This chapter provides an introduction to the MySQL relational database management system (RDBMS) and to the Structured Query Language (SQL) that MySQL understands. It lays out basic terms and concepts you should understand, describes the sample database we'll use for examples throughout the book, and serves as a tutorial that shows you how to use MySQL to create a database and interact with it.
Begin here if you are new to databases and perhaps uncertain whether or not you need one or can use one. You should also read the chapter if you don't know anything about MySQL or SQL and need an introductory guide to get started. Readers who have experience with MySQL or with database systems might want to skim through the material. However, everybody should read the "A Sample Database" section to become familiar with the purpose and contents of the sampdb database that is used repeatedly throughout the book.