PHP MySQL Introduction

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MySQL is the most popular open-source database system.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a database.

The data in MySQL is stored in database objects called tables.

A table is a collections of related data entries and it consists of columns and rows.

Databases are useful when storing information categorically. A company may have a database with the following tables: "Friends", "Products", "Customers" and "Orders".

Database Tables

A database most often contains one or more tables. Every table is identified by a name (e.g. "Customers" or "Orders"). Tables contain records (rows) with data.

Below is an example of a table called "Persons":

LastName FirstName Address City
Sania Jin America Citia
Juval Saifa America Citia
Jelina Guruy India Tamilnadu

The table above contains three records (one for each person) and four columns (LastName, FirstName, Address, and City).


A query is a question or a request.

With MySQL, we can query a database for specific information and have a recordset returned.

Look at the following query:

SELECT LastName FROM Persons

The query above selects all the data in the "LastName" column from the "Persons" table, and will return a recordset like this:


Download MySQL Database

If you don't have a PHP server with a MySQL Database, you can download MySQL for free here:

Facts About MySQL Database

One great thing about MySQL is that it can be scaled down to support embedded database applications. Perhaps it is because of this reputation that many people believe that MySQL can only handle small to medium-sized systems.

The truth is that MySQL is the de-facto standard database for web sites that support huge volumes of both data and end users (like Friendster, Yahoo, Google).

Look at for an overview of companies using MySQL.

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