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 data stored in a computer database, you need
a database management system such as MySQL Server. Since
computers are very good at handling large amounts of data,
database management systems play a central role in computing, as
standalone utilities or as parts of other applications.
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 and is defined by
the ANSI/ISO SQL Standard. The SQL standard has been evolving
since 1986 and several versions exist. In this manual,
“SQL-92” refers to the standard released in 1992,
“SQL:1999” refers to the standard released in 1999,
and “SQL:2003” refers to the current version of the
standard. We use the phrase “the SQL standard” to
mean the current version of the SQL Standard at any time.
MySQL software is Open Source.
Open Source means that it is possible for anyone to use and
modify the software. Anybody can download the MySQL software
from the Internet and use it without paying anything. If you
wish, you may study the source code and change it to suit your
needs. The MySQL software uses the GPL (GNU General Public
License), http://www.fsf.org/licenses/, to define
what you may and may not do with the software in different
situations. If you feel uncomfortable with the GPL or need to
embed MySQL code into a commercial application, you can buy a
commercially licensed version from us. See the MySQL Licensing
Overview for more information
The MySQL Database Server is very fast, reliable, and easy to
If that is what you are looking for, you should give it a try.
MySQL Server also has a practical set of features developed in
close cooperation with our users. You can find a performance
comparison of MySQL Server with other database managers on our
benchmark page. See Section 7.1.4, “The MySQL Benchmark Suite”.
MySQL Server was originally developed to handle large databases
much faster than existing solutions and has been successfully
used in highly demanding production environments for several
years. Although under constant development, MySQL Server today
offers a rich and useful set of functions. Its connectivity,
speed, and security make MySQL Server highly suited for
accessing databases on the Internet.
MySQL Server works in client/server or embedded systems.
The MySQL Database Software is a client/server system that
consists of a multi-threaded SQL server that supports different
backends, several different client programs and libraries,
administrative tools, and a wide range of application
programming interfaces (APIs).
We also provide MySQL Server as an embedded multi-threaded
library that you can link into your application to get a
smaller, faster, easier-to-manage standalone product.
A large amount of contributed MySQL software is available.
It is very likely that your favorite application or language
supports the MySQL Database Server.