Introduction to MySQL

Oct 14th, 2011

MySQL is the most popular Open Source SQL database management system, which is why it is used on our website hosting servers. MySQL is developed, distributed, and supported by Oracle Corporation.

MySQL is a database management system. A database is a structured collection of data. It may be anything from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast amounts of information in a corporate network. To add, access, and process the data stored in a database, you need a database management system such as MySQL.

MySQL is a relational database management system. A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. The SQL part of “MySQL” stands for “Structured Query Language.” SQL is the most common standardized language used to access databases.

Since computers are very good at handling large amounts of data, database management systems play a central role in many script based websites. Most of the free scripts we include in the Install Popular Scripts tool rely on MySQL, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, and many more.

MySQL is the most popular choice of databases for use in web applications, and is a central component of the widely used LAMP web application software stack. LAMP is an acronym for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python”. MySQL is used in some of the most frequently visited web sites on the internet, including Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, and Facebook.

Since MySQL is a relational database management system, it does not provide a built in GUI tool to administer MySQL databases or manage data contained within those databases. You can use command-line tools if you are an expert in the field, but we provide a web based tool to manage your MySQL databases in the Account Manager. PhpMyAdmin is a PHP based interface that allows Linux hosting customers to manage their databases through a web based interface.

Understanding MySQL and how it allows you to develop fast, efficient websites using scripts is very important to a successful website application. We will dive deeper into MySQL in the coming weeks to examine proper optimization of MySQL databases and tables, as well as how to perform timely maintenance on your MySQL databases to keep everything running smoothly.