History of MySQL
MySQL started out with the intention of using the mSQL database system to connect tables to fast low-level (ISAM) routines. However, after some testing, developers came to the conclusion that mSQL was not fast enough or flexible enough for their needs. This resulted in a new SQL interface to their databases but with almost the same API interface as mSQL. This API was designed to allow third-party code that was written for use with mSQL to be ported easily for use with MySQL.
MySQL is named after co-founder Monty Widenius's daughter, My. The name of the MySQL Dolphin is “Sakila,” which was chosen by the founders of MySQL AB from a huge list of names suggested by users in the “Name the Dolphin” contest. The winning name was submitted by Ambrose Twebaze, an Open Source software developer from Swaziland, Africa. According to Ambrose, the feminine name Sakila has its roots in SiSwati, the local language of Swaziland. Sakila is also the name of a town in Arusha, Tanzania, near Ambrose's country of origin, Uganda. 1
MySQL  is an open source relational database. It is presently installed on over six million systems and has an average download rate of 40,000 downloads a day.
Three key features of MySQL are reliability, performance, and ease of use. Reliability is a feature that means the system is constantly up. Performance deals with the responsiveness of the database with user interaction. Ease of use is self-explanatory, meaning that the system is easy to install and maintain.
MySQL adheres the ANSI[http://www.ansi.com SQL 2003 specification. ANSI is the American National Standards Institute that sets the specification for the code of Structured Query Language (SQL). In addition to SQL, MySQL also has the ability to do if, else statements and while/looping statements.
MySQL also supports many languages to build front ends to connect to the database. These languages include PHP, Perl, Java, and .NET.
MySQL 5.0 offers much help in creating a data dictionary. Through a new program called information_schema, the data dictionary work is already done for you.
What sets MySQL apart from other RDBMSes? - Multiple storage engines, this enables you to choose which is most effective for your application
- Native storage engines (MyISAM, Falcon, Merge, Memory (heap), Federated, Archive, CSV, Blackhole, Cluster, BDB, EXAMPLE)
- Partner-developed storage engines (InnoDB, solidDB, NitroEDB, BrightHouse)
- Community-developed storage engines (memcached, httpd, PBXT)
- Custom storage engines
- Commit grouping, gathering multiple transactions from multiple connections together to increase the number of commits per second.
Below is a list of users that have implemented MySQL in their businesses.