MySQL is a true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL database
server. SQL (Structured Query Language) is the most popular and
standardized database language in the world. MySQL is a
client/server implementation that consists of a server daemon
mysqld and many different client programs and libraries.
SQL is a standardized language that makes it easy to store, update and access information. For example, you can use SQL to retrieve product information and store customer information for a web site. MySQL is also fast and flexible enough to allow you to store logs and pictures in it.
The main goals of MySQL are speed, robustness and ease of use. MySQL was originally developed because we needed a SQL server that could handle very large databases an order of magnitude faster than what any database vendor could offer to us on inexpensive hardware. We have now been using MySQL since 1996 in an environment with more than 40 databases containing 10,000 tables, of which more than 500 tables have more than 7 million rows. This is about 100 gigabytes of mission-critical data.
The base upon which MySQL is built is a set of routines that have been used in a highly demanding production environment for many years. Although MySQL is still under development, it already offers a rich and highly useful function set.
The official way to pronounce MySQL is ``My Ess Que Ell'' (not MY-SEQUEL).