As Web sites and Web-based applications become more important to commercial firms and other organizations, so too does the methods used for storing data online, such as customer contact information, system login details, product data, and much more. Rewritable flat files may be sufficient for extremely limited data for which security is not an issue. But for most Web sites and applications, a robust database is called for.
There are several relational database management systems (RDBMSs) from which you the developer can choose, ranging from expensive systems that can prove quite difficult to administer, to free and open source alternatives that may not have as many features as the proprietary RDBMSs, but can be much faster to set up and work with. Of these, MySQL is the hands-down favorite.
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