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What is a MySQL Database? And why would I use it?
MySQL is currently the world's most popular and widely used open source database technology and data storage system. MySQL offers great reliability and ease of use. It is free, and comes with free documentation as well as thousands of programmers that share their code that relates to communicating with a MySQL databse.

You can think of a MySQL database as a container that holds string(text based) data. Images, media files, audio files, and things of that nature really should not be stored in a database. The trick is to put those files on the server in folders and just reference their name and path in the databse. Here are a few of the types of applications PHP and MySQL can help you create:

1. Website Blogs
2. Custom Dynamic Database Driven Websites (like developPHP)
3. Ecommerce and Custom Online Store Programming
4. Social Networks and Communities
5. Guestbooks
6. Entire Dynamic Websites
7. Client and Customer Information
Any application that requires deep data storage and easy access to that data. This list would be very long.

PHP will be our doorway to MySQL, a middle man of sorts that can communicate with various technologies and transfer data between them. MySQL is one of those languages that PHP seems to mesh with very well, and the open source community is constantly adding a more expansive and useful structure to the language. We will use PHP to open connections, close connections, select data from the database, parse it, and much more.

If you happen to be new to database technologies and deep data storage, MySQL offers a nice soft cushion to bring you into understanding and working with database systems. When you feel comfortable working with MySQL and PHP together you can jump into our PHP+MySQL applications made for learning application logic. Many open source applications use MySQL as a data storage method, including many of the applications we offer here. If a database is required for the project, we will use MySQL to cover our needs. MySQL is very stable, secure, and user friendly enough for beginners to jump right into it.

Many open source applications use MySQL databases to create the magic for people. A few of those are:

1. Joomla (dynamic PHP websites made easy)
2. Wordpress (custom blogging and much more)
3. WebIntersect (Social Network/Community Core)
4. PHPBB (forums)
5. ZenCart (ecommerce, online shopping)
6. OSCommerce (ecommerce, online shopping)
This list can just keep going and going...

Here are the main parts of a MySQL database and a quick description of what purpose they serve.
Database -
Database is the main text based container that holds everything for your application, think of it as the big box that holds a lot of text strings and text blocks. Most hosting companies allow you to create many, and it is as easy as a few clicks to create them. Images and web pages get stored on your server, not in a database. Databases are used for text strings traditionally. And it can hold lots of text strings.
Table -
Tables get created inside of your Database. Your database can hold multiple tables. www.developphp.com's database has multiple tables. One table holds all of the data that you put into the join form here(name, email, location, password, etc...). Another table holds and updates information about how many times tutorials here have been viewed, by whom, and from where. And another table in the database holds the forum posts, and so on and so forth with everything this site does.
Field -
Fields are the slots where information is delivered. The field labeled "first_name" in a table would no doubt recieve the user's first name when you write your script. So you create your table and fields, then write forms and scripts to have people place their data into the database. Or write scripts that update your database automatically on certain events.
Row -
A Row is each information set sent to the database. For instance, when you joined this site you became a new row in our database table. That row consists of the fields: name, email, location, password, zodiac, sign up date, ip address, and a few other things. If a girl named Jane joins this site tomorrow, her info will become a new row in our member table in our database. If our site has 250 members, there will be 250 rows in the database.
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DevelopPHP.com is a growing educational system packed with video and written material that you can access 24/7 100% free. The focus here in 2014 is spread between five technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL. Learn programming theory, database interaction, web design, animation, graphics editing, vector art, 3D modeling, and much more. The educational experience here is a hybrid one offering both high quality video tutorials and code libraries that grow more robust every day. The code libraries are being assembled so that developers can discover all of the building blocks of their favorite languages. The libraries coupled with high quality video tutorials will take you deep down the rabbit hole very quickly. You can also ask questions and get free advice at WebIntersect.com.
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