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General Information About MySQL
MySQL is a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server.
MySQL is free software. It is licensed with the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE http://www.gnu.org/.
What Is MySQL
MySQL, the most popular Open Source SQL database, is provided by MySQL AB. MySQL AB is a commercial company that builds is business providing services around the MySQL database. See section 1.2 What Is MySQL AB.
MySQL is a database management system.
A database is a structured collection of data. It may be anything from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast amounts of information in a corporate network. To add, access, and process data stored in a computer database, you need a database management system such as MySQL. Since computers are very good at handling large amounts of data, database management plays a central role in computing, as stand-alone utilities, or as parts of other applications.
MySQL is a relational database management system.
A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. The tables are linked by defined relations making it possible to combine data from several tables on request. The SQL part of MySQL stands for "Structured Query Language" - the most common standardized language used to access databases.
MySQL is Open Source Software.
Open source means that it is possible for anyone to use and modify. Anybody can download MySQL from the Internet and use it without paying anything. Anybody so inclined can study the source code and change it to fit their needs. MySQL uses the GPL (GNU General Public License) http://www.gnu.org, to define what you may and may not do with the software in different situations. If you feel uncomfortable with the GPL or need to embed MySQL into a commercial application you can buy a commercially licensed version from us.
Why use MySQL?
MySQL is very fast, reliable, and easy to use. If that is what you are looking for, you should give it a try. MySQL also has a very practical set of features developed in very close cooperation with our users. You can find a performance comparison of MySQL to some other database managers on our benchmark page. See section 12.7 Using Your Own Benchmarks. MySQL was originally developed to handle very large databases much faster than existing solutions and has been successfully used in highly demanding production environments for several years. Though under constant development, MySQL today offers a rich and very useful set of functions. The connectivity, speed, and security make MySQL highly suited for accessing databases on the Internet.
The technical features of MySQL
For advanced technical information, see section 7 MySQL Language Reference. MySQL is a client/server system that consists of a multi-threaded SQL server that supports different backends, several different client programs and libraries, administrative tools, and a programming interface. We also provide MySQL as a multi-threaded library which you can link into your application to get a smaller, faster, easier to manage product.
MySQL has a lot of contributed software available.
It is very likely that you will find that your favorite application/language already supports MySQL.
The official way to pronounce MySQL is ``My Ess Que Ell'' (not MY-SEQUEL). But we try to avoid correcting people who say MY-SEQUEL.
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