Why are SQL distributions so non-standard despite an ANSI standard existing for SQL? Are there really that many meaningful differences in the way SQL databases work or is it just the two databases with which I have been working: MS-SQL and PostgreSQL? Why do these differences arise?
It’s a form of “Stealth lock-in”. Joel goes into great detail here:
Companies end up tying their business functionality to non-standard or weird unsupported functionality in their implementation, this restricts their ability to move away from their vendor to a competitor.
On the other hand, it’s pretty short-sighted because anyone with half a brain will tend to abstract away the proprietary pieces, or avoid the lock-in altogether, if it gets too egregious.