1485
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