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Technically Speaking: MySQL

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MySQL. You’ll hear developers speak of it in lofty terms. “It’s my lifeline,” “it’s essential,” “without it, we’d never have launched.” It also happens to be integral to some of the largest web platforms in the world, such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

So what is it?

MySQL (pronounced “My S-Q-L” or “My Sequel”) is an open-source, relational database management system (RDBMS). It enables developers to manage data streams in a fluid, scalable, reliable way. Essentially, one can outsource a multi-terabyte data flow to the MySQL database server, and freely customize that data’s interaction with your site or web application.

Think about the data inside files that you store on your computer’s hard drive. That data is accessible to you, but unless you organize your files as part of a larger system, its contents are static, and its relationship with data in other files is difficult to ascertain. When one inputs databases into MySQL, all that data – the location, size and inventory of a company’s retail stores, for instance – can be filtered, edited, and searched with amazing speed. Put another way, MySQL is where data points talks to each other, and also interact with the web.

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