MySQL is a free open-source relational database management system. It's pronounced either as My S-Q-L or as My Sequel. It is a standard for many shared hosting services and is part of the standard (L)AMP stack of Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP scripting that runs many of the Internet's sites. Access to MySQL data is based on SQL, a query language developed in the 1970s. Other SQL databases include Oracle (the current owner of MySQL), PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server, and SQLite. Although all are based on SQL, differences exist in the implementation, so the different databases and SQL commands are not interchangeable.
MySQL runs on many platforms including various Unix/Linux versions, Windows, and Mac OS X. It can be used in many different programming languages, including PHP, Java, C#, Visual Basic, ASP, and ColdFusion. Using MySQL in PHP is a combination of running the MySQL statements and using special PHP functions written to interact with MySQL.
MySQL as shipped allows for manipulation at a command line and does not have a graphical interface. The most widespread graphical interface is phpMyAdmin. Because it is generally the interface that is available and because it displays the MySQL statements for the actions you do, it is a good choice to use when learning MySQL.
In the first part of this lesson you learn your way around phpMyAdmin. As you create a database and a table with phpMyAdmin, you get exposure to MySQL statements. In the second ...