How To Create And Maintain A MySQL Database
July 16, 2013
•IADT General, Web Design and Development
• 0 Comments
Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube all have one thing in common: MySQL.
Each of these popular webpages runs on a MySQL database. It’s one of the most popular databases in Web applications. MySQL is an open source relational database management system that runs as a server, providing multi-user access to a number of databases. This access makes it an essential tool for the function of your favorite social networks.
MySQL might be used by advanced Websites, but you can also construct and maintain your own MySQL database with these tips:
Start by creating a database schema.
Phillip Pace, account manager at the Web hosting company Anchor, recommends using normalization to create your schema. This structure allows you to create tables that help break up, manage and understand data. It also allows you to organize by creating keys that code your data.
Begin by generating a list of all possible types of data you might want to collect for your database. Use these three steps of normalization to eliminate repetition of information:
- First Normal Form: Create separate tables for related data.
- Second Normal Form: Be sure all fields in your table are entirely related to your primary keys.
- Third Normal Form: Break down your tables into any further fields, if necessary.
Then, form relationships between your tables.
MySQL databases work because users can navigate the data relationally. Once your data has been broken down into tables and defined by keys, you must form relationships. This can be done by simply joining the records from one table to another.
Types of relationships include:
- One on One
- One to Many
- Many to Many
Pace points out that when you clearly construct and define relationships, you optimize your database. Optimization may allow you to quickly find the information you need to extract from your database.
Periodically, you'll want to do maintenance on your database.
Researchers at Experian®, a global analytics and marketing company, published a marketing service report in 2011 regarding best practices for creating and maintaining a clean database.
Their finds show that to maintain a proficient database, you must provide continuous and systematic follow-up. Active maintenance allows you to not only keep your database clean but also better understand it. They recommend six steps for maintaining your database:
- Understand your data. When you are actively maintaining your data, you will become more familiar with it. Learning what is being stored in your database may provide you with better insight into the condition of its data.
- Clean existing data. Cleaning your existing data allows future data to be filtered in better, more organized ways.
- Remove duplicate records. Continuing to eliminate repeating information could allow your database to run more efficiently. This might provide you with a better sense of your data and how your audience is using it.
- Enhance and update data. Depending on your reasons for collecting this data, you may be able to analyze your results, enhancing how you use your data and what you may look for in the future.
- Verify data at capture points. If your database only seeks out accurate, relevant data at its capture points, you may not need to clean it regularly. It will only be storing what you need it to keep.
- Enhance, update and learn. Make sure your maintenance efforts are continuous and regular.
MySQL is only one of many types of databases. Though it can be used to create web applications and maintain websites, it might not be suited to you interests. Learn more about database structures and how to construct them at IADT.