If you are new to relational database management systems (RDBMS), you’ve most likely contemplated on the topic of SQL vs MySQL. Likewise, you’ve often wondered about what is the difference between SQL and MySQL. First of all, you are not alone in this pursuit of clarity and understanding when it comes to these two database technologies.
Therefore in this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into SQL vs MySQL and try our best to give you a better understanding of the difference between SQL and MySQL. And then we’ll take a look at MySQL vs SQL Server. Then we will provide meaningful insight on both database management systems as well as how they can benefit your database storage project.
So let’s dive in!
- What is SQL
- What Is A Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)
- What is MySQL
- Difference Between SQL and MySQL
- SQL vs MySQL – How Do They Stack Up
- MySQL vs SQL Server
- What Is SQL Server?
- Top 4 Differences Between MySQL vs SQL Server
- Benefits of SQL, MySQL and SQL Server
- Final Thoughts
What is SQL
Before going any further, we must define and understand the burning question – What is SQL? Yes, SQL what is it? If you knew, then most likely you won’t be here searching for answers.
So here you go – SQL is an acronym that stands for Structured Query Language. Now, Structured Query Language (SQL) is the defacto standard used in the access as well as manipulation of relational database management systems.
Before we go any further, let’s give some consideration and gain some understanding of what a database management system is.
What Is A Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)
As you may already know, a database is simply a set or group of data stored in a computer system such as a database server. Notably, the data is stored in a structured format for easy access and manipulation.
But you may ask why is the word “relational” used when addressing some database management systems. A database is “relational” if it implements some kind of structure that enables you to locate and access the data stored “in relation” to another set of data stored in the same database.
Hence, this is why we have a relational database management system – a powerful system of organization and storage of data for easy access and cross reference-ability with other sets of data in the database.
What is MySQL
MySQL is one of the most popular relational database management systems available in the marketplace.
Why Is It Used?
So when people often ask what MySQL is and why it is used, the answer is pretty simple: MySQL is an open-source RDBMS that uses SQL for CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations for the access, management and manipulation of the data stored.
What MySQL Means?
In addition to being a popular and reliable RDBMS, the word “MySQL” was coined by one of its founders by the name Michael Widenius. The “My” in MySQL is the name of Mr. Widenius’ daughter and the “SQL” (you already know) standards for Structured Query Language.
How much does MySQL cost?
In fact, MySQL is open source RDBMS and free for download and use. So if you’re wondering if MySQL is free – yes it is. However, there’s an enterprise edition that can be purchased for a fee based on an annual subscription model, support, and maintenance per unit.
Difference Between SQL and MySQL
So what’s the difference between SQL and MySQL? As already stated above, SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it’s the de facto standard programming language for querying databases.
On the other hand, MySQL is a relational database management system. Likewise, it’s similar to other relational database management systems such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, etc.
As such, to put things in perspective, MySQL is a database management system, and you can use SQL to access and manipulate the data stored in MySQL.
SQL vs MySQL – How Do They Stack Up
Next, let’s take a look at some of the features of SQL vs MySQL and see how both of them stack up. First, SQL is a query language that you can use to access and manage the data stored in your MySQL database. While MySQL is is an open-source database management system – the first of its kind in the marketplace.
Therefore, SQL is crucial and allows you to perform CRUD operations against the data stored in a database management system such as MySQL. And CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update and Delete – these are the primary operations that you’ll be performing against the data stored in MySQL at any given time.
Whereas MySQL provides you with a platform for the organization of that data in a meaning and relational way for easy access and manipulation using SQL queries. Bear in mind that SQL does not provide native support for connectors while MySQL comes with an integrated tool known as MySQL workbench. This tool enables you to design the database tables and establish relationships between them.
Consequently, you can use SQL queries to access and manipulate data stored in a MySQL database as well as other database management systems such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, etc. SQL is a standard, and the structure of the language remains the same across most database management systems with little or no modification.
MySQL vs SQL Server
While discussing the differences between SQL and MySQL we mentioned on several instances SQL Server. What is SQL Server? And how does it compare to MySQL?
What Is SQL Server?
SQL Server is a proprietary database management system owned by Microsoft. It is also referred to as Microsoft SQL Server. And it has a long history in the relational database management systems marketplace. It’s among the leading RDBMS out there.
Top 4 Differences Between MySQL vs SQL Server
So let’s now take a look at some of the differences between MySQL and SQL Server:
MySQL vs SQL Server – Security
The importance of security when it comes to data cannot be overstated. And both MySQL and SQL Server provide security measures to ensure data protection and integrity.
However, SQL Server has an edge when it comes to total security features. And this edge is due to the availability of Microsoft’s Baseline Security Analyzer feature.
Furthermore, this feature allows SQL Server database administrators to ensure all updates and security patches are applied in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, MySQL doesn’t have a feature that comes close. But, that is not to say MySQL is not secure – in fact, MySQL powers millions and websites around the world and have been tested and proven over time from a security perspective.
SQL Server vs MySQL – Strengths
When it comes to data storage and referencing that data, MySQL is an excellent option as it’s geared towards accessing and updating data as rapidly as possible. However, it’s a little weaker when it comes to the creation and deletion of data, unlike SQL Server.
Both database management systems provide SQL standard features such as cursors, stored procedures, views, and triggers. But Microsoft SQL Server provides a more feature-rich set of design and development functions and capabilities.
MySQL vs SQL Server – Vendors
Initially, MySQL was owned and promoted by MySQL AB, which was a Swedish company until they got acquired by Oracle. So as of today, MySQL is owned by the Oracle Corporation.
On the other hand, Microsoft Corporation is the owner and promoter of the SQL Server. And SQL Server has a long history of reliability among its enterprise users and as of today is one of the most trust database management systems in the market.
SQL Server vs MySQL – Support
Also, both database management systems enjoy unparalleled maintenance and support from their respective vendors (i.e. Oracle and Microsoft). Oracle’s Virtual MySQL DBA Assistant provides technical support for MySQL issues; while Microsoft has its Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant. This tool makes database migration from other RDBMS such as Sybase, MySQL, Oracle, MS Access, etc. to SQL Server easy with point-and-click efficiency.
Benefits of SQL, MySQL and SQL Server
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of SQL, MySQL, and SQL Server as well as shed some light on the advantages and disadvantage of each database technology.
Advantages and Disadvantage of SQL
As with any technology, some certain advantages and disadvantages exist:
Advantages of SQL
1. Multiple Data Views: SQL allows for the creation of different views of the database structure as well as databases for different users and user groups.
2. Coding Not Required: You don’t need to write complicated or massive quantity of codes with SQL.
3. Language Interactability: The SQL language is an interactive one that is prime for communicating with databases and receiving feedback on complex queries in a matter of seconds.
4. Standardized: SQL is a standard query language recognized by ISO and ANSI.
5. Portability: As a standard, SQL is not limited to any device or operating system – it’s a write-once, run-anywhere type of language.
Disadvantages of SQL
Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of SQL:
1. Proprietary Implementations: Some vendors extend SQL into proprietary implementations that can only run on their promoted database management system software.
2. Lack of Control: Query builders and developers may not have full access to that the database when building and developing their queries.
3. Slight Complexity: Specific queries may be complicated for the average users to understand and master.
Advantages and Disadvantages of MySQL
Are there advantages and disadvantages of MySQL database? You bet there are. While it is arguably one of the most popular RDBMS available, it certainly has advantages and disadvantages. So let’s take a brief look at some of them.
Advantages of MySQL
First of all, let’s discuss some of the advantages of MySQL:
1. Industry Standard: Being one of the most utilized database management systems, MySQL maintains compatibility with literally all operating system platform – from Windows to Unix flavors.
2. Open Source: Industry observers were concerned with the acquisition of MySQL by Oracle thinking that the global software giant would kill the open-source nature of MySQL. However, Oracle has relatively maintained MySQL as an open-source database management system while providing enterprise features to users who opt-in at a cost.
3. Easy of Use: Installation of MySQL is easy breezy and with a plethora of enhancement tools from third-party developers maintaining and managing a MySQL database is very easy.
4. Cost of Ownership: When it comes to the cost department MySQL is very affordable, heck you can get it for free! However, on enterprise-level projects, you can expect some increase in your total cost of ownership. Nevertheless, this cost is much less when compared to other enterprise-level database management systems such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server.
5. Excellent Support: There’s a huge support community for MySQL users to access for quick knowledge transfer. Also, Oracle provides support and maintenance plans for enterprise users.
Disadvantages of MySQL
Now, let’s take a look at some of MySQL disadvantages:
1. Limitations: MySQL is without flaws, and this can be frustrating for developers, especially in areas of big data (data warehousing), performance diagnostics, fault tolerance, and among others.
2. Performance: Its inability to handle massive among of concurrent operations results in performance loss when put to the test.
3. Third-Party Dependant: With so many third-party options and add-ons, MySQL has seen too much reliance on third-party tools to its detriment. And this is because several enhanced features are only provided by third-party developers and not part of the core product.
4. Lack of Community-Driven Development: With the acquisition of MySQL by Oracle, the community development effort has come to a halt. Most of the developers supporting the database management system has now moved on to MariaDB with Oracle being solely responsible for the development and maintenance of MySQL.
5. Stability: As reported by DigitalOcean MySQL is not as stable as its counterparts. And this is as a result of the way certain database functions are handled; for example auditing, references and transactions.
Advantages and Disadvantage of SQL Server
As with SQL and MySQL, SQL Server has its share of advantages and disadvantages. So let’s take a quick at some of the advantages and disadvantages of Microsoft SQL Server:
Advantages of SQL Server
To begin with, here are some of the advantages of the Microsoft SQL Server database management system:
1. Enterprise Level: SQL Server is an enterprise-level RDBMS packed with features and functionalities that make it easier to use. Unlike MySQL, it fully supports triggers and has tight integration with the .NET framework for building enterprise-wide applications.
2. Performance: When it comes to the performance department, Microsoft SQL Server is fully loaded with performance benchmarks that are comparable to none. For example, you can execute complex SQL queries to access a huge amount of records in a matter of seconds and do so efficiently.
3. Data Recovery: The ability to recover lost or corrupt data is one of the most stressful events in the life of any database administrator. So database administrators are most interested in the data recovery capabilities of a given database management system. And Microsoft SQL Server provides a robust set of data recovery and restoration capabilities that will take away the stress in the life of any database administrator.
4. Support: SQL Server is backed by one of the world’s most recognized company – Microsoft. So you can expect nothing but excellence is the support provided by Microsoft to ensure that all SQL Server customers are happy with their database management system.
5. Maintenance Updates: Equally SQL Server is properly maintained with constant updates and patches for the database management system. Also, all the add-on tools it offers updated during the maintenance updates. Therefore, the process of managing a SQL Server database system is one that can be mostly less stressful.
Disadvantages of SQL Server
Next, let’s consider some of the disadvantages of SQL Server:
1. Proprietary: SQL Server is not open source and cannot be extended and improved upon by an open-source developer community.
2. Compatibility: It’s designed to run optimally on Microsoft Windows server operating systems. And this makes SQL Server clearly different from MySQL which can run both on Windows and Unix based servers. However, of recent Microsoft is now offering SQL Server for certain Linux flavors.
3. Cost of Ownership: SQL is not free and equally, not cheap. The price can be a limiting factor for non-enterprise users who don’t have the budget or finances. Hence one of the reasons MySQL is very popular.
4. Complex: One of the primary complaints of database specialists and administrators is the difficulty involved in tuning the performance and query optimization for SQL Server.
5. Lack of Source Control: With no native support for source code control, database specialists and administrators are resorting to third-party add-on tools for the critical task of maintaining source and updates made to objects in the database.
Ultimately, we taken an in-depth look at SQL vs MySQL as well as considered the difference between SQL and MySQL. Besides, we’ve touched on SQL Server vs MySQL and looked at the advantages and disadvantages of all these technologies, namely SQL, MySQL, and SQL Server.
So what are you thought? Please contribute and let us know in the comments any points we may have overlooked. The goal of this article is to educate and inform, so your contribution is most valuable.