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What is MySQL?

MySQL is a relational database management system that is built on SQL (Structured Query Language). 

It allows you to save, retrieve, edit, and manage databases, which are collections of structured data stored on your server.

MySQL is part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), WAMP (Windows), and MAMP (MacOS) stacks. These are application stacks that serve as a foundation for website development. 

Nowadays, MySQL is used by the majority of websites including blogs, and high-traffic websites like Facebook, YouTube, PayPal, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

How does MySQL work?

MySQL uses a client-server model along with relational databases. 

The client-server model works by storing the database on your server from which it can be accessed when a client requests it. In this context, a client is a program that is able to create SQL queries, such as MySQL itself, a browser, PHPMyAdmin, and so on. 

Meanwhile, the relational database refers to stored data that is organized into different tables that are related to one another. 

For instance, MySQL can hold addresses and name entries in separate tables, and present them together if requested. 

For example, let’s say you want to open an online video. Your browser, through a website, requests data from the database that holds the video by sending SQL commands to the server. 

Then, MySQL compiles necessary information about that file – such as published date, uploader info, and comments – that are spread on different tables. 

After that, MySQL sends the data back to the browser so it can display the video as a whole. 

What is the difference between SQL and MySQL?

SQL is a standard language used to access relational databases. It contains commands that allow you to define database objects, update data, and control user permissions. 

On the other hand, MySQL is one of the Relational Database Management Systems that use SQL’s predefined commands to establish server-client communication. 

While they are two different items, they work together to achieve the same goal – making your database management easier. 

Why is MySQL so widely used? Features and benefits

There are many reasons why MySQL is very popular among developers, such as:

  • Free and open-source – anyone can use it and edit the code without having to buy the license
  • Great community support – MySQL has an official online forum where its users can contribute to the software development and help answer questions
  • Secure – it has solid encryption technology and advanced user permissions control to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your database
  • Flexible – you can install MySQL on most operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS
  • Effective – MySQL is suitable for both small and large databases
  • Powerful – MySQL works around the clock, ensuring consistent and reliable database management  

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Olivia is a writer for Zyro and an eCommerce know-it-all. Having spent many years as a retail buyer, she loves writing about trend forecasting, brand building, and teaching others how to optimize online stores for success. She lives in London and spends a lot of time exploring the city’s parks with her whippet.

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