"Doug Parker" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> i was wondering
> if there is anything i'm not thinking of that perhaps would push me to
> favor using php and mysql instead of the plain old text file.

It sounds like you're basically asking why one would want to use a
relational database.  Standardization, speed and flexibility for starters.
MySQL and many other databases use the SQL language for accessing db data.
If your dataset is large a SQL statement to return records from indexed
tables will be much faster than code at the application level.  And a
relational database allows you to store data in separate logical tables
instead of one large table - for example tables of products, inventory,
customers and orders.  Using SQL to query these tables to find out something
like the quantity and total revenue of widgets sold in August to customers
in New Jersey whose company name begins with R would be much easier with a
relational database than 1 or more text file datasets.  There are many other
benefits, though that's not to say that text files aren't sufficient for
your current needs.  I recommend reading about relational database online or
in a book and playing with one of the more popular open source databases
such as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

Steve Werby
President, Befriend Internet Services LLC

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