MySQL (“My Sequel”) is (as of 2008) the world’s most used open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. It is named after co-founder Michael Widenius’ daughter, My. The SQL phrase stands for Structured Query Language.

The MySQL development project has made its source code available under the terms of the GNU General Public License, as well as under a variety of proprietary agreements. MySQL was owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Swedish company MySQL AB, now owned by Oracle Corporation.

MySQL is a popular choice of database for use in web applications, and is a central component of the widely used LAMP open source web application software stack (and other ‘AMP’ stacks). LAMP is an acronym for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python.” Free-software-open source projects that require a full-featured database management system often use MySQL.

For commercial use, several paid editions are available, and offer additional functionality. Applications that use MySQL databases include: TYPO3, Joomla, WordPress, phpBB, MyBB, Drupal and other software. MySQL is also used in many high-profile, large-scale World Wide Web products, including Wikipedia, Google (though not for searches), Facebook, Twitter, Flickr,, and YouTube.

MySQL works on many different system platforms, including AIX, BSDi, FreeBSD, HP-UX, eComStation, i5/OS, IRIX, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, NetBSD, Novell NetWare, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, OS/2 Warp, QNX, Solaris, Symbian, SunOS, SCO OpenServer, SCO UnixWare, Sanos and Tru64. A port of MySQL to OpenVMS also exists.

MySQL is written in C and C++. Its SQL parser is written in yacc, and a home-brewed lexical analyzer. Many programming languages with language-specific APIs include libraries for accessing MySQL databases. These include MySQL Connector/Net for integration with Microsoft’s Visual Studio (languages such as C# and VB are most commonly used) and the JDBC driver for Java. In addition, an ODBC interface called MyODBC allows additional programming languages that support the ODBC interface to communicate with a MySQL database, such as ASP or ColdFusion.
The HTSQL – URL-based query method also ships with a MySQL adapter, allowing direct interaction between a MySQL database and any web client via structured URLs.

MySQL can also be run on cloud computing platforms such as Amazon EC2. Listed below are some common deployment models for MySQL on the cloud:

  • Virtual Machine Image – cloud users can upload a machine image of their own with MySQL installed, or use a ready-made machine image with an optimized installation of MySQL on it, such as the one provided by Amazon EC2.
  • MySQL as a Service – some cloud platforms offer MySQL “as a service”. In this configuration, application owners do not have to install and maintain the MySQL database on their own. Instead, the database service provider takes responsibility for installing and maintaining the database, and application owners pay according to their usage.Notable cloud-based MySQL services are the Amazon Relational Database Service; the Xeround Cloud Database, which runs on EC2; Rackspace; HP Cloud Services; and Heroku.
  • Managed MySQL cloud hosting – the database is not offered as a service, but the cloud provider hosts the database and manages it on the application owner’s behalf.

As of 2011, of the major cloud providers, only Terremark and Rackspace offer managed hosting for MySQL databases.

Some of the advantages of MySQL:

  • Open Source
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy To Learn
  • Fast Development
  • Better for Small Businesses
  • Scalability
  • Cross Platform Operability
  • Security
  • Connectivity (support of several development interfaces)

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