What is MySQL?

By | April 15, 2022
What is MySQL

When it comes to managing large volumes of data, we need software to manage it efficiently. This is where a database management system (DBMS) comes into the picture. There are various types of DBMS out there, depending on how they organize data. One of those types of DBMS is a relational database. It stores and manages data in the tabular format, i.e., rows and columns. Among all, MySQL is one of the most popular relational database management systems (RDBMS).

Well, this article will make you familiar with the MySQL database management system (DBMS), along with its features, upsides, and downsides. Also, we shall walk you through a brief overview of what exactly a DBMS is.

So, let us start our discussion!

What is DBMS?

A database is a well-organized collection of data stored electronically in a computer system. To control a database, we need a software system called a database management system. DBMS is an acronym for Database Management System. It is a software system that acts as an interface between a database and end-users or other applications on the computer system. It enables users to store, retrieve, and manage data in databases.

As we can perform CRUD (Create Retrieve Update and Delete) operations on the database using DBMS, not only these days a DBMS can provide a centralized view of data it can be accessed by multiple users from multiple locations.

Types of DBMS

As mentioned above, there are various types of database management systems, and all store data in different formats. The following are the most popular types of DBMS:

  • Hierarchical DBMS: This DBMS organizes data similar to a tree-like structure, where data elements have a one-to-many relationship.
  • Relational DBMS: This DBMS organizes data in two-dimensional tables using rows and columns.
  • Network DBMS: Data elements in this DBMS have one-to-one or many-to-many relationships.
  • Object-Oriented DBMS: This DBMS represents data in the form of objects.

What is MySQL?

MySQL, also pronounced as My SEQUEL, is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). As it is a Relational database management system, it stores data in a tabular form using rows and columns.

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The name of this DBMS is the combination of ‘My’, the name of co-founder Michael Widenius’s daughter, and SQL, a structured query language.

SQL is a structured query language that manages data stored in relational database management systems. Since MySQL is an RDBMS, it allows you to use SQL to manage and manipulate data.

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As of now, Oracle owns MySQL. It is an open-source system. Therefore, anyone can download it for free and use it. They also provide some premium features.

It is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, NetBSD, OpenBSD, And Solaris. Moreover, it is one of the components of the LAMP stack. LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python.

MySQL supports many data types, which include Integers, String, Boolean, etc. The following are some other popular data types:

  • Numeric Data Type
  • Character or string Data Type
  • BitString
  • Boolean
  • Data and Time
  • Timestamp

Many popular database-driven web applications, including Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla, and other websites, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, make use of this database management system.

MySQL History

MySQL is originally created by the Swedish company “MySQL AB”. Initially, Micheal Widenius and Davis Axmark began the development of this DBMS in 1994.

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They released the first version of MySQL on 23rd May 1995. However, it was slow and based on a low-level language. With the initial release of MySQL, it was a private project used for personal usage.

In 2008, an American tech company, formally known as Sun Microsystems, acquired the Swedish company “MySQL AB”. Later, in 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystem and made MySQL open-source under the GNU General Public License.

The current and latest version of this DBMS is version 8.0.

Features of MySQL

Let us now shed light on some salient features of MySQL.

  • Client-Server Model

It follows a client-server architecture. You can access it from any distributed network. Using a strong internet connection, every client system can communicate with the server. Whenever a client machine sends a request to the server, it responds with the desired output. Moreover, unlike the server, it is not necessary for a client to be on the same system.

  • Easy Management

It is software that provides easy commands to manage the data in the database. Moreover, it comes with MySQL Workbench, which allows users to create and manage databases using the graphical user interface. As a result, it eliminates the need to write SQL queries for creating and manipulating databases.

  • High Performance

Due to its client-server architecture, this DBMS is fast and powerful. The server quickly responds to client requests in comparison with other database management systems. In addition, it allows you to use stored procedures and triggers, which provide high performance.

  • Concurrency Control

When more than one requests try to manipulate data simultaneously, it results in an inconsistent database. To avoid inconsistencies in a database, MySQL comes with an internal lock management system. This lock management system prevents reading/writing concurrency control issues.

  • Connectivity and Security

This DBMS allows you to access databases from anywhere using the internet connection. Also, it only allows authorized users to access the databases. It uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol to secure its connections and provide additional security to users.

  • Stored Procedures

This database management system supports the use of stored procedures. A stored procedure is a piece of code that programmers repeatedly use whenever needed. Therefore, instead of writing the same code, again and again, programmers can store and use it whenever required.

Advantages and Disadvantages of MySQL

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of MySQL:

Advantages

  • It supports the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) Property.
  • It is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.
  • Being an open-source system, anyone can download it freely.
  • It is one of the most secure and reliable database management systems.
  • Along with high speed and accuracy, it assures 24/7 uptime to its users.
  • It has huge community support.

Disadvantages

  • This DBMS is not ideal for managing large datasets.
  • MySQL versions below 5.0 do not support stored procedures, COMMIT, and ROLE.
  • It does not support SQL CHECK constraint.
  • It does not have good developing and debugging tools in comparison with other DBMS.

Conclusion

MySQL is a widespread relational database management system. It is easy to learn and use compared to other database management systems. Moreover, it is an ideal RDBMS for developing responsive websites and web applications. The best part of MySQL is that it provides a visual database design tool called MySQL Workbench.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with enough information about MySQL. If you have any queries regarding this topic, do let us know in the comments section.

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Author: Vinay Singh

I am a Full Stack Developer with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, who also loves to write technical articles that can help fellow developers.

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