If you want everything to be generic, then you have to make sure that each and every SQL statement complies with ANSI SQL standards and that it will run on every RDBMS vendor's platform that you wish to support. ANSI SQL standard SQL statements are not enough because each RDBMS vendor implements different levels of the ANSI SQL standard. But doing this means that you will not be able to leverage any of the strengths of each RDBMS vendor's database. You may find that one portion of your application works well on SQL Server, but not well on Oracle. And another portion of your application may work well on Oracle and not well on SQL Server.
The best products that I've seen that work well on multiple RDBMS platforms leverage the strenghts of each of those platforms. In some cases, the application code is different due and you install the application software for that specific RDBMS vendor. In other cases, the application software detects the RDBMS vendor and it is the application software that issues the appropriate, vendor-specific SQL statements.
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This was first published in August 2003