What is: MySQL

MySQL is the world’s most popular free and open source database management system. It’s fast, stable, scalable and it’s used by many famous website, like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

A database is a structured collection of data and these systems helps you to store, access and process data. The SQL part of MySQL stands for Structured Query Language, the most common, standardized language used to access databases. MySQL is a relational database, which means it stores data in separate tables and this data can be accessed in many different ways without reorganizing the tables. Items in different tables can be connected by marking them with a unique identifier, called a primary key. For example, imagine these two tables:

PRODUCTS (id, title)
1|Product one
2|Product two
3|Product three

INVENTORY (product_id, amount)

All products have a unique id and you can easily place them next to each other in one table with a query. Or you can list only the products without retrieving information, that you don’t need.

There is a popular, community-developed version of MySQL called MariaDB, which intended to remain free and open-source software. You can operate with the same MySQL commands.

If you want to run your own database server, you should download XAMPP. It installs a web server, MySQL/Maria database, PHP, Perl and other useful things for a web developer environment. So you don’t have to mess with their settings and you save time. It also has phpMyAdmin, which is a graphical interface to manage your database.

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