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 1.2 Overview of the MySQL Database Management System
 MySQL, the most popular Open Source SQL database management system, is
 developed, distributed, and supported by MySQL AB.  MySQL AB is a
 commercial company, founded by the MySQL developers.  It is a second
 generation Open Source company that unites Open Source values and
 methodology with a successful business model.
 The MySQL Web site (`') provides the latest
 information about MySQL software and MySQL AB.
 MySQL is a database management system.
      A database is a structured collection of data.  It may be anything
      from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast
      amounts of information in a corporate network.  To add, access,
      and process data stored in a computer database, you need a
      database management system such as MySQL Server.  Since computers
      are very good at handling large amounts of data, database
      management systems play a central role in computing, as standalone
      utilities or as parts of other applications.
 MySQL is a relational database management system.
      A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than
      putting all the data in one big storeroom.  This adds speed and
      flexibility.  The SQL part of "MySQL" stands for "Structured Query
      Language." SQL is the most common standardized language used to
      access databases and is defined by the ANSI/ISO SQL Standard. The
      SQL standard has been evolving since 1986 and several versions
      exist. In this manual, "SQL-92" refers to the standard released in
      1992, "SQL:1999" refers to the standard released in 1999, and
      "SQL:2003" refers to the current version of the standard.  We use
      the phrase "the SQL standard" to mean the current version of the
      SQL Standard at any time.
 MySQL software is Open Source.
      Open Source means that it is possible for anyone to use and modify
      the software.  Anybody can download the MySQL software from the
      Internet and use it without paying anything.  If you wish, you may
      study the source code and change it to suit your needs.  The MySQL
      software uses the GPL (GNU General Public License),
      `', to define what you may and may not
      do with the software in different situations.  If you feel
      uncomfortable with the GPL or need to embed MySQL code into a
      commercial application, you can buy a commercially licensed
      version from us.  See the MySQL Licensing Overview for more
      information (`').
 The MySQL Database Server is very fast, reliable, and easy to use.
      If that is what you are looking for, you should give it a try.
      MySQL Server also has a practical set of features developed in
      close cooperation with our users.  You can find a performance
      comparison of MySQL Server with other database managers on our
      benchmark page.   MySQL Benchmarks.
      MySQL Server was originally developed to handle large databases
      much faster than existing solutions and has been successfully used
      in highly demanding production environments for several years.
      Although under constant development, MySQL Server today offers a
      rich and useful set of functions.  Its connectivity, speed, and
      security make MySQL Server highly suited for accessing databases
      on the Internet.
 MySQL Server works in client/server or embedded systems.
      The MySQL Database Software is a client/server system that consists
      of a multi-threaded SQL server that supports different backends,
      several different client programs and libraries, administrative
      tools, and a wide range of application programming interfaces
      We also provide MySQL Server as an embedded multi-threaded library
      that you can link into your application to get a smaller, faster,
      easier-to-manage product.
 A large amount of contributed MySQL software is available.
      It is very likely that you will find that your favorite
      application or language supports the MySQL Database Server.
 The official way to pronounce "MySQL" is "My Ess Que Ell" (not "my
 sequel"), but we don't mind if you pronounce it as "my sequel" or in
 some other localized way.


* History                     History of MySQL
* Features                    The Main Features of MySQL
* Stability                   MySQL Stability
* Table size                  How Big MySQL Tables Can Be
* Year 2000 compliance        Year 2000 Compliance
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