For those of you who don’t know, MySQL is an open-source DataBase server. Being that it’s open-source, it’s also free. That’s about as low-cost as you can get. Of course, you may ask ‘Why use MySQL’? Did you read the previous sentences?? It’s free, as well as being a fairly robust database server!
To be able to use MySQL, there are a couple of downloads that must be done:
MySQL ODBC Driver
The Database Server (MySQL), itself can be downloaded here: http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/4.0.html
The Driver (for Windows) can be downloaded here:http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/odbc/3.51.html
The biggest hurdle in using MySQL, is the setup – much like many other users of MSDE have found out. Without a user interface, it’s quite cumbersome, requiring a command prompt to do all the work. Here’s the best page I’ve found so far to take you, step-by-step through this process:
Now, once this is all set up – guess what – you have no data. If you want, the above installation page will also help you get started creating databases, tables and fields for your sample data. But, if you want a much quicker way to populate your database server, so you can get started, AugustWind Software has user interface for MySQL called Data Management Toolkit. Check it out here