MySQL is a multithreaded, multi-user, SQL (Structured Query Language) Database Management System (DBMS) with an estimated six million installations. more...
MySQL AB makes MySQL available as free software under the GNU General Public License (GPL), but they also dual-license it under traditional commercial licensing arrangements for cases where the intended use is incompatible with use of the GPL.
Unlike projects such as Apache, where the software is developed by a public community, and the copyright to the codebase is owned by its individual authors, MySQL is owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Swedish company MySQL AB, which holds the copyright to most of the codebase. The company develops and maintains the system, selling support and service contracts, as well as commercially-licensed copies of MySQL, and employing people all over the world who work together via the Internet. Two Swedes and a Finn founded MySQL AB: David Axmark, Allan Larsson, and Michael "Monty" Widenius.
There are APIs available that allow applications written in numerous programming languages to access MySQL databases, including: C, C++, C#, Eiffel, Smalltalk, Java (with a native Java driver implementation), Lisp, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, REALbasic and Tcl; each of these uses a specific API. An ODBC interface called MyODBC allows additional programming languages that support the ODBC interface to communicate with a MySQL database. MySQL is mostly implemented in ANSI C, and, that being a common "lingua franca" for system libraries, tends to use that as its "native" language.
MySQL is popular for web applications like MediaWiki and PHP-Nuke and acts as the database component of the LAMP platform (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP/Perl/Python). Its popularity as a web application is closely tied to the popularity of PHP, which is often combined with MySQL and nicknamed the Dynamic Duo. It is easy to find many references that combine the two in websites and books (PHP and MySQL for Dummies, PHP and MySQL Bible, Beginning PHP and MySQL, etc.) The claim made in many books is that MySQL is easier to learn and use than many other database applications. An example from the Dummies book is that you can quit MySQL with an obvious command of either exit or quit, although this is true for many other database applications.
To administer MySQL databases one can use the included command-line tool (commands:
mysqladmin). Also downloadable from the MySQL site are GUI administration tools: MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser.
A widespread and popular alternative, written in PHP, is the free software web application phpMyAdmin.
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