MySQL has arguably achieved monumental stature in the open-source world and particularly European hosting platforms. Since its acquisition by the mighty behemoth Oracle many have predicted its demise and death, believing that rival systems such as PostgreSQL are the new heroes of the Internet age for modern day web developers and designers.
And, while there may be ring of truth to such proclamations we wonder how many website owners on UK2 platforms realize what a great service this wonderful database has done for the Internet age and continues to do so for websites hosted on shared, VPS and dedicated server infrastructure.
A database in its simplest form can be described as an electronic filing system, ‘normalised’ to store your data, including content, passwords, images and many other structured elements that you find on a website. Some of the world’s most popular software including self-hosted WordPress blogs, are intrinsically dependent on MySQL to function. WordPress, from day one, used MySQL as its database backend.
And, the reason it did so is because from the very beginning of the Internet, open source software collided, mixed and re-organised itself into an operating paradigm known as LAMP, an acronym for Linux (Operating System), Apache (Web Server), MySQL (Database), and PHP (Web Scripting / Programming Language).
This architecture spawned and stimulated the first wave of hosting companies, including UK2, which used the technology to deploy new services, including shared hosting and dedicated servers. In recent years, the level of innovation has risen to new heights with cloud computing in the form of Virtual Private Servers (VPS), which allows startups to deploy resources ‘on-demand’.
In each and every phase, MySQL has silently and diligently stored your website data, allowing system administrators and web developers to straightforwardly set security permissions, add, delete and modify data either directly or via new e-commerce apps they deploy, to access data inside this open-source database.
Every time you add a new piece of content, including images or video, to a WordPress blog, it is quickly deposited inside a MySQL database. Each time a user visits your WordPress website, the content is being retrieved (via PHP) from the MySQL database. The web server Apache and the Linux operating system support this process. While British startups are free to choose Windows platforms as an alternative to Linux, particular on dedicated servers, you will find that many applications that run on the Microsoft platforms will still use MySQL as the backend database.
While many will never need to deal directly with the inner mechanisms of the database itself, it is wise to understand its importance in the open source world and how much influence it has exerted in the development of the World Wide Web as we know it today.
If you are a British Startup, agonizing over a technology platform, you will find the LAMP architecture present in both shared and VPS packages a perfect vehicle to build, test and deploy new web applications. And behind it all, MySQL will quietly be storing and securing the content your users see every day on your website.