MySQL is the most popular open source database

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MySQL is a relational database that is open source and freely downloadable from  MySQL is can be pronounced either “My-S-Q-L” or “My Sequel”.   Open source means that it’s source code is open to the public under the terms of the GNU general public license.

Since many Linux-based web hosts already has MySQL database provided, you often do not need to download or install it.   You can simply create a new database via your web host cPanel administration as was shown in the first part of the WordPress installation tutorial.

The popular blogging software WordPress uses MySQL database, as do many other open source Web applications such as  Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, Gallery2, ZenCart, and many others.  Web applications built on the LAMP stack will surely be using MySQL.  This is by definition since LAMP stands for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP”.

Not only does open source web applications use it, some commercial software use it as well — such as vBulletin, Miva Merchant, and others.

MySQL is not just for small websites either.  Did you know that Wikipedia, Flickr, YouTube, and even Facebook uses MySQL databases?  Yes, they do (or at least did at some point in time).  See references below and see MySQL Customers by Industry.   There have even been rumors that Google’s AdWords program ran on MySQL at some point in time.  This is hard to know for sure because Google keeps its internal technology secret.  Wikipedia on the other hand is very open and clearly says that it uses MySQL database.

History of MySQL

MySQL was first released in 1995.  In 2008 it was purchased by Sun Microsystem.  And in 2010, the database giant Oracle bought Sun.  So now currently MySQL is owned by Oracle.

Most Popular Open Source Database

The statement “MySQL is the most popular open source database” is valid at the time of this writing in January 2011.

It was mentioned on “MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database. With over 65,000 downloads per day” [source]

According to chart of 2008 database installation and deployment plans, Oracle database has the highest deployment, closely followed by SQL Server.  And coming in third is MySQL.   But since Oracle and SQL Server are not open source.  MySQL wins the title for being the most popular open source database.