What is CRUD? Create, Read, Update, and Delete

Published On - March 14, 2024

CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations are essential for APIs and web apps, enabling data manipulation in databases. In API models, CRUD standardizes resource management: "Create" adds, "Read" retrieves, "Update" modifies, and "Delete" removes resources. In web apps, CRUD provides a framework for developing user-friendly models; for instance, a library system may use CRUD for books. Adopting CRUD ensures consistency and user-friendliness.

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Standard CRUD Operations


The CREATE command serves as a foundational data manipulation operation, enabling users to add new data to a database. In the context of relational databases, this involves creating a new record within a specified table. NoSQL databases extend this functionality to document-oriented systems and key-value stores. In document-oriented NoSQL databases, a CREATE command adds a new document to a collection, while in key-value NoSQL databases, such as DynamoDB, it adds an item to a table.


The READ command fulfills the fundamental need for data retrieval. It allows users to extract and access information stored within a database. This command can retrieve all records from a table or selectively return specific fields based on search criteria. The READ command empowers users to gain insights and make informed decisions based on the underlying data.


The UPDATE command empowers users to modify existing data within a database. It enables the seamless correction of errors, addition of new information, or alignment of records with evolving business requirements. The UPDATE command can target single or multiple fields within a record, ensuring that all necessary changes are applied successfully or not at all. This atomicity ensures data integrity and prevents partial updates that could lead to inconsistencies.


The DELETE command facilitates the removal of unwanted or outdated data from a database. It provides two distinct deletion methods: hard delete and soft delete. Hard delete permanently removes the target record from the database, while soft delete renders the record invisible but maintains it in the database for potential future retrieval or analysis. The choice of deletion method depends on the specific data management needs and the regulatory or compliance requirements of the organization.     

How CRUD Works

CRUD operations are essential for managing data in a database. By understanding how CRUD operations work, you can build database applications that are efficient and easy to use. For example, the following SQL statements can be used to perform CRUD operations on a table called `customers`:

— Create a new customer

INSERT INTO customers (name, email, phone) VALUES (‘John Doe’, ‘john.doe@example.com’, ‘555-123-4567’);

— Read a customer by their ID

SELECT * FROM customers WHERE id = 1;

— Update a customer by their ID

UPDATE customers SET name = ‘Jane Doe’ WHERE id = 1;

— Delete a customer by their ID

DELETE FROM customers WHERE id = 1;

Benefits of CRUD

CRUD operations are used in applications that store data persistently, meaning the data is retained even after the system shuts down. This differs from operations on volatile storage such as RAM or cache files. CRUD is commonly used in database applications, including relational databases like Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, as well as NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, and AWS DynamoDB. Similar operations can also be carried out on persistent data structures like files, although files are not organized in a record-oriented manner like CRUD operations typically are. Below are the key benefits of using the CRUD model:

  • Application Development: CRUD operations are essential building blocks for application development. They provide the foundation for data storage, retrieval, and manipulation within web and mobile applications.
  • Data Integrity: CRUD operations use predefined rules and constraints to ensure the accuracy and consistency of data. Validation mechanisms prevent the entry of invalid or incomplete data, maintaining the integrity of the database.
  • Ease of Use: CRUD operations are standardized and easy to understand, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise. The simplicity of these operations streamlines data management tasks.
  • Performance Optimization: CRUD operations are optimized for high performance by using efficient database techniques. This ensures fast and reliable data access and manipulation, reducing response times.
  • Scalability: CRUD operations are designed to handle large volumes of data and multiple concurrent users. This scalability allows the system to support growth and increased user traffic without compromising performance.
  • Security: CRUD operations can be secured through access control mechanisms that restrict unauthorized access to data. This ensures the protection of sensitive information and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Database Structure: CRUD operations help to define the structure of the database by specifying the fields, data types, and relationships between tables. This ensures that data is stored in a consistent manner.
  • Data Management Automation: CRUD operations can be automated through scripts and triggers, reducing manual data manipulation tasks. This improves efficiency and frees up time for more complex tasks.

Versatility: CRUD operations are applicable in a wide range of industries and applications, from inventory management to customer relationship management. This versatility makes them a valuable tool for data-driven organizations.

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