How MySQL Works - dummies

By Steve Suehring, Janet Valade

The MySQL software consists of the MySQL server, several utility programs that assist in the administration of MySQL databases, and some supporting software that the MySQL server needs (but you don’t need to know about). The heart of the system is the MySQL server.

The MySQL server is the manager of the database system. It handles all your database instructions. For instance, if you want to create a new database, you send a message to the MySQL server that says, for instance, “create a new database and call it newdata.

The MySQL server then creates a subdirectory in its data directory, names the new subdirectory newdata, and puts the necessary files with the required format into the newdata subdirectory. In the same manner, to add data to that database, you send a message to the MySQL server, giving it the data and telling it where you want the data to be added.

Before you can pass instructions to the MySQL server, it must be running and waiting for requests. The MySQL server is usually set up so that it starts when the computer starts and continues running all the time. This is the usual setup for a website.

However, it isn’t necessary to set it up to start when the computer starts. If you need to, you can start it manually whenever you want to access a database. When it’s running, the MySQL server listens continuously for messages that are directed to it.