In this article, we will deal with databases, their definition, and purpose, and answer the question of what are the terms in the title.

So what is MySQL and what is SQL?

Each website or web application presents or processes some data, which users access and use for the necessary purposes.

We can probably say that then a set of some data represents some information that can be used, such as data on the street, number, and city of a company is a set of data, ie. information about the location of the company we use to find that company.

This is a simple example, but these data sets can be much larger, such as data for a user who has registered on a website or data from a student, which may include name, surname, address, date of birth, his grades during his studies and more.

In order for all this data to be presented in a meaningful and orderly manner or processed efficiently, it is necessary to store it somewhere. Databases are used for this purpose.

What is a database?

A database is a collection of data organized so that data can be easily accessed and manipulated.

In general, databases could be divided according to the type of data that contains, for example, textual, numeric, or databases of some other types of data.

However, computer databases are most often classified depending on their organizational approach.

The organizational approach is otherwise called the database model. The database model determines its logical structure, the way data is stored and organized, and the way it is manipulated.

To make it easier to manage databases, there are database management systems. We can roughly divide them into two groups:

  • Relational model
  • Non-relational model

We will focus here on the Relational Database Model. And finally, we come to the answer what is MySQL?

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a Relational Database Management System (RDMS).

The relational model implies that the data are organized in the form of ordinal lists, ie. tables with columns and rows, and are grouped by relations.

We can think of these spreadsheets as spreadsheets in MS Excel. A relation is a relationship between two tables of related data.

MySQL is essentially a specially designed software application that allows users or other applications to interact, on the one hand and the database itself on the other.

In other words, it allows defining, creating, searching, updating, ie. administration of a single database.

MySQL is one of the most widely used relational database management systems, and next to it there are SQLite and PostgreSQL.

MySQL is an “open source” project, ie. an open-source project, named after the daughter of co-authors Michael Widenius and SQL.

The first version of MySQL appeared in 1995, and the current one is 8.0.26 from 2021-07-20.

MySQL has support in all known programming languages, including excellent support in PHP, as the most used server programming language.

Note that SQL is always used in database names. We come to the question what is SQL?

What is SQL?

SQL is an acronym for the English word “Structured Query Language”, which in translation would mean structural query language.

Thus, SQL is a query language that we use to issue commands to manipulate database data, as well as to completely create, modify or delete it, both the database itself, its tables, and the data contained in the database.

SQL is one of the first commercial languages of Edgar F. Codd’s relational model.

SQL was standardized in 1986, followed by amendments to the 1989 and 1999 standards, but it is not fully transferable between the various relational database management systems.

This means that its syntax is not harmonized and compatible between different systems. So the SQL syntax is partially different in MySQL and for example SQLite.

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