What is MySQL

Summary: in this tutorial, you will have a basic idea about what is MySQL, its features, and why it is called one of the most popular Relational Database Management Systems.

What is MySQL

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Oracle Corporation. This database is based on structured query language (SQL).

It is often called the most popular open-source relational database due to its easiness, powerful and secure characteristics. So basically, anyone getting involved in enterprise data or general IT should have minimum knowledge of this database.

What is MySQL

Before going deep into the MySQL database, you should understand the database and SQL.

Database and Relational database

Do you know, we deal with data every day.

When you browse through your phone’s contact list to get any specific contact you are basically consulting with a database. In this case, your contact list is the database.

When you are uploading any photo to social media like Facebook, you are case as well you are interacting with a database. In this case, the photo gallery is a database.

So, the database is a collection of data stored in an organized manner for the purpose of easy access and management.

If the data is stored in tabular form i.e. which has rows and columns and the tables are related to each other then the database is called a relational database.

The software that interacts with the database, applications, and end-users is called a database management system (DBMS).

If the software is built to manage a relational database then the software is called a relational database management system (RDBMS).

SQL – the language of the relational database

SQL stands for structured query language.

SQL is a programming language that is mainly used to manage the database.

Note:- ANSI/SQL is the standardized form of SQL. SQL is standardized by American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and Internation Organization for Standardization (ISO). The current version of SQL is SQL:2016.

Types of SQL Statements

  1. Data definition language (DDL) includes statements that are mainly used for defining databases and objects e.g. tables, views, triggers, stored procedures, etc.
  2. Data manipulation language helps to manipulate data of database objects. For example, inserting data into the table, updating data.
  3. Data control language helps to grant permission to a user for accessing specific data.

Now you have understood database and SQL, let’s jump into MySQL.


The name MySQL comes from the combination of “My”, the name of co-founder’s daughter Michel Widenius and “SQL” the abbreviation for the structured query language.

MySQL is an RDBMS i.e. Relational Database Management System that is the combination of tools (for example MySQL Server, MySQL Workbench, MySQL CLI, etc.) used for managing, implementing, querying relational databases.

Even though MySQL is open-source software, customers can buy a commercial license from Oracle Corporation to get premium support services.

MySQL is often used with other programs to implement applications that need relational database capability. It is a part of the LAMP Web application software stack which is Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Compare to other popular databases like Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server MySQL is easy to learn and master.

MySQL can run on most of the popular platforms like Linux, Unix, and Windows, etc. You can even install MySQL on your local desktop.

Original Developer MySQL AB (Then briefly Sun Microsystem)
Current Developer Oracle Corporation
Current stable release 8.0.27 (19 October 2021)
Initial release May 23, 1995
License GPLV2 (or proprietary)
Primary Language C and C++
Website https://www.mysql.com/
Open-source repository https://github.com/mysql/mysql-server