January 2004 Technical Tip Getting Started with MySQL

MySQL is a popular DBMS, particularly for data driven web sites using PHP (PHP stands for hypertext preprocessor and is used for server-side scripting.) This month I will show you how to set up and use MySQL. (Note: I am using Microsoft XP Home edition.)

Getting MySQL

  • Although available as a single package, MySQL is often found bundled with Apache webserver and PHP: I downloaded the trio as minixampp-win32-1.2.zip from http://www.apachefriends.org/wampp-en.html and unzipped minixampp-win32-1.2.zip into c:\minixampp
  • Open a command prompt window by choosing Start > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
  • Go to the unzipped folder by typing cd\minixampp
  • Configure the trio by executing the batch file setup_xampp.bat

Starting the MySQL server

  • Still within the command prompt window, and still within the unzipped folder, execute the batch file mysql_start.bat
  • Do not close the window while the MySQL server is running (you can minimize it, but do not close it.)

Executing MySQL

  • Open another command prompt window.
  • Type cd\minixampp\mysql\bin and press Enter.
  • Type mysql and press Enter.
  • Note the MySQL prompt is mysql>
  • MySQL commands can be entered over multiple lines. All commands must end with a semicolon.

Some MySQL commands

  • The following should be self-explanatory if you know SQL. If you don't know SQL, then give us a call (a shameless plug!)
    • show databases;
    • create database mydatabase;
    • use mydatabase;
    • create table mytable (name char(10), age int(2), gender char(1));
    • insert into mytable values ('William', 21, 'M');
    • insert into mytable values ('Cora', 19, 'F');
    • insert into mytable values ('Hannah', 15, 'F');
    • insert into mytable values ('Emma', 13, 'F');
    • update mytable set age = age + 1 where name = 'Emma';
    • select * from mytable;
      +---------+------+--------+
      | name    | age  | gender |
      +---------+------+--------+
      | William |   21 | M      |
      | Cora    |   19 | F      |
      | Hannah  |   15 | F      |
      | Emma    |   14 | F      |
      +---------+------+--------+
      
    • quit;

Stopping the MySQL server

  • Open another command prompt window.
  • Type cd\minixampp and press Enter.
  • Type mysql_stop.bat and press Enter.
  • You can now close all open Command Prompt windows.

Learning more

Looking ahead

  • Be sure to check back next month when I will show you how to access MySQL databases from Java!

Go to the articles index. Written by Bill Qualls. Copyright 2004 by Caliber Data Training 800.938.1222