When my masteral professor asked me to create a database system through Java and MySQL, I was originally anxious since I had very meager background with these software. But, i used Netbeans 6.1 and MySQL 5.0. These were easier to use although these software do have now recent upgrades.Regardless of the version and environment of SQL, typical functions are the following:
To insert new records into the table
To update or change record information
To remove permanently a record from a table
To view selected records from a given table
My database system, entitled, KSSA General Ledger System was developed in Netbeans 6.1, MySQL 5.0 and iReport 3.0. All these are free for downloads.
For more info with MySQL, you can check their reference manual.