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

MySQL vs SQL – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). Databases are important to a business’s success because they help store the relevant data in a centralized location. The hold business information, product inventory, sales and marketing campaigns. Databases also ensure data security through various authentication mechanisms. 


SQL and MySQL are two frequently used terms in the field of industrial data management and database management systems. MySQL and SQL are very different from one another. Therefore, identifying the differences between SQL server and MySQL is essential for anyone who is actively dealing with fields such as relational database management systems, business analytics intelligence reporting tools and big data. In this tutorial we will discuss main differences between MySQL and SQL. Before discussing their differences, let’s first look at them individually, what MySQL and SQL and their pros and cons, along with the differences.

What is SQL Server?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a domain specific programming language specifically developed to communicate with databases. It is used to query information and perform several operations on structured data in a relational database. Relational databases store and manage data points relative to one another. SQL has now become an essential skill for developers, data analysts, database administrators and every other profession that involves data management.

What are the benefits of using SQL

  • Faster in processing queries: SQL allows to retrieve a large amount of data within seconds, making the process quick and efficient. Data Insertion, manipulation, and deletion are just a matter of seconds with SQL.
  • Multiple Data Views: SQL let to create multiple views of the database structure, customizing the view for users and their use cases.
  • No Coding: SQL takes away the burden of writing bulky codes to perform operations. There is a set of keywords that can be used in SQL such as SELECT, INSERT INTO, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, and UPDATE. Therefore SQL is considered a user friendly language.
  • Standardized Language: SQL has been developed and used over the years. Therefore it is very popular within the community and features rich documentation and extensive community support. Furthermore, SQL is a query language recognized by ISO and ANSI.
  • Language Intractability: The SQL language is highly interactive. It is also easy to learn and understand. Therefore, it will only take seconds to communicate with databases and receive feedback on even complex queries.
  • Portability: SQL can be used on many devices like PCs, servers, and laptops. It is also independent of the platform, such as the Operating System. Moreover, SQL can be embedded with other programs or applications depending on the requirement. In simple words, it is a “code once, runs forever” kind of language.

What are the cons of using SQL

  • Lack of Control: SQL is designed to write queries with pre-defined code snippets/keywords. So, developers may face some problems when developing queries with SQL as they may not have full access to the database. Complete access to databases is forbidden for users due to some hidden business rules.
  • Complexity in understanding: New users/ developers may find it difficult to understand some specific queries.
  • Complex Interface: Users might feel uncomfortable when using the interface as it is a bit complex to find operations and manage databases.
  • Cost: Some versions and features are not free and can be costly.

In the next section of our blog MySQL vs SQL – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons), let’s look at MySQL. 

What is MySQL Server?

MySQL is also an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) owned by Oracle Corporation. MySQL software is written in C and C++ programming languages and can be used in any device despite the operating system. MySQL is used by many tech companies such as Youtube, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, Twitter, and Wikipedia to store and manage large amounts of data.

What are the benefits of using MySQL

MySQL’s strength’s for reliability has led to this software being included in LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python/Perl/PHP) and also used as the default DBMS in Drupal, Joomla  and WordPress.

  • Industry Standard: MySQL is compatible with almost all the operating system platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Unix as it is one of the most widely used RDBMS platforms.
  • Data Security: Data stored in MySQL is secured with passwords and also encrypted using complex encryption algorithms. Thus, MySQL is recognized as the most secure and reliable database management system and it is used by most companies that deal with sensitive data. 
  • Support: Oracle provides maintenance plans for enterprise users to support them with managing the software. On the other hand, MySQL has a massive community due to its wide usage, allowing users to get community support.
  • Ease of use: MySQL is easy to install and consists of interpreted tools that make the developer journey easy.
  • Lower cost: MySQL is an affordable tool compared to other similar solutions. Apart from the free tier, even the enterprise level ownership is affordable and has lower rates.
  • Open Source and Portability: This is open source software that comes with properly structured documentation and resources. It is highly beneficial to newbies and learners as they can start their journey from here.
  • Complete Workflow Control: MySQL server is a fully featured solution with self management features like automation to data design and database administration.
  • Seamless Connectivity: connections include named pipes, TCP/IP sockets and UNIX Sockets.

What are the cons of using MySQL

  • Limitations: MySQL may have limitations when used in specialized areas such as big data engineering and performance diagnostics.


  • Data corruption: This situation occurs due to MySQL not handling transactions efficiently.
  • Dependency on third-party addons: MySQL uses more third-party addons and highly relies on them. The reason is that the advanced features of MySQL are not a part of the original software and need to be obtained by third-party developers.
  • Lack of Community Driven Development: After MySQL was acquired by oracle, the flexibility for community engagement in development was paused as Oracle completely took over the development responsibilities. Therefore, now developers are providing their support to other database management systems such as MariaDB.
  • Not supporting large databases efficiently and not supporting SQL check constraints.

Major differences between SQL and MySQL

  • SQL is used for writing queries for databases and is used to access and manipulate the above-stored data, where MySQL facilitates data store, modify and manage in a tabular format.
  • MySQL comes with a set of integrated tools like MySQL workbench, which enables convenient design and management of databases. Being a Query Language, SQL does not have such tools.
  • While SQL supports a single storage engine, MySQL supports multiple storage engines, making it more flexible.

SQL supports a single storage engine, but MySQL supports multiple storage engines and also plug-in storage engines. Thus, MySQL is more flexible.

  • MySQL databases can be accessed and manipulated by intruders due to their third party integrations with other apps. Therefore SQL performs better in terms of data security
  • Since SQL is not an open-source language, users have to depend on Microsoft SQL Server support if any issue arises, while for MySQL, there is a large open community to seek support in such scenarios as it is an open-source platform.
  • SQL server is best suited for a large enterprise with huge data that requires high speed and security where MySQL is better for individual users and small to medium sized companies .

Great work with learning MySQL vs SQL – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons).

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

Which one is better out of MySQL  or SQL Server, that  will depend upon your use cases, budget and infrastructure needs. Both tools are effective in organizing your data and are easily accessible through a user interface. Both tools store data (table storage). MySQL is more about selecting the data to facilitate data display, update and save the data again. Hence it is weaker than SQL Server in with data insertion and deletion.


MySQL is better suited a for data storage and referencing. When it comes to security features SQL server has an edge in offering overall security features. With SQL Baseline Security analyzer it helps administrators to make sure that SQL server installation is up to date. In MySQL, there isn’t one.

The SQL offers database and cloud storage. SQL also has Server Migration Assistant which helps to migrate the data from other DBMS like Oracle, MySQL to SQL Server.

Through this article we have a better understanding of the differences and pros and cons of SQL vs MySQL. The choice depends on the requirements of the relational database that your business needs. Other than MySQL there are also other database systems such as MariaDB, MongoDB and PostgreSQL with different features. However, you should also consider several aspects such as security, scalability, efficiency, speed and accuracy when deciding when and how to use them.

Avatar for Shanika Wickramasinghe
Shanika Wickramasinghe

Senior Software Engineer at WSO2 which is the 6th largest Open Source Software Company in the World. My main skills are machine learning and software development. I have 5+ years of experience as a Software engineer.

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