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MySQL and Moodle

What is MySQL?

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Its name is a combination of “My”, the name of co-founder Michael Widenius’s daughter, and “SQL”, the abbreviation for Structured Query Language.

How good is MySQL? Well, it powers Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber, PayPal, Netflix, and YouTube to name just a few – so it’s definitely up to the job of powering Moodle 😉


MySQL is free and open-source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License, and is also available under a variety of proprietary licenses (mainly for large enterprises).

MySQL was owned and sponsored by the Swedish company MySQL AB, which was bought by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle Corporation).

In 2010, when Oracle acquired Sun, Michael Widenius forked the open-source MySQL project to create MariaDB.

This was because of concerns that Oracle (a big database company already) might restrict the development of MySQL, at least at the larger scale, or even the open source community version, as it could compete with the existing Oracle product line.

We haven’t really seen this, but many people are now looking to MariaDB as the preferred option for Moodle.

That said, the new version of MySQL, MySQL 8.0, is up to twice as fast as the previous version – which is a huge performance increase.

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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