MySQL (properly pronounced "my-ess-kew-ell") is a program that uses a structured query language for creating and managing databases. The software for MySQL is available on the Internet at no cost, and the server program runs on most UNIX / Linux platforms, as well as many other operating systems including Windows 95/98, Windows NT and MacOS. A database that is controlled by MySQL can be managed in a command line mode, or in conjunction with a web application which makes it extremely powerful for creating dynamic content on the Internet. Please check out the MySQL web site, www.mysql.com, for full documentation as well as software that you can download.
This series has a number of simple examples to see how to use MySQL in interactive, command line mode. I have created some additional examples to show how to combine the power of MySQL with another powerful resource, PHP. Together, MySQL and PHP can allow you to create some exciting new web pages that go far beyond the power of simple HTML.
The following examples are all based on the simple task of managing a database that keeps track of scores earned in some simple game. The database information will be kept in a table that has two fields, one that contains the player's name and the other the player's score. Various activities such as adding a new player to the database, updating scores, and displaying the scores in a variety of formats will be shown in the web pages listed below.