In short, MySQL is the free and open-source relational database management system based on the SQL programming language, developed and supported by Oracle, licensed under the GNU General Public License.
That is the one-sentence answer to “what is MySQL,” but let’s break it down for a better understanding in a non-technical way.
First, a database is an organized collection of structured information referred to as data stored electronically in a computer system. You can think of this as a filing system.
To access, modify, and manage the data stored in the database, databases, are controlled by a database management system (DBMS) that uses a structured query language (SQL). This is how we access the file system.
Together, the data and the DBMS, along with the other applications associated with them, are referred to as a database system, more commonly known as just database.
The data within a MySQL database is structured and modeled in a table with rows and columns to make processing and data retrieval (query) efficient. This is similar to a spreadsheet.
MySQL was designed and optimized for web-based applications and can run on any platform. It can process millions of queries and thousands of transactions, making it a popular choice for websites and e-commerce businesses.
It is a central component of the open-source LAMP web application software stack along including others. LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl / PHP / Python.
MySQL is used by many database-driven web applications, including Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, and WordPress.