MySQL (MariaDB)

Been an interesting few days! I have a little project that would seem to benefit from having a database instead of just a spreadsheet but it’s a few years (15+) since I’ve played with databases. The last one I used with any confidence was on the Atari 520ST and this was a fully relational DB with it’s own (non standard) DML (Database Markup Language), I used to be pretty good with this but then Microsoft Access came along and I sort of got into it but that was a long time ago. The budget doesn’t stretch to MS Access so I’ve been looking at “Open Source” and this led me to MYSQL. I’m aware of it because I administer WordPress websites but TBH I haven’t really got into MYSQL. I downloaded a few MySQL offerings and was underwhelmed, I got the feeling that “there be dragons in there” 🙂 I was expecting something like MS Access where you could create tables and basically expected a “Frontend” facility where I could just enter data but I was presented with a confusing display which my old brain didn’t understand!

As I have access to a CentOS 7 server on my LAN, I decided to install MYSQL on the server and this went very well. I managed to connect to the database on my server from my Win 10 box using HeidiSQL (MariaDB) and VFront and then discovered that my fav CentOS admin tool (Webmin) could help me with administering the MYSQL database. That was a turning point, I could create tables and define fields and even enter data but it doesn’t have the “Import from CSV option” So back to Heidi (Dev stopped in 2010) and I can import CSV files, it works beautifully. I can now create a speadsheet with all the fields that I need and then save it as a CSV, which can be imported into MYSQL via Heidi. Bit more learning to do but in principle I have the tools I need to achieve the requirements of the project. It’s possible that I only really need a speadsheet but having the database option is icing on the cake.