In this chapter we have had a first look at the MySQL server. MySQL is a relational database management system, where data are structured into tables and relations. MySQL is the SQL server of choice when using the PHP scripting language.
The installation of MySQL under the Windows platform is almost straightforward, but don't forget that you will need to launch 'winmysqladmin' at least one time after the installation to setup the 'mysql' service and have your first user ready to connect to the server.
In MySQL, the data is structured in a hierarchical organization: databases, tables, and columns. A MySQL server can hold multiple databases. The collections of data and structure that are stored in a MySQL database are called tables. The tables are the container of all the data in your database.
To create a table, use the CREATE TABLE statement. To delete a table from a database use the DROP TABLE statement. To get information about the structure of a table, use the DESC TABLE statement.
The configuration of the MySQL server is done mainly with the 'mysgl' database and the tables attached. The table 'user' holds the account information. A user will be able to connect to your server, if and only if the account is present in this table. The table 'user' holds the global privileges that supersede all other levels of privileges. The table 'host' and 'db' holds the accessibility for a user to a specific database and from a specific origin. The tables 'tables_priv' and 'columns_priv' hold the privileges access to a specific table and a specific column. Giving a privilege to a user is performed with the GRANT statement.
We also reviewed two tools to let you perform actions in an easy way, thanks to their user interface. The tool MyCC will be mainly used for database and server management, and to quickly issue a SELECT statement. The tool PHPMyAdmin is good for retrieving and editing records, but will also let you perform many other actions.