MySQL Introduction - Learn MySQL Commands

MySQL is the most popular open-source database server. It is very robust and feature filled and this makes it a particularly attractive solution for persons who need the facilities provided by a database.

To make things even better, MySQL is very easily integrated with PHP and this makes it very suitable to be used to develop dynamic websites.

We have a wide range of MySQL tutorials to help get you up to speed with database access and accessing MySQL from PHP.

Tutorials for beginners to MySQL

Tutorials for advanced MySQL users

Tutorials on popular MySQL functions

Running MySQL queries from within PHP

SQL vs MySQL - What is SQL and MySQL?

SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a method of communicating with a database. It is a sequence of English-like statements (such as select, insert, update, and grant privileges) which instruct a database how to process data and the users which are permitted to access it.

MySQL also has built-in functions like MySQL Substring or MySQL String Length which can provide helpful calculations.

MySQL is the database itself which does the actual storage of data. You use SQL in the correct MySQL Syntax to communicate with the MySQL server. The letter "S" in SQL stands for Structured and not Standard, meaning that different database engines will use slightly different forms of SQL to achieve the same task. What might be valid SQL for MySQL may be invalid for MSSQL or some other type of database server like Oracle or PostgreSQL.

In the tutorials here at Tutorial Arena, we focus on the "dialect" of SQL which is used with MySQL.


What many newcomers fail to realise is that the MySQL server software is a standalone application which can be driven from command line tools only. It is easy to think that you need PHP to interact with a MySQL database. This is not so.

SQL is an entire topic in itself and is distinct from web or PHP programming. Here at Tutorial Arena, we try to keep the idea of SQL and MySQL independent of PHP, as their use is not necessarily tied to PHP or web programming. What we have done to link the two, is create a set of tutorials which show how to execute MySQL queries from within PHP. The majority of our MySQL tutorials though will focus on how the queries actually work and their syntax rather than explicitly linking them to PHP.

Where it may be valuable to the user though, we provide examples using PHP in an effort to reinforce concepts of using MySQL and PHP to drive dynamic websites.

Recommended Reading

If you plan on using MySQL together with PHP, it is advised to read our PHP tutorials first (before moving on to our MySQL tutorials) to get a general idea of how PHP works and how exactly MySQL is tied in. As with any web programming, knowledge of basic HTML is also vital as the output still needs to be formatted in a way that makes it properly viewable in a web browser.

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