MySQL is currently the most popular open source database server. MySQL is very common in conjunction with PHP scripts to create powerful and dynamic web pages.

What is a database?

A database is a structure that comes in two editions: a flat database and a relational database. A relational database is much more oriented towards the human mind and is often preferred over flat databases. A flat database stores the database on hard drives as a text file. MySQL is a relational database.

Data is stored in tables in a relational database. The columns define the types of data that that are stored in the table. An individual column must be created for each type of data that should be stored (ie, age, weight, height).

Rows contains actual values for these specified columns. Each row will have a value for each column. For example, a table with columns (name, age, weight) could have a row of values (Bob, 65, 165). If all this relational database talk is too confusing, do not despair. There will be examples.

Why use a database?

Databases are most useful when it comes to storing information that fits into logical categories. For example information about all employees in a company would group different parts of the business into separate tables to help store the information logically. The tables may be: Employees, Executives and Customers. Each table will contain columns specific to these three areas. To help store information relating to each employee, the employee table could have the following columns: date, occupation, age and salary.

Learn MySQL with PHP

Take a look at the basic HTML and PHP tutorials togheter with this MySQL tutorial.

This tutorial focuses heavily on using MySQL in a PHP environment. It is aimed at teaching those who have web hosting with PHP and MySQL already installed. If you are unsure please contact your hosting company.


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