Nobody can deny that open source software is gaining a foothold in the IT world. Linux is becoming more popular every day and holds a sizeable share of the server market. MySQL, the most popular open source RDBMS, currently has over ten million installations with up to 50,000 downloads per day. With that kind of growth MySQL is a force to be reckoned with in the database world, and for good reason; MySQL is easy to use and feature-rich, without sacrificing speed. eWeek magazine recently compared MySQL to other enterprise RDBMSs such as Oracle 9i, SQL Server 2000, and DB2, and the results show that MySQL was second only to Oracle 9i for speed and stability (and then only second by a thin margin). Quoting eWeek:
"Of the five databases we tested, only Oracle9i and MySQL were able to run our Nile application as originally written for 8 hours without problems."
eWeek's complete article, along with graphs of the benchmark results, is available from the eWeek website. I am a subscriber to eWeek and recommend it to anyone interested in enterprise computing.
Because of it's speed, scalability, stability, and ease of use, I consider MySQL my RDBMS of choice for database powered applications. MySQL can be used for Visual Basic programming through the use of the MyODBC driver. MyODBC is a very mature driver that is ODBC 3.51, level 1 compatible and is has been declared production stable. The combination of MySQL with MyODBC and Visual Basic using ADO gives us an excellent platform to develop applications. Some criticize Visual Basic as being slower than languages such as C++, but since all sorting and searching is done server side, all we really find ourselves concerned with is presentation of data for the most part, and Visual Basic is ideal for this purpose.
In my articles, I will cover some of the basic of developing applications using Visual Basic and MySQL.
These articles will assume you have experience with Visual Basic programming and have a MySQL server available, instructions for downloading and installing MySQL are available on the MySQL website.