MySQL vs PostgreSQL – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons)

MySQL vs PostgreSQL – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). Many organizations prefer relational database to store and access information for optimal performance over the hierarchical database. RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System and it’s main purpose is to store data in a tabular form, responsible for creating relationships between data items.

MySQL is one of the leading RDBMS that helps to store, manage and modify the data. It is best suited for applications, websites and online transactions.  However, PostgreSQL is an Object Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS). The database is best applicable for large and complicated analytical processes.


Both Databases are very popular and trusted by developers and in this post we have compared the two popular databases on the basis of various features, performance, support, security and more. We have listed the pros and cons of each database to make it easier for you to choose the right one as per your  company infrastructure. We aim to help you to choose  the best product for your organization.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a fast and reliable relational database management system introduced in 1995 by the Swedish company MySQL AB. Written in C and C++, it is one of the first open source database design that stores data organized. It is a lightweight database compatible with platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac. The design was released under the GNU GPL (General Public License) license.

MySQL supports Structured Query Language commands to perform queries, provides a single authentication method for every user and stores data in the tabular form. Further, it uses Primary and Foreign Key for data integrity and consistency. MySQL server is easy to embed with Data Warehouses and performs well with PHP, Apache Web Servers and numerous server operating systems. It is a scalable and flexible RDBMS with a robust transactional support system and is easy to access from any place and time by multiple users.

MySQL has become one of the most popular databases and has launched numerous variants like MariaDB, Galera, etc., over the years. Currently, many renowned organizations, such as WeChat, Facebook, GitHub, NASA, YouTube, etc., use MySQL.

Pros of MySQL

  • Secure, flexible  and faster Relational Database Management System.
  • Comprises multiple storage engines and built in advanced data security features.
  • Best suitable for Web, Cloud and Big Data platforms.
  • No extra cost required.
  • MySQL provides seamless connectivity.
  • It is compatible with all platforms, such as Windows, Linux, Mac.
  • It is also adaptable by various eCommerce platforms .
  • It is easy to use and to configure.
  • Supports Master Slave Replication, multi version concurrency control and Geographic Data Distribution.
  • Data Security MySQL is known for being the most secure and reliable database management system and used by web applications like WordPress, Drupal. Joomla

Cons of MySQL

  • MySQL is not very efficient in handling very large databases. 
  • It is hard to scale.
  • It is not compatible with the Oracle database as there is no support for PL/SQL.
  • Not every feature is free for the users.
  • MySQL doesn’t have as good a developing and debugging tool. 
  • System catalog transactions are not ACID compliant.
  • Comprises of pre locked Tables used for the procedure.
  • Security updates are not that frequent.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is an Object Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS) that uses SQL as the main command language to solve complex queries. Originally named Postgres, it is a free RDBMS that also supports JSON for extensibility and SQL compliance. In 1996, the project name was changed from Postgres to PostgreSQL to show its support towards SQL.


It is designed for large and complicated analytical processes and supports various features, including Acid Compliant, Materialized Views Temporary Tables, Geospatial data by means of an extension, Foreign Keys, User Defined Data types and more. The database is compatible with platforms like Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS Server, and OpenBSD. It is flexible and has a strong community base. Also, it the first design that implemented Multi Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) features so it is the perfect solution for online banking software.


PostgreSQL server is popular solution for web projects such as Django, Node.js or Ruby on Rails, and supports PHP language.  It supports synchronous and asynchronous replication and makes it easy to distribute the stored data across multiple servers for high resilience and minimal access time to critical data.

Pros of PostgreSQL

  • Requires no additional training to use PostgreSQL.
  • It provides transactional DDL, including INSERT, DELETE, creating a table, drop table, etc.
  • Makes it easier to run dynamic websites and applications with PostgreSQL.
  • One of the leading fault tolerant databases.
  • Free source code is accessible by users.
  • Supports Geographic Data Distribution.
  • It is Fully Acid Compliant and SQL compliant.
  • Requires low maintenance and administration services.
  • It provides SSL support.
  • PostgreSQL has a huge community support system.
  • It is compatible with various platforms and major languages (Python, Java, Perl, PHP, C, C++, etc.)

Cons of PostgreSQL

  • Not available on all hosts by default.
  • Major releases have no upgrade facility.
  • Require export or replication of the data to the new version in the case of PostgreSQL.
  • At the time of upgradation, PostgreSQL requires double storage.
  • No caching for Query execution plans.
  • Bulk loading operations can impact the process.
  • Not easy to install for beginners.
  • Organizations may need to pay extra for speed improvement.
  • You may face backup recovery challenges.
  • It is slow and less appreciated in terms of performance.

MySQL vs PostgreSQL

When choosing MySQL vs PostgreSQL as the best open source relational database management systems, the two  are often the most popular database systems chosen.  Both systems are unique and distinctive in their way, which is why we have compared both the databases on various parameters. Thus, making it easier for the enterprises to choose the right product as per their requirement.

Open Source License

  • MySQL is a free open source database released under GNU GPL (General Public License) license.
  • PostgreSQL is an object relational database management system released under a free open source PostgreSQL license.

Storage Engine

  • MySQL supports Multiple Storage Engine.
  • PostgreSQL has a Single Storage Engine.

Acid compliance

  • MySQL is only ACID compliant when used with storage engines like InnoDB and NDB Cluster.
  • PostgreSQL is fully Acid compliant.

SQL compliance

  • MySQL is partially SQL compliant.
  • PostgreSQL is fully SQL compliant.

Community Support

  • MySQL has a large community of volunteers available for troubleshooting and maintaining features. They provide only technical support. For engineer’s support or more information, such as knowledge base, users need to pay.
  • PostgreSQL is divided into Active and Innovative communities. One focuses on enhancing the existing features, while the other strives to maintain the position of one of the most advanced databases. Provides third party support, releases new features and security enhancements more frequently, and updates the platform regularly.


  • MySQL is used in web based projects can read heavy workloads and is best suitable for direct data transactions.
  • PostgreSQL is used in large systems and can write large amounts of data. Reading speed is slower than MySQL.

JSON Support

  • MySQL supports JSON data type and no other NoSQL feature.
  • PostgreSQL supports both JSON data type and other NoSQL features like XML support.

Default values

  • MySQL is easy to change or overwrite default values at the session and statement level.
  • In PostgreSQL, default values can be overwritten only at the system level.

Join capabilities

  • MySQL has access to limited join capabilities.
  • PostgreSQL has good join capabilities in PostgreSQL.

Materialized Views/Temporary Tables

  • MySQL only supports Temporary Tables.
  • PostgreSQL supports both Materialized Views and Temporary Tables.

Geospatial Data Support

  • MySQL has a built in Geospatial data.
  • PostgreSQL supports Geospatial data only through an extension like PostGIS.

Extensible Type System

  • MySQL does not support Extensible Type System.
  • PostgreSQL comprises many features that support Extensible Type System.


  • MySQL works great with OLAP & OLTP systems.
  • PostgreSQL performs at its best when executing complex queries.


  • MySQL comprises of numerous variants, including Percona, MariaDB, Galera, etc.
  • PostgreSQL has limited variants. However, it is coming up with additional new features in its latest versions.


  • MySQL supports SSL in a few versions.
  • PostgreSQL is completely secure with SSL support.

Drop Table

  • Do not support CASCADE option in MySQL.
  • Support CASCADE option in PostgreSQL.

Analytic Function

  • These functions are not present in MySQL.
  • These functions are present in PostgreSQL.

Data Type

  • MySQL supports SQL standard type.
  • PostgreSQL supports advnced types, including user defined type.

Concurrency Support

  • MySQL supports multi version concurrency control (MVCC) features.
  • PostgreSQL was the first one to implement multi version concurrency control (MVCC) features.

MySQL vs PostgreSQL – What’s the Difference Conclusion

Every database has its pros and cons, which will further help enterprises to choose the one that suits their requirement. In this post, we have compared both databases on various parameters. Where MySQL main feature is fast performance, PostgreSQL is notably much slower. Similarly, the need for highly concurrent services might help PostgreSQL overtake MySQL as a popular Database system.


There are many more factors that will help you make a final call for the product. Follow the above listed parameters and understand the purpose of your application for the best choice in the above products.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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Dave Stokes

MySQL has constraint checks sin 8.0.16

Andrew Fitzgerald

Thanks for pointing that out Dave, ive updated the article. 🙂

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