Getting Started with Web Development: Intro to MySql

Approx Time: 16 Minutes

Rishabh Pandey • April 5, 2021


MySQL is a database management software. A database is a structured collection of data, organized in ways to make common operations like searching and retrieving data, very efficient.

SQL is structured query language. MySQL is an open source implementation of SQL.

SQL Keywords: - Database - A container of relevant MySQL data and tables. - Table - A container for actual data. A table is a collection of rows and columns. Tables are also known as entities or relations. - Rows - A row or record contains data for a single item or record in a table. - Columns - A column or field contains data for a specific characteristic of the records in the table. - Relationships - A link between two tables. - Datatypes - A column can only contain values of the same datatype example: int, varchar, text etc. - Keys - Primary Keys - This is a unique identifier (a column) for a table used for efficient searching. - Foreign Keys - This is a link to another table’s primary key, used to establish a relationship between tables.

Creating a database

To be able to work with MySQL we need to create a database where we can store our tables.


After creating the database we need to specify which database to use.

USE sql_class;

Creating Users

MySQL has a very sophisticated access control system. There is a ‘root’ user which can access everything on MySQL. Root user is created when we install mysql. We should create a new user with every database and only allow access to the database to the new user.

> CREATE USER 'newuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; > GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON database_name.* TO 'newuser'@'localhost'; > FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

List of privileges * ALL PRIVILEGES- as we saw previously, this would allow a MySQL user full access to a designated database (or if no database is selected, global access across the system) * CREATE- allows them to create new tables or databases * DROP- allows them to them to delete tables or databases * DELETE- allows them to delete rows from tables * INSERT- allows them to insert rows into tables * SELECT- allows them to use the SELECT command to read through databases * UPDATE- allow them to update table rows * GRANT OPTION- allows them to grant or remove other users’ privileges

// allow/grant certain privilege
> GRANT type_of_permission ON database_name.table_name TO ‘username’@'localhost’;

// remove/revoke certain privilege
> REVOKE type_of_permission ON database_name.table_name FROM ‘username’@‘localhost’;

Creating a table

A table is a single entity like a user or blog_post and can have all data related to the entity.

> CREATE TABLE users ( id int auto_increment, name VARCHAR(128), title VARCHAR(128), type VARCHAR(16), birth_year CHAR(4), primary key(id) ) ENGINE MyISAM; // Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.03 sec) > DESC users; // shows table definition

Each column has the following info, - Field - name of each field or column - Type - datatype being stored in the field. - Null - Whether the field is allowed to contain a value of NULL. - Key - shows what type of key (if any) has been applied. - Default - default value that will be assigned if no value is specified . - Extra Additional information like auto_increment or CURRENT_TIMESTAMP.

Data types

Some basic types are as follows:

Numeric Types: - INT - A standard integer - BIGINT - A large integer - DECIMAL - A fixed-point number - DOUBLE - A double-precision floating point number - BIT - A bit field

String Types: - CHAR - A fixed-length nonbinary (character) string, - VARCHAR - A variable-length non-binary string - BINARY - A fixed-length binary string - BLOB - A small BLOB
- TEXT - A small non-binary string - ENUM - An enumeration; each column value may be assigned one enumeration member - SET - A set; each column value may be assigned zero or more SET members

Date and Time Types: - DATE - A date value in CCYY-MM-DD format - TIME - A time value in hh:mm:ss format - DATETIME - A date and time value inCCYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ssformat - TIMESTAMP - A timestamp value in CCYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss format - YEAR - A year value in CCYY or YY format

Inserting Records

INSERT INTO users(name, title, type, birth_year) VALUES('Rish', 'Coder', 'Senior', 1995); INSERT INTO users(name, title, type, birth_year) VALUES('Rishabh', 'COO', 'Management', 1991);

Alter Table

// rename table name
ALTER TABLE users RENAME user_info;

// change column name and datatype
ALTER TABLE user_info CHANGE type occupation varchar(50)

// add new coloumn
ALTER TABLE user_info ADD type varchar(50);

// remove column
ALTER TABLE user_info DROP occupation;

Delete Table

// deleting table data TRUNCATE user_info; // delete or drop table DROP user_info;

Querying a database

// get all data SELECT * FROM user_info; // get specific column SELECT birth_year from user_info; // get count of all records SELECT COUNT(*) from user_info; // get disctinct/non-duplicate records SELECT DISTINCT(title) from user_info;

// delete all data same as truncate DELETE FROM user_info; DELETE FROM user_INFO WHERE name = 'Rish';

// We can do arithmetic (>, <, >=, <=, =, !=) SELECT * FROM user_info WHERE id > 1; // LIKE is used for string matching SELECT * FROM user_info WHERE name LIKE 'RISH'; // LIKE with % is used to match substring, // % is here substituted for, ends with any string SELECT * FROM user_info WHERE name LIKE 'RISH%';

// Returns first 2 rows SELECT * FROM user_info LIMIT 2; // Returns 2 row after the first row (skips 1st) SELECT * FROM user_info LIMIT 1,2;

SELECT * FROM user_info ORDER BY birth_year; // Descending order SELECT * FROM user_info ORDER BY birth_year DESC;

// AS is used to give alias to a result row SELECT count(*) AS Total, birth_year FROM user_info GROUP BY birth_year;

Update Records

UPDATE user_info SET name='Rishabh' where id = 1; UPDATE user_info SET name='Rishabh' where birth_year > 2000;

We can also use limit, order by and group by with update as well.

Joins SQL is a RDBMS or Relational Database Management System. All data is stored using tables and relations between these tables.

Let’s create another table,

CREATE TABLE payments( id INT AUTO_INCREMENT, total_price DOUBLE NOT NULL, user_id INT, PRIMARY KEY (id), FOREIGN KEY (user_id) REFERENCES user_info(id) )ENGINE MyISAM;

Now this table has a relation to the user_info table via foreign key use_id.

We can use joins to get the data for a related table.

// basic join SELECT, payments.total_price from user_info,payments WHERE = payments.user_id; // JOIN ON SELECT, payments.total_price from user_info JOIN payments ON = payments.user_id; // JOIN with WHERE SELECT, payments.total_price from user_info JOIN payments ON = payments.user_id WHERE = 'Rish';

Normalization and Basics of Good DB Design

Normalization is the process of separating data into tables to make the database more efficient and avoid duplication.

There are many normal forms in database design, we will learn about the first three as they are most important and apply everywhere.

This largely deals with removing duplication and redundancy in multiple columns.


ID   Name   Courses
1    A      c1, c2
2    E      c3
3    M      C2, c3

Normalized - no multivalued cols

ID   Name   Course
1    A       c1
1    A       c2
2    E       c3
3    M       c2
3    M       c3

Partial Dependency occur when non prime attribute depends on the subset/part of candidates key (more than one primary key).

A candidate key is a column, or set of columns, in a table that can uniquely identify any database record without referring to any other data. Each table may have one or more candidate keys, but one candidate key is unique, and it is called the primary key.


Say we have a table: Sellers (Id, Product, Price)

For this table we have, Candidate Key: Id, Product Non prime attribute : Price

Price attribute only depends on only Product attribute which is a subset of candidate key, not the whole candidate key(Id, Product) key. It is called partial dependency.

So we can say that Product->Price is partial dependency. Creating another table with Product and Price will normalize this table in 2NF.

Data that is not dependent on primary key but that is dependent on another column should be moved to separate table.

Example: We have another table Students (id, name, state, country, age)

Here the country does not depend directly on the id but depends on the state. So we need to create another table to normalize this into 3NF.

Students (id, name, state, age) State_Country (state, country)

Another way to look at this is, id->state and state->country. Therefore, country is transitively dependent on id, and it violates 3NF.


Think of the following case,

In situations like these, we have to make sure that all of the operations were successful. If let’s say the amount deduction failed, we can’t continue with the purchase and delivery. Not only is the order of queries is important in this transaction, but it is also vital that all parts of the transaction complete successfully.

To handle such cases we have Transactions in MySQL.

MySQL with PHP

PHP and MySQL are a perfect pair. In most web applications we need to use some kind of persistence to store the user’s data. Databases and MySQL are the perfect solution for all our persistence needs as a web developer.

To work with a MySQL database in PHP, the process is - Connect to MySQL - Select the database - Perform Query - Retrieve results and output - Disconnect

Connecting to a Database

<?php $dbhost = 'localhost'; $dbuser = 'user'; $dbpass = 'pass'; $dbname = 'sqltest'; // establish connection $connection = new mysqli($dbhost, $dbuser, $dbpass, $dbname); // Check connection if ($connection->connect_errno) { echo "Failed to connect to MySQL: " . $connection->connect_error; exit(); } $connection->close();

Create a Table

<?php // connect to db // sql to create table $sql = <<<EOD CREATE TABLE addresses ( id INT(6) UNSIGNED AUTO_INCREMENT PRIMARY KEY, street VARCHAR(30) NOT NULL, zip VARCHAR(8) NOT NULL, created_at TIMESTAMP DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP, updated_at TIMESTAMP DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP ON UPDATE CURRENT_TIMESTAMP ) EOD; if ($conn->query($sql) === TRUE) { echo "Table created successfully"; } else { echo "Error creating table: " . $conn->error; } $conn->close();

Perform Query

// connect to db ... $query = 'SELECT * FROM user_info'; // Perform query to get count if ($result = $connection->query($query)){ echo "Returned rows are: " . $result -> num_rows; // Free result set $result->free_result(); } // Print data if ($result = $connection->query($sql)) { while ($row = $result->fetch_assoc()) { printf ("%s (%s)\n", $row['name'], $row['title']); } $result->free_result(); } $mysqli -> close();

Insert Data

// connect to db $sql = "INSERT INTO addresses (firstname, lastname, email) VALUES ('John', 'Doe', '')"; if ($connection->query($sql) === TRUE) { $last_id = $connection->insert_id; echo "New record created successfully with id:$last_id"; } else { echo "Error: " . $sql . "<br>" . $conn->error; }

We can do update and delete similarly.

Using PDO

PDO stands for PHP data objects. PDO is the recommended way of working with databases now, as it works with 12 different databases including MySQL.

<?php $host = 'localhost'; $user = 'user'; $password = 'pass'; $dbname = 'sqltest'; // Set DSN (Data Source Name) $dsn = 'mysql:host=' . $host . ';dbname=' . $dbname; // Create a PDO instance $connection = new PDO($dsn, $user, $password); // Set PDO::FETCH_OBJ as fetch() default attributes // To return records as objects when fetch is called $connection->setAttribute(PDO::ATTR_DEFAULT_FETCH_MODE, PDO::FETCH_OBJ);

// Select all users $stmt = $connection->query('SELECT * FROM user_info'); // Display all names // PDO::FETCH_ASSOC: returns an assoc array indexed by column name as returned in your result set while ($row = $stmt->fetch(PDO::FETCH_ASSOC)) { echo $row['name'] . '<br>'; } while ($row = $stmt->fetch(PDO::FETCH_OBJ)) { echo $row->name . '<br>'; }
  // $sql = "SELECT * FROM posts WHERE author = '$author'";


  // User Input
  $title = 'CEO';
  $limit = 1;

  // Positional Params
  $sql = 'SELECT * FROM user_info WHERE title LIMIT ?';
  $stmt = $connection->prepare($sql);
  $stmt->execute([$title, $limit]);
  $users = $stmt->fetchAll();

  // Named Params
    $sql = 'SELECT * FROM user_info WHERE title = :title';
    $stmt = $connection->prepare($sql);
    $stmt->execute(['title' => $title]);
    $users = $stmt->fetchAll();

    // row count
    $userCount = $stmt->rowCount();

    // print 
  foreach ($users as $users) {
    echo $users->title . '<br>';

    $name = 'Joel Billy';
    $title = 'Rockstar';
    $birthYear = 1993;

    $sql = 'INSERT INTO user_info(name, title, birth_year) VALUES(:name, :title, :birthYear)';
    $stmt = $connection->prepare($sql);
    $stmt->execute(['name' => $name, 'title' => $title, 'birthYear' => $birthYear]);

    echo 'Post Added';


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