Skip to main content

MySQL is a DBMS, or database management system. It is developed, supported and distributed by Oracle, but since it is open-source it is freely available to anyone under the GPL. MySQL databases are relational, meaning that the data is split up between tables. MySQL is very fast and lightweight so you can run it alongside your other applications on a desktop or laptop. It can also be scaled up to take advantage of all the CPU power and memory available on a dedicated machine. MySQL is constantly being updated and developed to include a wide array of useful and rich functions. This path will guide you through the basics of SQL and introduce MySQL relational databases, and by the end you'll be confident in creating and administering your very own database.


MySQL was created by a Swedish company, MySQL AB, founded by DAVID AXMARK, Allan Larsson and MICHAEL WIDENIUS. Original development of MySQL by Widenius and Axmark began in 1994.The first version of MySQL appeared on 23 May 1995. It was initially created for personal usage from mSQL based on the low-level language ISAM, which the creators considered too slow and inflexible. They created a new SQL interface, while keeping the same API as mSQL. By keeping the API consistent with the mSQL system, many developers were able to use MySQL instead of the (proprietarily licensed) mSQL antecedent.

The 3.19 MySQL version history dates to the end of 1996 from  And the next big leap in MySQL server version history was 4.0, released on March 2003.  MySQL AB was later acquired by Sun which was in turn acquired by Oracle Corporation. Currently, MySQL server is developed, updated and maintained by Oracle Corporation and 8.0 version is the latest MySQL version released on April 19, 2018. You can check the MySQL version, configuration, and RunTime variables through one command.


Release General availability Latest minor version Latest release End of support
5.1 14 November 2008; 12 years ago 5.1.73 2013-12-03 Dec 2013
5.5 3 December 2010; 10 years ago 5.5.62 2018-10-22 Dec 2018
5.6 5 February 2013; 7 years ago 5.6.50 2020-10-19 Feb 2021
5.7 21 October 2015; 5 years ago  5.7.32 2020-10-19 Oct 2023
8.0 19 April 2018; 2 years ago  8.0.22 2020-10-19 Apr 2026


  • 23 May 1995 - First internal release
  • Year 1996 - Version 3
    • Simple CRUD operations
  • January 1997 Windows version was released on 8 January 1998 for Windows 95 and NT
  • Production release 1998, from
  • Year 2002 - Version 4
    • MyISAM
    • Unions
    • Tracking
    • B-trees
    • Subqueries
    • Prepared statements
  • Year 2005 - Version 5.0
    • Cursors, stored procedures, triggers, views,
    • Federated Storage Engine
    • Event scheduler, partitioning, plugin API, row-based replication, server log tables
    • Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems on 27 January 2010.
    • The default storage engine is InnoDB, which supports transactions and referential integrity constraints.
    • Amazon RDS Cloud was first released on October 2009, supporting MySQL databases.
  • Year 2013 - Version 5.6
    • Query optimizer, higher transactional throughput in InnoDB,
    • Improvements to partitioning for querying and managing very large tables, 
    • TIMESTAMP column type that correctly stores milliseconds, improvements to replication, and better performance monitoring by expanding the data available through the PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA. 
    • The InnoDB storage engine also included support for full-text search and improved group commit performance.
  • Year 2015- Version 5.7
    • MySQL supports a native JSON data type.
    • Tablespace.
  • Year 2018 -MySQL Server 8.0
    • Oncluding NoSQL Document Store
    • Atomic and crash safe DDL sentences.
    • Window Function and CTE.
  • March 2018 Azure MYSQL DB.

First Lawsuit

MySQL AB also faced its first major lawsuit in June 2001 when it was sued by NuSphere in US District Court in Boston. The charges included violation of third party contracts and unfair competition. In repose, MySQL AB sued NuSphere in 2002 for copyright and trademark infringement. Both companies reached at a settlement after preliminary hearing on 27 February 2002. 

Shift in Strategy

The platform continued to gain popularity and by the end of 2003, it could boast total revenue of $12 million with 4 million active installations. In 2004, the company decided to focus more on recurring end user revenue instead of one-time licensing fee. The strategy proved to be profitable and the year ended with net revenue of $20 million. 

What you can find in this article: 

  • Oracle’s Acquisition of Innobase
  • Further Acquisitions of Oracle
  • MySQL Acquired by Sun Microsystems
  • Oracle’s Acquisition of Sun and MySQL
  • MySQL Forks
  • MySQL and Cloud Computing

Key Points

MySQL is written in C and C++. Its SQL parser is written in yacc, but it uses a home-brewed lexical analyzer. MySQL works on many system platforms, including AIX, BSDi, FreeBSD, HP- UX,  ArcaOS, eCOMstation, i5OSIRIX, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, NetBSD, NovellNetWare, OpenBSD, OpenSolaries, OS/2 Warp, QNX, Oracle Solaries , Symbian, SunOS, SCO Open Server, SCO UnixWare, Sanos and Tru64. A port of MySQL to OpenVMS also exists.

The MySQL server software itself and the client libraries use dual-licensing distribution. They are offered under GPL version 2, or a proprietary license.

Support can be obtained from the official manual. Free support additionally is available in different IRC channels and forums. Oracle offers paid support via its MySQL Enterprise products. They differ in the scope of services and in price. Additionally, a number of third party organisations exist to provide support and services.

MySQL has received positive reviews, and reviewers noticed it "performs extremely well in the average case" and that the "developer interfaces are there, and the documentation (not to mention feedback in the real world via Web sites and the like) is very, very good". It has also been tested to be a "fast, stable and true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL database server.

Submitted by shiksha.dahiya on January 27, 2021

Shiksha is working as a Data Scientist at iVagus. She has expertise in Data Science and Machine Learning.


Elix is a premium wordpress theme for portfolio, freelancer, design agencies and a wide range of other design institutions.