At its very simplest, a database is an organized way of holding together various pieces of information. The term database actually refers to the collection of data, not the means by which it is stored. For a computer database, the software used to manage the data is known as a database-management system (DBMS).
A database need not be stored on computer—although, of course, that is what this book is about! A filing cabinet and a telephone directory both contain databases: They hold information, organized in a structured manner so that you can easily access the individual item you want to find.
MySQL is a relational database-management system (RDBMS). The term relational indicates that MySQL can store its data ...