MySQL is their SQL

* How readers are using MySQL

At the end of last week's newsletter about the latest MySQL update, I asked how this open source database is being used among newsletter readers. From the large response, it appears the database is an integral part of many reader's Linux-based server platforms, and runs in a variety of ways.

From an unscientific sample of reader responses, MySQL and open source databases appear to be running a variety of applications in such areas as government, education, enterprise and private/non-profit uses.

According to one reader who develops MySQL on Linux, the platform runs several applications for the National Weather Service. An application using MySQL, running Apache Web server on Penguin Computing Linux servers, allows people to enter a zip code and get their local forecast.

"We database our products, warnings, and local conditions from Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) all using MySQL," says Leon Minton, an IT analysts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It has worked well for us and has since been adopted throughout all the National Weather Service."

Another reader is using MySQL to revamp a school district's scattered database architecture.

"We're using MySQL to rid a school district of nearly 400 Filemaker Pro databases," said another IT professional who wrote in. "It's great stuff!"

MySQL is not the only open source tool in developers' toolboxes, however. One reader says both MySQL and PostgreSQL, as well as Oracle and Microsoft SQL servers all come into play in projects, but "our preferred database platform for complex applications is PostgreSQL for small to midsize enterprises."

Another reader employed MySQL to run a variety of community information portals for art clubs and other organizations to promote events in the North Carolina area: http://Arts.TealRay.com and http://Clubs.TealRay.com.

"It's a service for community organizations to list their organizations (by region or state) and promote their upcoming events (for free)," says Anthony Edwards, moderator for the sites. "MySQL is used to keep track of all the organization groups, events, users, e-mail subscriptions and more."

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