Today, Vikram shows us the basics of a database and are introduced to concepts like Database Management Systems and Relational Database Management Systems. We are also given a thorough overview of MySQL and its features. This excerpt comes from chapter one of MySQL: The Complete Reference, by Vikram Vaswani (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, ISBN 0-07-222477-0, 2004).
Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, in today’s wired world, it’s no longer possible to live without databases. No more the sole province of bespectacled geeks in tiny back-office cubbyholes, databases have hit the mainstream in recent years, finding applications in disciplines ranging from biotechnology to electronic commerce. You’ll find them in your bank, your local library, your web browser—heck, even your neighborhood grocery store uses one. They’re everywhere, and they keep getting smarter.
As the open-source movement has gathered momentum during the past few years, more and more attention has become focused on a little-known database system called MySQL. This database system is available free of charge over the Internet, provides a wealth of features at minimal performance loss, and has been battle-tested for reliability and speed in a variety of applications and situations. Today, with more than 4 million users, it is rapidly becoming a standard for database administrators and users worldwide.
Throughout the course of this introductory chapter, I’m going to take a closer look at MySQL, explaining what it is, how it came to be, and why its feature set makes it such a compelling alternative to its better-known, better-funded commercial counterparts.
Remember: this is chapter one of MySQL: The Complete Reference, by Vikram Vaswani (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, ISBN 0-07-222477-0, 2004). Vikram is the founder of Melonfire, and has had numerous articles featured on Dev Shed. Buy this book now.