MariaDB – Introduction

A database application exists separate from the main application and stores data collections. Every database employs one or multiple APIs to create, access, manage, search, and replicate the data it contains.

Databases also use non-relational data sources such as objects or files. However, databases prove the best option for large datasets, which would suffer from slow retrieval and writing with other data sources.

Relational database management systems, or RDBMS, store data in various tables. Relationships between these tables are established using primary keys and foreign keys.

RDBMS offers the following features −

  • They enable you to implement a data source with tables, columns, and indices.
  • They ensure the integrity of references across rows of multiple tables.
  • They automatically update indices.
  • They interpret SQL queries and operations in manipulating or sourcing data from tables.

RDBMS Terminology

Before we begin our discussion of MariaDB, let us review a few terms related to databases.

  • Database − A database is a data source consisting of tables holding related data.
  • Table − A table, meaning a spreadsheet, is a matrix containing data.
  • Column − A column, meaning data element, is a structure holding data of one type; for example, shipping dates.
  • Row − A row is a structure grouping related data; for example, data for a customer. It is also known as a tuple, entry, or record.
  • Redundancy − This term refers to storing data twice in order to accelerate the system.
  • Primary Key − This refers to a unique, identifying value. This value cannot appear twice within a table, and there is only one row associated with it.
  • Foreign Key − A foreign key serves as a link between two tables.
  • Compound Key − A compound key, or composite key, is a key that refers to multiple columns. It refers to multiple columns due to a column lacking a unique quality.
  • Index − An index is virtually identical to the index of a book.
  • Referential Integrity − This term refers to ensuring all foreign key values point to existing rows.

MariaDB Database

MariaDB is a popular fork of MySQL created by MySQL’s original developers. It grew out of concerns related to MySQL’s acquisition by Oracle. It offers support for both small data processing tasks and enterprise needs. It aims to be a drop-in replacement for MySQL requiring only a simple uninstall of MySQL and an install of MariaDB. MariaDB offers the same features as MySQL and much more.

Key Features of MariaDB

The important features of MariaDB are −

  • All of MariaDB is under GPL, LGPL, or BSD.
  • MariaDB includes a wide selection of storage engines, including high-performance storage engines, for working with other RDBMS data sources.
  • MariaDB uses a standard and popular querying language.
  • MariaDB runs on a number of operating systems and supports a wide variety of programming languages.
  • MariaDB offers support for PHP, one of the most popular web development languages.
  • MariaDB offers Galera cluster technology.
  • MariaDB also offers many operations and commands unavailable in MySQL, and eliminates/replaces features impacting performance negatively.

Getting Started

Before you begin this tutorial, make sure you have some basic knowledge of PHP and HTML, specifically material discussed in our PHP and HTML tutorials.

This guide focuses on the use of MariaDB in a PHP environment, so our examples will be most useful for PHP developers.

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