Ok, I need help with setting up a MySQL server. I do admit, I have no experience with it, and I have tried to install and set one up on my own. But currently, I am lost. Could anyone give me a step by step walkthrough on setting one up? Or at least direct me to one? Also, what exactly are the benefits of running it as MySQL as opposed to Flatfile? Any help would be appreciated.
What do you mean 'use' it? There are instructions with bukkit on how to set up your server to use MySQL, I believe there are some server.properties variables that you'll need to adjust.
You asked how to set up a mysql server, that's what I answered. If you're wanting support for craftbukkit, you'd be best off checking their forum and posting over there. I'm sure there are tutorials and people there who know much more about it and would be able to help further.
MySQL is just a way to store data. CraftBukkit by default stores information in flatfiles (.txt) - If you set it to use MySQL it'll use a database and tables to store information for things like groups, users, kits and some plugin options.
If you're wanting support for craftbukkit, you'd be best off checking their forum and posting over there. I'm sure there are tutorials and people there who know much more about it and would be able to help further.
I'm pretty sure this is all you need to read to know what to do.
The benefit of MySQL over a flatfile source with large amounts of data is MySQL is designed to handle large amounts of data. Databases love data. Flatfiles don't care, and proprietary parsers in the server software will likely be much, much slower when you're dealing with large amounts of data.
Oh and why is it beneficial for it to be a database for large pop? Does it allow others to modify the files?
It's really only beneficial if you know what you are doing. Given your lack of knowledge in the whole database area, I would highly suggest you just stick with the flatfile. SQL in any form isn't to be taken lightly.
I'm trying to make it possible for my admins in my server to directly modify my server files, but I'm not sure if it would be beneficial, or even needed.
Quite a few issues with this.
While mysql does make it easier to build web-based tools for the manipulation, it does require a bit of knowledge on the owners part in case someone ****s something up, or the tools themselves **** up. Given your state of knowledge, I wouldn't recommend you attempt that route as you don't have the knowledge to deal with anything that may arise such as fixing problems or preventing abuse by use of an authentication system for said tool...
You really are attempting to bite off more than you can chew... I would recommend you just have your ops make suggestions to you on what they are looking to adjust it and you just make the changes in the flatfiles yourself.
Your best bet is to set up a basic WAMP install. This is for Windows and will give you Apache MySql and PHP. Apache is used for hosting a web server. MySql is the database software you're trying to learn. PHP is a server-side scripting language that is useful for accessing MySql. Once you install WAMP you should get a utility like PHPMyAdmin to modify databases and their corresponding tables.