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What is MySQL?

What is MySQL?

Before jumping on the topic you should have a basic knowledge of databases. Databases are a type of online data repository that acts as an application where data is stored in the form of rows-columns known as records. In databases, records are also indexed which makes them easily accessible and manipulative. MySQL is among the most popular database platforms used by individual developers and large enterprises.

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This is our very first section of the blog. In this section, we will be discussing MySQL basics. In brief, MySQL is an open-source platform that uses the characteristics of a relational database management system to provide database services to entities connected to data.

  • MySQL was developed using C programming and CPP programming, maintained and supported by Oracle Corporation.
  • In MySQL, which is a particular kind of relational database based on structured query language (SQL), data is stored in the form of tables with rows and columns.
  • Every record stored in a MySQL table is indexed, making it easy to access and change the data.
  • MySQL is a high-performance database management system far faster than its competitors.  MySQL is a client-based database.

If you want to kickstart your journey in the field of databases, check out our PHP and MYSQL training.

We just introduced you to MySQL. Now let’s look at the arguments for the claim that MySQL is one of the most adaptable database platforms ever created.

Why MySQL?

Why MySQL?

In the previous section, we discussed the basics of MySQL; in this section, we are going to take a look at the reasons why you should opt for MySQL. MySQL has the following reasons why we need it:

  • It offers high comprehensive support for numerous programming languages and related frameworks, making integration very simple.
  • Every popular operating system and distribution, including Linux, Windows, macOS, and Debian, supports it.
  • It has very low or no operational costs and can handle more data. Due to this economic feasibility MySQL is suitable for small businesses and individual developers.
  • CIA triads are maintained by MySQL as it uses an SSL layer for encryption of the stored data.

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History of MySQL

There are various options available for implementing databases, but when it comes to feasible databases, MySQL hits differently. So it mandates us to have a glimpse of its journey. Check out the below pointers for a detailed summarization of MySQL’s origin:

  • The development of MySQL was started way back in 1979 by Michael Widenius of UNIREG from Finland and later was merged with mSQL by David Hughes.
  • The main purpose of MySQL development was to provide an interface between the data stored in the tables.
  • The method used for the development of MySQL was the ISAM method which is a sequential access method, ISAM was developed by IBM.
  • In 2000, MySQL was first made open source over the web to be used by anyone without any cost.
  • The name MySQL (my-ess-cue-el) came from the daughter’s name of Michael “My”, also (my sequel) is also the correct pronunciation of MySQL.
  • The logo of MySQL is a dolphin named Sakila.

Check out MySQL installation for a detailed explanation and the steps needed to install MySQL on your system.

Miscellaneous differences in terminologies

Here in this section, we are going to discuss the difference between some major terms in MySQL, databases, and associated entities where learners are usually confused:


DBMS (Database management system)

  • In DBMS, the data is stored as a file in hierarchical form, the associated records don’t have any relation to each other.
  • It does not support distributed databases and normalization of data is also not present.
  • DBMS can only handle a small amount of data efficiently as compared to RDBMS.
  • Data redundancy is common and data fetching is also slow because of which it is used by small organizations.
  • Examples – Windows registry, XML, etc.

Also, check out the blog on differences between MySQL vs. PostgreSQL.

RDBMS (Relational Database and Management System)

  • In RDBMS, the data stored is in tabular form, and each piece of data is somewhat related to the other.
  • It supports the working of distributed databases plus it supports the normalization of data.
  • RDBMS can handle a larger amount of data as compared to DBMS, in a more efficient manner.
  • It doesn’t have data redundancy and is used by larger organizations plus its data fetching rate is also higher.
  • Examples – MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.
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SQL (Structured Query Language)

  • SQL is a type of relational database, it is not meant for hierarchical databases.
  • It is preferred when complex data is to be processed.
  • It is vertically scalable and has a static schema.
  • It works on ACID properties.
  • Examples – MySQL, Oracle, SQL server, etc.


  • NoSQL databases are non-relational databases.
  • It is preferred when not-so-complex queries are to be operated upon.
  • It is horizontally scalable and has a dynamic schema.
  • It works on the principle of CAP.
  • Examples – MongoDB, GraphQL, etc.

Preparing for the SQL interviews? Check out these SQL Server Interview Questions.


SQL (Structured Query Language)

  • It is a type of language that is used to manage relational databases.
  • SQL is not open source and supports a single storage engine.
  • Its servers work independently of the database.
  • Relatively more secure than MySQL servers as it has no third-party access.


  • MySQL is a type of relational database.
  • It is a type of open-source database and supports a multi-storage engine.
  • Its servers are database dependent.
  • It is relatively less secure than SQL as it is open source and highly customizable.

Visit MySQL commands to have detailed information on various MySQL commands and basic terminologies.

Features of MySQL

Features of MySQL

We have learned a lot about MySQL so far, let’s take our journey of learning about MySQL to the next phase. Take a look at the points depicting the features of MySQL:

  • It is a type of relational database, in which data is stored in the form of a table and each record in the table is related.
  • Because of the architecture on which MySQL is built, it is faster, possesses low-cost operations, and is high in performance.
  • Relatively larger community support, well documented and maintained, and plus constant stable updates.
  • Strong data protection with encryption is also available.
  • MySQL has the highest availability which means it has the highest uptime as compared to others which makes MySQL more reliable.

Advantages of MySQL

Advantages of MySQL

Below mentioned are distinguishing factors because of which MySQL is preferred over its other alternatives:

  • Since MySQL is an RDBMS (relational database management system), it organizes and presents data in tabular form, with well-indexed rows, and columns.
  • MySQL provides better security because it has a strong data security layer to keep sensitive information safe from hackers and passwords are encrypted in MySQL.
  • The official website of MySQL offers a free download and use of MySQL.
  • The majority of operating systems are compatible with MySQL.
  • When using MySQL, you can run the server and clients on the same or other machines, across a local or internet network.
  • Because of its distinctive storage engine architecture, MySQL is quicker, less expensive, and more dependable.

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Applications of MySQL

Applications of MySQL

MySQL is used by a huge number of tech giants namely Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, and the list goes on. Here in this section, we will check out the application of MySQL:

  • MySQL is based on client-server architecture, it can act as a connector, which enables connections between front-end and back-end architecture.
  • When deployed as DCL, it acts as a shield and protects the stored data from data corruption.
  • It helps the data manipulation very easily as compared to its alternatives when deployed as DML.
  • MySQL can create a database and can work on the existing one effectively and efficiently when used as DDL.
  • The database created by MySQL is password encrypted which makes it one of the most secure databases on the web.
  • It can also act as personal cloud storage as well as commercially needed cloud space and is hence used by many organizations as a cloud application.

Disadvantages of MySQL

Disadvantages of MySQL

MySQL is the second most used database in the industry. Yet, it possesses some technical disadvantages because of which other alternatives are still on the market. Consider the below-mentioned points to have a piece of knowledge about the disadvantages of MySQL:

  • Previous versions of MySQL do not support the needed commands namely ROLE, COMMIT, and stored procedures.
  • Does not support very large-sized databases as efficiently as it is claimed.
  • There are stability issues in the latest versions of MySQL.
  • TCL commands are not handled correctly.
  • Change in functionalities in the latest versions is not based on the community of MySQL.
  • It does not have a set of good debugging tools when compared with the paid ones.

Confident enough to deal with the industries, try our MySQL Interview Questions.

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Learning MySQL is a to-go step to new tech on their side, it is a well-tested and proven technology to be used in its respective domain. MySQL is preferred in the market because of its reliability, and scalability which can help to handle a significantly large amount of data over the web to provide fault-free services.

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About the Author

Data Engineer

As a skilled Data Engineer, Sahil excels in SQL, Business Intelligence, and database management. He has contributed to projects at companies like Bajaj and Tata. With a background in software engineering, he crafted efficient solutions for data pipelines, analytics, and software integration, driving insights and innovation.