MySQL is a powerful relational database management system. The fact that MySQL is used by many major organizations such as Yahoo, NASA and the U.S. Census Bureau proves that it can outperform the big name database management systems.
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Gettting Started With MySQL Database

MySQL is a powerful relational database management system. It has proven that it can outperform the big name database management systems such as SQL Server and Oracle. This is proven by the fact that MySQL is used by many major organizations such as Yahoo, NASA and the U.S. Census Bureau. MySQL's is the most popular database used as a back-end system for Web sites.

The most important thing about MySQL is that it is open source software available free of charge for non-commercial use under the open source GNU public Licence. Compare this to a certain proprietary database management system that charges absorbitant licencing fees and makes trivial changes to its products and then calls them an upgrade. You know, the one who forces you to get their permission to upgrade your computer or their operating system stops working.

You can use almost any programming language to create applications that use a MySQL database. For a Web site, MySQL can be used with VBScript running under ASP, or MySQL can be used with Java or PHP. There is even a MySQL ODBC driver you can use to program desktop MySQL database applications with Visual Basic.

The MySQL version for Windows can work with any 32-bit version of Windows, but the FAT file system does not allow files larger than 4GB, thus the tables in your database will be limited to this size.

Download the MySQL software from www.mysql.com. Several different versions of MySQL that run on Linux, Windows or UNIX, are available. The download for Red Hat Linux and other versions that support RPM make installation easy. The download for Windows is a zip file. After you expand the zip file, run the program setup.exe.

MySQL consists of a client component and a server componenet. The MySQL client sends a request, or query, to the MySQL server. The server manages the actual data for the database, and interacts with one or more client applications. The server receives the query and sends a result back to the client. The client and server applications can either be on the same machine or on different machines.

MySQL server runs in the background and does not have a visible program window. For this article, we are going to experiment with MySQL on Windows. To start MySQL server open a MS-DOS prompt and type the following line.

C:\mysql\bin\mysqld-max

To check if MySQL server is running open a DOS prompt and type the following line.

c:\mysql\bin\mysqladmin status

If you plan to use these commands frequently, you might want to create two .bat files, Start_MySQL.bat and MySQL_Status.bat.

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