There are all kinds of databases in this world. The one we are going to be studying in this series is called MySQL. MySQL is free! There are enterprise versions, but we will be using the free and open source version in this series. Now, I've done a MySQL series before, but the series is already many years old. It is still a good series, but I think it is time for a new one.

What is a database? A database is a software that is designed to store a bunch of information, or data. What is data? Anything that is needed to be stored for later use. Usually databases are used for businesses, so data can be analyzed to make business decisions.

For example, we can look at sales. When does our data sell the most? How many sales did we get? Who bought our product? What was the price at the time? etc. We can put all of this data together and get a summation as to what sales are like.

There are many other uses. For example, websites. Websites store your information so that you can revisit the website at a later day and have your information still there.

There are other ways you can store data. For example, spread sheets, CSV, .txt files, cookies and sessions, etc.

What is a table? A table is a square with a grid. Columns go from top to bottom, and rows go from left to right.

The downsides of a database is that it is more complex, harder to learn, and easy to get yourself in a pickle if you don't know what you are doing. That being said, there are a lot of benefits to using a database. To express the benefits, I am going to compare a database to a spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets are all or nothing. You can not easily make a certain column private.
Spreadsheets do not easily support multiple people with different roles.
Easier to select data, such as just a phone number.
Higher security, back up, and recovery options.
The amount of information you can store in a database is much more than a spreadsheet.

Why MySQL when there are so many other databases available? It's supposedely the world's most popular open source database, so there is a ton of community support and questions and answers on the interwebs. In my oppinion, MySQL has a smaller learning curve than most of the other database systems. It is often used for web development, but can be used for small business and up.

Againsts Oracle and SQL server, MySQL is usually considered the most "user" level, whereas Oracle is often considered the most "professional / mission-critical". SQL Server is often considered somewhere in the middle. That means for small to medium size projects, MySQL is often chosen.

Hopefully you can see how helpful a database can be. In the next video we are going to learn more about MySQL.