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What is a MySQL Database and How Many Do You Need for Your Website?

More and more web services and content management systems are turning to use MySQL as a Database engine, but what is a MySQL Database and how many do you need for your website? MySQL is an open source system for managing relational databases. It is typically used to provide access to databases by multiple people at the same time.

As it is tailored for use by more than one person at once, MySQL has found a natural home in the running of data-driven applications online. It is available both as a free database management system for smaller and free software solutions, and as a commercial paid edition with extra functions included. MySQL is used as the back end system for applications such as WordPress and Joomla. It is also used extensively by such high profile websites as Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia

Uses Of A MySQL Service

Paired with appropriate software, whether bought off the shelf or developed by you, MySQL can be used to:

  • Run Content Management Systems.
  • Store names and email addresses submitted in queries by site visitors.
  • Take and display comments by site visitors.
  • Run discussion forums.
  • Relate data to mapping information for graphic display.

Essentially the databases can be used to relate a wide variety of information points so that you can use them both for the running of your own website and as a means of aggregating information about or for your customers. A single database may have a great many fields within it, with any given database query only using smaller subsets of that data at any one time. Individual server-based applications may demand their own MySQL Database, while home-grown scripts may tap into more general shared data sources. The effectiveness of doing this depends on the speed of the server platform, the size of the database and the number and complexity of enquiries.

Reasons To Use MySQL

There are a number of advantages to using a MySQL Database over other systems:

  • Extremely scalable in response to usage.
  • Extremely flexible in how it can be used and installed.
  • Stability of the system.
  • Robustness of transactions performed.
  • Excellent Data Protection.
  • Widespread Application Support.
  • Ease of Use.
  • Low Total Cost of Ownership.
  • Extensive Support.

A MySQL database is designed to be fast and specifically geared for high-volume secure operations. With strong security features that track authorizations effectively and speedily, MySQL has become the database platform of choice around the world. Its scalability means that, as long as its servers are effectively configured, it can cope with high levels of use for extended periods of time without suffering in performance or reliability.

Individual applications bought off the shelf may require their own databases to run, and in those cases it is wise to do so. Trying to run several applications off the same database can lead to performance issues depending on configuration. In answer therefore to the question as to what is a MySQL database and how many you need for your website: MySQL is a complex and powerful way of managing your various datasets and you will generally only need one for your website and one each for additional applications.

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