What is MySQL? Discuss some characteristics of MySQL


MySQL, locally known as ‘my sequel’ is an open source SQL (structured query language) database management system.  SQL is a language that is used to access and work with databases. SQL is defined using ANSI/ISO SQL Standard. SQL standard has been evolving and developing since 1986. This means several versions of SQL exist. It is currently being developed and maintained by Oracle Corporation. The official website is https://www.mysql.com/.

MySQL Characteristics

Let us understand the characteristics of MySQL database system:

Database Management System

MySQL a system that helps store and manage data efficiently. Database generally stores data in a structured fashion. Database stores information, processes the data as well as helps access it using different commands.


The term ‘relational’ means data is stored in a specific format, i.e as rows and columns. This format is also known as tabular format. This means, the data stored in a MySQL server is in the form of rows and columns rather than storing all the data in one memory location.  The reason behind this is so that the data can be accessed quickly and can be stored in an optimal manner.

Logical Model

Before storing the data in the database, a logical model is built. This logical model gives all details about the variables/data fields, the relationship between these variables (it could be one-to-one, one-o-many, many-to-one, many-to-many), the relationship between two tables and so on. When a database is well-designed, it means that there is no scope for inconsistent data, redundant data or missing data.


All attributes in the logical model- such as database, table, row, column, etc are understood as objects. This way, accessing the data is easy and effective. 

Open Source

MySQL is open-source, which means this software can be downloaded, used and modified by anyone. It is free-to-use and easy-to-understand. The source code of MySQL can be studied, and changed based on the requirements.  It uses GPL i.e. GNU General Public license which defines rules and regulations regarding what can and can’t be done using the application.

Quick and Reliable

MySQL stores data efficiently in the memory ensuring that data is consistent, and not redundant. Hence, data access and manipulation using MySQL is quick.


Scalability refers to the ability of systems to work easily with small amounts of data, large amounts of data, clusters of machines, and so on. MySQL server was developed to work with large databases.  It is also used in production environment due to its scalability and ease of use.  Provides high security, improved connectivity, and speed thereby making it suitable to work with databases over internet.

Updated on 17-Feb-2021 18:02:53