MySQL is an inexpensive, lightweight and fast relational database system. Its capabilities may be easily integrated into a Web environment, and it supports C, Perl, Java via the Java Database Connectivity API (JDBC) and Python programming.
With the tools MySQL provides these languages, we can create full-blown client/server applications and database-integrated Web sites without our clients spending a fortune.
MySQL provides no direct support for Web applications, but by combining MySQL with appropriate tools, your databases can be accessed easily over the Web. We can specify queries using a Web server and report the results to a client's browser.
MySQL Web Databases
There are two complementary perspectives on the marriage of MySQL and the Web:
Your main interest is your database, and you want to use the Web as a tool to gain easier access to your data. The place of a database in such a scenario is explicit and obvious because it's the focus of your interest.
For example, we can write Web pages that allow you to see what tables your database contains, what each one's structure is, and what its contents are. You're using your Web server to enhance your access to MySQL.
Your primary interest may be your Web site, and you may want to use MySQL as a tool for making your site's content more valuable to the people who visit it.
For example, if you run a message board or discussion list for visitors to the site, you can use MySQL to keep track of the messages. In this case, the role of the database is more subtle, and visitors may not even be aware that it plays a part in the services you have to offer. You're using MySQL to enhance the capabilities of your Web server.
No matter how you view the integration of MySQL with the Web, the implementation is similar. We connect your Web site front end to your MySQL back end, using the Web server as an intermediary. The Web server sends a query from the user to the MySQL server, retrieves the query results, and then conveys them to the client for viewing in a browser.
MySQL Database Applications
You don't have to put your data online, of course, but often there are benefits to doing so, particularly in comparison with accessing your data via the standard MySQL client programs:
People accessing your data through the Web can use the browser they prefer on the type of platform they prefer. They're not limited to systems that the MySQL client programs run on. No matter how widespread the MySQL clients are, Web browsers are more so.
A Web interface can be made simpler to use than a stand alone command-line MySQL client.
A Web interface can be customized to the requirements of a particular application. The MySQL clients are general purpose tools with a fixed interface.
Dynamic Web pages extend MySQL's capabilities to do things that are difficult or impossible to do using the MySQL clients. For example, one can't easily create an application that incorporates a shopping cart using MySQL clients alone.
For a database to support any kind of complexity, planning and design will save time in the long run, and our expertise with relational database design concepts enables us to efficiently create, maintain and manage your electronic database management systems.