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14.5.1 MySQL

MySQL is a very fast but somewhat limited SQL database system. It is wildly popular mainly because it is simple, fast, and Free. It is everything that you would need to back a dynamic Web site. As of this writing, the stable produc- tion version of MySQL is 4.0.16, but most Linux distributions are still shipping something from the 3.23.x series.

At this point, MySQL lacks some key features:

• Stored procedures


• Triggers

Version 4.0.x does support some long-awaited features (if you use the InnoDB table type instead of the default MyISAM tables), such as row-level locking, foreign keys, and transactions. But InnoDB tables are not directly available in the 3.23.x versions still shipping with many distributions.

MySQL is an excellent choice for designs that do not require stored proce- dures, triggers, or transactions. It is widely used as a back end for dynamic Web sites—applications with many reading users and few writing users.

For more information on MySQL, see Core MySQL by Leon Atkinson (ISBN 0-13-066190-2).