MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. The MySQL development project has made its source code available under the terms of the GNU General Public License, as well as under a variety of proprietary agreements. MySQL was owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Swedish company MySQL AB, now owned by Oracle Corporation.
MySQL is a popular choice of database for use in web applications, and is a central component of the widely used LAMP open source web application software stack. LAMP is an acronym for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python.” Open source projects that require a full-featured database management system often use MySQL.
The official MySQL Workbench is a free integrated environment developed by MySQL AB, that enables users to graphically administer MySQL databases and visually design database structures. MySQL Workbench replaces the previous package of software, MySQL GUI Tools. Similar to other third-party packages, but still considered the authoritative MySQL front end, MySQL Workbench lets users manage database design & modeling, SQL development (replacing MySQL Query Browser) and Database administration (replacing MySQL Administrator).
MySQL works on many system platforms, including AIX, BSDi, FreeBSD, HP-UX, eComStation, i5/OS, IRIX, Linux, OS X, Microsoft Windows, NetBSD, Novell NetWare, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris, OS/2 Warp, QNX, Oracle Solaris, Symbian, SunOS, SCO OpenServer, SCO UnixWare, Sanos and Tru64. A port of MySQL to OpenVMS also exits. Note that SQL Server from Microsoft only runs in Windows.
MySQL is written in C and C++. Its SQL parser is written in yacc, but it uses a home-brewed lexical analyzer. Many programming languages with language-specific APIs include libraries for accessing MySQL databases. These include MySQL Connector/Net for integration with Microsoft’s Visual Studio (languages such as C# and VB are most commonly used) and the JDBC driver for Java. In addition, an ODBC interface called MyODBC allows additional programming languages that support the ODBC interface to communicate with a MySQL database, such as ASP or ColdFusion. The HTSQL – URL-based query method also ships with a MySQL adapter, allowing direct interaction between a MySQL database and any web client via structured URLs.
You can learn more about MySQL here.