Basic Terminology

Welcome to the MySQL section on My goal is to get you up and running with MySQL as quickly as possible so the we can get to using PHP with MySQL.

So to get started, please start with the basic database terms below.


Database Management System: A program that provides all kinds of functionality to allow you to easily save, update, delete, and search for information. Examples of DBMS products are MySQL and Oracle, among many others. People typically refer to DBMS products as simply ‘databases’.


Structured Query Language: the language of relational databases, databases like MySQL and Oracle.

Relational databases are a type of database that has been around for about 20 years. Relational databases are the most popular type of database out there today and are commonly used with dynamic web sites. Since MySQL is a relational database, we will be learning about them as we learn MySQL.

… Just in case you’re confused, there are several different types of databases, just as there are several types of automobiles. If you ever get into database work, you’ll find that there is a 99% chance you will be working with a relational database so you need not worry about the other types.

But for those wannabe nerds who really want to know, here are some other types of databases out there:

Object Databases

Everything is saved as a programmatic object. Has everything to do with Object Oriented Programming, Object Oriented Programming is a way/style of programming that organizes the code as conceptual objects. OOP (object oriented programming) is very popular today and can be found in languages like Java, JavaScript, and C#.

Flat File Database

Typically a custom way of storing the information in a simple text file (as in: example.txt). It was common just a few years ago for programmers to create their own database by saving the data to a series of simple text files referred to as flat files.

This is a very primitive form of database and is not normally something you need to do today with so many commercial and free database products out there that have a lot of functionality built in.

More Details About Databases

Now that you’ve covered the basics, please read this article on databases and come back and watch the videos on MySQL.

MySQL Video Tutorial

In our continued aim to make your life as a php nerd easier, we are slowly compiling a collection of video tutorials on MySQL and related tools.

MySQL Video Tutorials


Just post them on the PHP forum.

Much more to come…


Stefan Mischook