In the midst of the Information Age, where more and more data is being stored on computers, the need for high-speed, reliable databases has increased dramatically. For years, large companies, such as Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM, have been providing high-end data warehousing applications for mission-critical work. These programs were used primarily by Fortune 500 companies, which can afford their extreme cost and personnel demands. Meanwhile, within the open-source community, a new wave of small, reliable, and inexpensive database applications came to the market. Such software, of which MySQL and PostgreSQL are the best examples, gave common users and developers on a budget a practical database choice.
MySQL, fortunately, has left its modest beginnings in the dust, turning into a robust, reliable, and easy-to-manage database application. More astounding, MySQL has managed to retain its open-source roots, continuing to be available for some uses at no expense (although check the licensing for your particular situation). MySQL's capabilities and low cost explain why major operations such as Yahoo!, the United States Census Bureau, and NASA use it within their organizations. But you, too, can incorporate MySQL into your projects. With MySQL: Visual QuickStart Guide, you will be doing just that in no time!