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Which Database, MS SQL or MySQL?

Jan26

Written by:
2009/01/26 07:33 AM RssIcon

The debate of which database to choose has been raging for a while. You have pro's and con's of both sides as well as biased fanatical arguments from both camps. Of course I am talking about MS SQL vs MySQL.

The debate of which database to choose has been raging for a while. You have pro's and con's of both sides as well as biased fanatical arguments from both camps. Of course I am talking about MS SQL vs MySQL.

What influences you in choosing the right database? I am all for the right tool for the right job. But just choosing a database based on name or a fanatical undeserved hatred of the opposite side is neither intelligent nor practical.

MySQL for the most part is Open Source and free, based on the Open by GPL license rules. While on the other hand MS SQL can be very expensive, especially for the enterprise versions. However, Microsoft has made strides into the free database market with the freely available SQL Express Edition. Admittedly it is limited in some features, but it certainly can provide a substantial database for many a business needs.

MS SQL is platform dependent, while MySQL is platform independent with the ability to run on multiple platforms including Windows, has to be an attraction for many.

On performance, as of the date of this writing, MS SQL server has taken 4th place in the top TPC-C performance results,  first in the TPC-E results, and third in the TPC-H results. MySQL has only featured on one set of results, that being the TPC-H results.

SQL Server continues to have the edge, as the advanced features list has long stabilised. The marked difference between the two database systems is in the technical features and specifications implemented. SQL Server is a fully-fledged database system developed specifically for large enterprise databases. All advanced features of a relational database are fully implemented. MySQL, on the other hand, has only come out of edge in the “relational” front, with recent support for things like foreign keys.

On the hardware front, it is notable that MSSQL does require more hardware. In most MSSQL circles you will soon realise that the more hardware you through at MSSQL the better it performs. While this is also true of MySQL, MySQL has the ability to perform reasonably well on less hardware.

Security remains a major concern for most businesses and a compelling consideration in choosing a database system. Both DBMS support security at the base level. MySQL is limited to supporting basic security at the table level, via the SQL command. By contrast, SQL server fully supports security at the column level.

Conclusion

It is not true that MS SQL Server is better than MySQL or vice versa. Both products can be used to build stable and efficient system and the stability and effectiveness of your applications and databases depend rather from the experience of the database developers and database administrator than from the database's provider. But SQL Server has some advantages in comparison with MySQL and vice versa.

The SQL Server advantages:

  • SQL Server holds the top TPC-C performance and price/performance results.
  • SQL Server is generally accepted as easier to install, use and manage.
  • Transact-SQL is more powerful language than MySQL dialect.


The MySQL  advantages:

  • MySQL  supports all known platforms, not only the Windows-based platforms.
  • MySQL requires less hardware resources.
  • You can use MySQL  without any payment under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Choosing between a MySQL and SQL Server database is a matter of the scale of the database application. For enterprise-level applications, SQL Server wins hands down. It has advanced set of SQL features, superior replication, clustering, security and management tools.
For lower-tier database applications, MySQL can offer the core functionality you require at a very low cost. Some might argue that the latest offering from Microsoft, SQL Express Edition goes a long way to bringing the costs down, seeing that SQL Express Edition is free.

What is your choice or preference? Let us know, give us you reasons why.

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