MySQL has a client-server architecture; clients connect to the server to perform database operations such as reading or storing data. There are many MySQL clients available, including some that have graphical interfaces. You can also develop your own clients. The standard MySQL command-line client or “monitor” program provided by MySQL AB is the client you’ll probably use the most often. The monitor allows you to control almost all aspects of database creation and maintenance using SQL and the custom MySQL extensions to SQL.
In this chapter, we’ll examine how to start the monitor and how to run commands through the monitor either interactively or in batch mode. We’ll describe how you can access the inbuilt MySQL help functions, and how to test your MySQL setup using the sample databases from the book web site. We’ll also take a quick look at a couple of graphical tools that you can use instead of the monitor.