For your convenience, the following information has been excerpted from mysql.com

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What is MySQL

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What is MySQL?

MySQL is a database management system. A database is a structured collection of data. It may be anything from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast amounts of information in a corporate network. To add, access and process data stored in a computer database, you need a database management system such as MySQL. Since computers are very good at handling large amounts of data, database management plays a central role in computing, as stand-alone utilities or as parts of other applications.
MySQL is a relational database management system. A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. The tables are linked by defined relations making it possible to combine data from several tables on request. The SQL part of MySQL stands for "Structured Query Language" - the most common standardized language used to access databases.

MySQL is Open Source Software Open source means that it´s possible to use and modify for anyone. Anybody can download MySQL from the Internet and use it without paying anything. Anybody so inclined can study the source code and change it to fit their needs. MySQL uses the GPL (GNU General Public License) http://www.gnu.org, to define what you may and may not do with the software in different situations. If you feel uncomfortable with the GPL or need to embed MySQL into a commercial application you can buy a commercially licensed version from us.

MySQL is a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server.
The MySQL is free software. It is licensed with the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE http://www.gnu.org/. See section 3 MySQL licensing and support.
The MySQL home page provides the latest information about MySQL.

Links of Interest

Apart from the following links, you can find and download a lot of MySQL programs, tools and APIs from the Contrib directory.

Tutorials

Perl related links MySQL discussion forums

Commercial applications that support MySQL

Using MySQL with other programs

Other MySQL and SQL resources

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