More than 11 million Web sites are built around MySQL, one of the most popular database management systems available. If you’ve never heard of it, or have shied away because you don’t understand it, this basic breakdown of its features will help you learn how it can help you build a better Web site for your business.
What Is MySQL?
MySQL is an open source database management system. Before your brain explodes, let’s break this down into exactly what that means:
- Open source: MySQL uses open source software, meaning the source code is free to download and available for everyone to use or even modify to fit their own needs.
- Database management: A database is simply an organized collection of information. This can be anything from a simple product list to a picture gallery to an entire network of corporate data. MySQL helps you manage this data by placing it on a separate server that allows you to easily organize it, add to it, and let multiple users access it at one time.
So in layman terms, MySQL is a free program that allows you to build a high-performing Web site. For companies with huge databases that are the sole functionality of their Web sites, MySQL is especially useful. Current MySQL customers such as eBay, Yahoo, Facebook, and YouTube are perfect examples of how MySQL is used to organize and store multiple databases that can be quickly accessed by millions of people at once.
What Are the Benefits of MySQL?
Millions of Web sites use MySQL, including those for individuals, major corporations, and some of the most popular Web 2.0 sites. Here’s why MySQL is so popular:
- It’s easy to use: MySQL software can be downloaded in less than 15 minutes.
- It’s flexible: MySQL runs on more than 20 platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and its open source code allows you to customize it to fit your unique requirements.
- It’s highly scalable: Whether you’re looking to post a few things a month to your Web site or looking to add content daily, MySQL is fit to handle Web sites large and small and will easily grow as your business does.
- It’s free: A commercial license can be bought if you plan on redistributing it.
- It’s secure: Security features ensure that only authorized users can access your databases.
- It provides 24/7 tech support: Get answers from MySQL’s expert support engineers in less than 30 minutes.
- It provides community support: This is perhaps the biggest benefit of all open source software. You have instant access to a massive online community of MySQL users who can answer questions and provide additional tips and information. Members of this community are constantly sharing their MySQL improvements, which results in a better functioning product.
One of the biggest benefits of MySQL is that it can be used by anyone, no matter your level of expertise. Whether you’re an experienced developer or an overwhelmed novice, MySQL provides the functions and support you need to build a high-performing Web site.