MySQL: World’s Most popular Open Source database

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an Open Source database management system(DBMS) that one can download for free from MySQL Website ( MySQL is one of the world’s most popular systems for Java web applications because of its consistent fast performance, high reliability and ease of use. MySQL runs on more than 20 platforms including Linux, Windows, OS/X, HP-UX, AIX, Netware, giving the developers right kind of flexibility. 

MySQL is owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Swedish company MySQL AB, now a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, which holds the copyright to most of the codebase. The project’s source code is available under terms of the GNU General Public License, as well as under a variety of proprietary agreements.

Why is MySQL more popular among Web Developers?

  • Inexpensive: MySQL is free for most of the uses and relatively inexpensive for other enteroprise support
  • Fast: MySQL is one of the fastest relational databases currently available.
  • Easy To Use: MySQL is easy to use and install when compared to other DBMS
  • Portable: MySQL runs on more than 20 platforms including Linux, Windows, OS/X, HP-UX, AIX, Netware, giving the developers right kind of flexibility. 
  • Supports Strutured Query Language(SQL) and provides most of the features that one would expect from a modern RDBMS.

What does MySQL Provide?

  • SQL Support: MySQL supports SQL which is the standard language for working with relational databases.
  • Multiple Client Support: MySQL supports access from multiple clients and also supports multiple programming langauges including PHP, Java, Perl, Python, and C.
  • Connectivity: MySQL can provide access to data via Internet or intranet
  • Security: MySQL provide security so that only authorised users can view the data. 
  • Referential Integrity: MySQL provides support for referential integrity just like commercial databases such as Oracle Database or Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Transaction Processing: MySQL 5.0 provides support for transaction processing just like other commercial databases

How to install MySQL database?

Visit the MySQL Download site (Link) and locate the download page for MySQL Community Server.

Save the installation file on to the hard disk. Run the msi file by double clicking on it.

Accpet all the default options and install MySQL on to your computer.

Respond to the MySQL configuration wizard to configure the MySQL on your computer. Here you will have to set the root password. Choose a fairly easy to remember password. You will be using this password during connection to the database. The default username is “root“.

Interacting with MySQL:

Command Line Tool:


GUI Tools:

MySQL GUI Tools include MySQL Administration and the MySQL Query Browser tool. One can download the GUI tools here.

MySQL Query Browser:

The Connection dialog box for Query browser

The Connection dialog box for Administrator Tool

Installing JDBC Driver for MySQL:

Before one can use Java to access MySQL database, need to install a database driver for MySQL. One has to download JDBC driver names Connector/J from MySQL

Other MySQL Connectors can be downloaded from here.

Connecting to MySQL database service

The MySQL database service starts automatically whenever you start your computer, this is referred to as the database server or database engine. Using MySQL GUI tools one can make a connection to the database server by providing the required details. Once you start the MySQL Query browser you will be shown the dialog box as shown above. You can either store the connection or can specify the connection details each time you try to connect to the database server. The server host by default will have the value “localhost” and the port of 3306 (the default port for most of the database servers). You will also be asked the root username and password. Username will be “root” and the password will be the one specified during the MySQL installation. 

MySQL Administrator Tool:

Once the Administrator tool is connected to the instance of the database service, you can start and stop the service by selecting the Service Control group and clicking the stop Service Button. One can also use the Administrator tool to manually start the database service whenever want to work with the database.

Advantages/Features of MySQL

  • MySQL has lots of advantages when compared to the other DBMS currently available. 
  • MySQL is Open Source and is free to download which means no cost at all for development
  • MySQL provide most of the features provided by the proprietary DBMS’s
  • MySQL has lot of community participation and has been developing as the best DBMS day by day. 
  • MySQL has great ease of use- Easy to download, Easy to install and Easy to use. 
  • MySQL provides GUI interface as well as command line interface for connecting to the database servers.
  • MySQL provides connectors to major languages like Java, .NET, PHP i.e MySQL has more APIs to other languages and is supported by more existing program
  • MySQL is written in C and C++.
  • Fully multi-threaded using kernel threads, this means it can easily use multiple CPUs if available.
  • MySQL provides high security by: All password traffic is encrypted connecting to a server. It also provides A privilege and password system that is very flexible and allows host-based verification.
  • MySQL provide Administration tool which can be used for various tasks like starting the database server manually, setting up users, restoring and backing up data, displaying the catalogs and lots more other options. 
  • MySQL also provides a system tray monitor which stays in the System Tray and provides quick access to MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query browser and also in starting and stopping the database server.

To summarize MySQL provides whole lot of options to make database development and related activities easier, cheaper and faster. Its the best DBMS currently available and is used on a large scale in the LAMP/WAMP stack.

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