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I am a noob in the world of servers. I understand SQL databases but I don't know how to setup a server. I would like to setup a MySQL server that I can talk to (read/write) from an app that I wrote for the Mac in Objective-c Cocoa.

The app is to be distributed through the Mac App store for free so I am expecting that it will serve thousands of users. The app is to get it's content by querying the MySQL server once a day. I would like the response from the server to be either XML or JSON serialized data.

Is there a service out there that will host my database that you recommend? Also are there any tutorials that you would recommend in setting up a MySQL server?

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For tutorials start with the MySQL documentation. However, you need more than just MySQL because you want the data sent formatted, which necessitates an application running in front of MySQL. –  John Gardeniers Apr 17 '11 at 5:00
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Go with an Amazon micro EC2 instance running MySQL. If it only needs to be up once a day, you can certainly save a ton of instance hours by only firing it up when you need it; data can be persisted with S3 or Elastic Block Storage (EBS). I have a couple of small LAMP apps running 24/7 on micro instances; costs me less than 10 bucks a month, don't have to worry about hardware, have full control, and if your app goes viral or something, Amazon was made to scale (with some work, but at that point, you'll be rolling in dough and can afford it :)

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Hi, I can't use SQLite because I want to periodically update the content displayed by the app. It is a desktop app (client) which will talk to the server for content. I added more info in my question above. Thanks. –  David Apr 17 '11 at 3:53
    
Ok, I will have a look at Amazon EC2. Do you know of any thorough source (ie. turtorial) that I can go through to setup such a system? –  David Apr 17 '11 at 13:22
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