Join David Powers for an in-depth discussion in this video Why use phpMyAdmin?, part of Learning phpMyAdmin.
- Before diving into the details of phpMyAdmin, let's consider why you might want to use it. phpMyAdmin is a database management tool for MySQL compatible databases. The current version of phpMyAdmin, at the time of this recording, supports MySQL 5.5 or later. If you're using MySQL 5.0-5.4, you need to use phpMyAdmin 4.0. The current version of phpMyAdmin also supports MariaDB 5.5 or later.
MariaDB is a fork of MySQL that's provided as a drop-in replacement for MySQL in some Linux distributions. It's fully compatible with MySQL, but has some extra features. You can also use phpMyAdmin to administer Drizzle, which is a cut-back version of MySQL optimized for cloud infrastructure and web applications. This course is based on using phpMyAdmin with MySQL 5.6, but most features should work identically with MariaDB and Drizzle.
Beginners often ask where they can find their database file to upload to their web server. With MySQL-compatible databases, there isn't a single self-contained file. That's because MySQL isn't a database, it's a database management system. Each database consists of multiple files, with the structure for each table in a file of its own, and the data stored elsewhere. Depending on how the server is configured, and the storage engine being used, the data can either be in a large common file known as a tablespace, or in separate files.
Even if you can locate all these files, you can't simply upload them to the server in the same way as webpages or images while the server is running. The normal procedure is to create what's known as a dump file, and use that to update the database without taking the server offline. The traditional way to interact with MySQL is by working at the command line, in a command prompt or terminal window, because MySQL doesn't have a built-in graphical user interface.
You need to know all of the basic commands by heart, and even if you're an expert, it's easy to make a mistake in a long command without realizing, and have to start again. That's why most people opt to use a graphical front-end for MySQL. There are more than a dozen available. So why choose phpMyAdmin? First of all, because it's free and open source. It lacks some of the polish of commercial offerings, but it's stable and well supported. It started as a relatively small project in 1998, but is frequently updated by an active development team of nine.
It has a full range of features for administering MySQL databases, including creating or defining tables, as well as inserting, updating, and deleting data. It also helps you analyze and optimize performance. But perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for using phpMyAdmin is that many hosting companies supply it as the default way to administer MySQL. Used together with a local installation of MySQL, phpMyAdmin makes it easy to test your database structure and queries before going live on the internet.
And it solves the problem of transferring databases from one server to another without worrying about the underlying file structure.
Updated for phpMyAdmin 4.5, this introductory course shows designers and developers how to set up local user accounts, create a database, and design tables. Author David Powers also explains how to import data from CSV files, spreadsheets, and SQL dump files, and how to export data for backup or to transfer to another database. You'll also learn how to run database queries within its intuitive form-based interface, and monitor server performance.
- Why use phpMyAdmin?
- Setting up a user account
- Creating a database
- Choosing the right column types for tables
- Inserting data manually
- Importing and exporting data
- Dealing with foreign keys
- Building and running queries
- Creating views
- Creating stored procedures and functions
- Checking performance
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 02/16/2016. What changed?
A: We added five new tutorials to cover changes in phpMyAdmin 4.5. This includes changes to variables with bookmarks and named query parameters, and features such as the new Console options and syntax checker.