MySQL is a relational database management system. It includes not only a server process to manage databases, but also tools for accessing the databases and building applications against those databases. Among these tools are:
Over the course of this book, we will go into the details of each of these tools. How you use these tools and this book will depend on how you want to use MySQL.
Are you a database administrator (DBA) responsible for the MySQL runtime environment? The chief concerns of a DBA are the installation, maintenance, security, and performance of MySQL. We tackle these issues in Part II.
Are you a database or application architect responsible for the design of solid database applications? We address the impact of MySQL on these issues in the first few chapters of Part III.
Are you a database application developer responsible for building applications that rely on a database? Database application developers need tools for providing their applications with data from MySQL. Most of Part III covers the various programming APIs that support application interaction with MySQL.
No matter who you are, you need to know the language spoken by MySQL: SQL. Like most database engines, MySQL supports the ANSI SQL2 standard with proprietary extensions. Chapter 3 is a comprehensive tutorial on MySQL’s dialect of SQL. The details of the language are covered in Part IV.