This edition is an extensive revision of the second edition. Most of the changes relate to changes in the
MySQL server from version 4.1 to version 5.0. But there is also much that is new in areas surrounding
MySQL, including new programming interfaces (e.g., mysqli in PHP 5) and new administrative tools.
The most important new developments are collected in the following list.
MySQL is the most widely used database system in the Open Source sector. There are many reasons
why this is so:
• MySQL is fast.
• MySQL is stable.
• MySQL is easy to learn.
• MySQL runs on popular operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, various flavors of Unix).
• MySQL applications can be created in a great variety of programming languages (such as C,
C++, C#, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, VB, and VB.NET).
• MySQL is extensively documented on the Internet, and there are many books on the subject
• MySQL is available for many applications free of charge (GPL license).
• Since the licensing restrictions of GPL are unacceptable for many commercial applications,
there are reasonably priced commercial licenses and optional support contracts.
MySQL is on the verge of repeating in the database market the success achieved by Linux in the
operating system sector. In combination with PHP or Perl, MySQL is increasingly used as the database
system for web sites. (A favorite combination is Linux + Apache + MySQL + Perl or PHP. Such systems
are called “LAMP systems” for short.) MySQL is not just for small web sites; it is used by large firms
with huge amounts of data, such as Yahoo!, Slashdot, and NASA.