Assuming you maintain a table containing customer data, and your boss asks you to send him the current list of customers and their phone numbers. You would typically extract the data and send him a spreadsheet with rows and columns. You could also decide to be a bit stylish and send him the required information in a more people-friendly format. SQL Server provides functions that allow us to achieve this by combining English expressions with data within tables to present an output that is easier for non-technical people to read. These functions can also be put to more subtle uses.