I have never used an sequel server application although I have medium knwldege of the language. What application is it that you use to manipulate sql statements? I wanting to download a trial version from somewere???
That's a pretty broad question. There are many applications that you can manipulate SQL with. SQL server comes with it's own query tool available on the server itself. You can run SQL via access queries, or download a 3rd party tool that executes SQL using DSN and DSN'less connections. If you are really interested in SQL then using VB or VBA to execute SQL statements might be the way to go. I use a product called Schema Plus which works well for me. Do google search if you are interested in this product.
To be honest, if you have Access/MSQuery on your computer then you already have a good starting point where you can build up simple (and not so simple) SQL statements and then examine the code produced.
SQL (the language) is a standard language that many relational databases use to manipulate the data in the tables/queries. SQL Server uses one variant of SQL, Oracle another, MySQL a third etc etc. SQL scripts/queries written for SQL Server will not be immediately portable to another database flavour (unless it's a really simple script) as each database will have its own unique functions, that may not exist on any other Db. There is an awful lot of commonality between the various types of SQL though, so a good grounding in one flavour will likely mean you can adapt very easily to another (it's almost akin to different accents in human languages eg Americans speak English, and for the most part I can understand everything they say, but there may be one or two words where I have to ask them what the word means).
I work in an AS-400 environment using Excel, VB, Access, and SQL. SQL is very fast, and allows you to search huge amounts of data (data you couldn't work with in Excel, as you go beyond the 65,000 row limit). I've only had limited SQL training (I've picked up a lot on the Internet), so most of my queries are pretty basic. They can get really complex.
It really helps to understand relational databases if you want to use SQL effectively. Again, you can find lots of primers on RD's on the net. Simple SQL statements searching one datafile are pretty easy; when you start doing multiple joins to other files, things can get complex.
Still, I get quite a kick when my users come to me for help with a problem, and I can write a (or modify an existing) query in a matter of minutes, and have a solution for them before they leave my desk.
If you visit the "Sourceforge" section of the Slashdot website (slashdot.org), you can find some open source SQL editors, etc. that may let you play around with SQL. I think you still need to install a SQL database to get true functionality. MS offers a developer version for $50 US, and an "Express" version for free, but I don't know how much functionality they offer.