Today, we will compare the two most popular database products PostgreSQL vs MySQL, and explain the differences between them in this article. There are many database systems based on the relations database management system (RDBMS) concept in the market. Some of them are Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc. It’s really important to understand the differences between them before selecting any database product for your application. Keeping this in mind, I am writing this article to explain these two database systems i.e., PostgreSQL vs MySQL, and compare them from various aspects so that you can understand them before taking any decision for your requirements.
First let’s understand the core concept on which both database systems are built i.e., RDBMS.
What are RDBMS Systems?
Data has become very critical over time and that’s why all organizations want to save and secure their data. There are several software and applications there in the market to store data. Choosing the right database system depends on the nature of the data, the nature of its transactions, and various other business requirements. We must carefully consider all those aspects before selecting a database system for your application.
Storing our data safely and securely is not a new concept. It was there in place for ages but in different forms initially, we used to write information somewhere to keep it safe and later we access it based on our requirements. As now we are in the digital era, these days, one of the most popular database systems used in the industry is RDBMS-based database systems like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, etc. Many other mechanisms and ways are also there to store your data but today we have to talk about two RDBMS database systems so we will stick to this topic only.
The main principle of the RDBMS model is the ACID property. If any database system is based on an RDBMS system, then we can say that the database system will adhere to the ACID property. The ACID property stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability. Each term has its concept which allows database transactions to keep safe from errors and ensure the valid changes in the database records to maintain their integrity. You can read more about them in this attached link.
Data is stored in relational database management systems in row and column format. One set of data might also have a relation to other data within that database. This makes your data stored in a structured way so that you can easily access them in the future for your requirement. I will compare PostgreSQL vs MySQL in this article which is also based on RDBMS concepts.
Comparing PostgreSQL vs MySQL
Here, I will explain both database systems one after another and finally show you their differences (PostgreSQL vs MySQL) later in this article. Let’s start with the PostgreSQL database system.
This database system is also popularly known as Postgres because it was initially started as a POSTGRES project at the University of California in 1986. Today this is one of the most popular database systems in the market because it is free, open-source, and has super-rich features to address developer’s requirements. PostgreSQL is also categorized under an Object-Relational Database Management System which is a combination of an Object-oriented database model and a Relational database model.
Like other popular RDBMS systems, it also provides very rich features to address various user requirements like Indexes, Schema, Data types, User defined objects, triggers, Rules, Backups, Replication, and other security-related features. It is faster, reliable, loaded with rich features, and a scalable database system that you can consider for your application development. It also supports SQL (Structured Query Language) language so you can use SQL to perform any activity in its database or its database objects. PostgreSQL also supports multi-versioning features which allow database updates to be done without upsetting other transactions. It also offers multiple GUI-based tools to design, develop and manage database activities. One of the popular tools it has is PgAdmin using which we can perform any database activity.
You can access the attached link to go through all the latest releases and news about PostgreSQL. Here is the screenshot of its first page from where you can download PostgreSQL database software.
MySQL is also one of the most famous database systems which was initially created in 1995 and later in 2008 it was acquired by Sun Microsystems. It went to Oracle when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010. It has super strong community support which helps users to address their issues. MySQL database system also provides most of the database features like Indexes, Data types, User defined objects, Backups, and Replication but PostgreSQL has some edge over MySQL if we compare them both based on the features.
MySQL provides high availability and scaling capability using its InnoDB cluster feature. This database system also provides a powerful GUI tool MySQL Workbench to create, develop and manage database-related activities.
You can access the attached link to go through all the latest releases and news about the MySQL database system. Here is the screenshot of its home page from where you can access various MySQL tools and products and download them for your use.
Next, I will discuss the pointwise comparison between PostgreSQL vs MySQL.
Compare PostgreSQL vs MySQL
This section will compare PostgreSQL vs MySQL database systems based on some of the characteristics which are important for any database system. Although both databases have many similarities as well like MySQL and PostgreSQL both support SQL language to perform the database activities, both database systems support most of the operating systems, SQL & JSON languages, and many more similarities but here I will list the differences in the below points.
- MySQL is owned by Oracle corporation whereas PostgreSQL is not owned by any company but rather developed and maintained by a group of developers and volunteers around the globe under a group named “The PostgreSQL Global Development Group”
- The language used to write the software codes of these database systems are C and C++. PostgreSQL is written in C language whereas MySQL is written in C and C++
- MySQL is an RDBMS database system whereas PostgreSQL is a combination of an Object-oriented database model and a Relational database model which we call O-RDBMS
- MySQL uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol while PostgreSQL uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol for encryption between client and server communication
- PostgreSQL supports XML data types whereas MySQL does not support XML data type
- PostgreSQL supports materialized views whereas MySQL does not support them
- MySQL has a limited version of multi-versioning concurrency control in the InnoDB engine only whereas PostgreSQL supports full MVCC feature
- MySQL uses the GUI tool MySQL Workbench to manage databases whereas PostgreSQL uses the PgAdmin tool
- PostgreSQL is fully ACID compliant whereas MySQL is not fully ACID compliant. It is ACID compliant only in the InnoDB engine
- If we compare PostgreSQL vs MySQL from a troubleshooting standpoint, then I would say the troubleshooting approach of database issues is simple and easy in MySQL whereas it would become a bit complex in PostgreSQL
Both database systems are widely accepted by developers to use them as a preferable database choice for their applications, but the general rule is to use MySQL for web-based applications and you don’t need advanced features whereas PostgreSQL is a powerful and robust database system to run complex queries and can be easily scalable in case of the business need.
Today I have demonstrated a comparison between PostgreSQL vs MySQL. Both database systems are the most popular because of their rich features, stability, and reliability. It depends on the user’s specific requirement to choose a specific database system. In general terms, MySQL is very popular for web-based applications where it must deal with simple and straight transactions whereas PostgreSQL is a more robust, advanced, and feature-loaded database system that is used for complex queries and enterprise applications.
Thank you for reading this article about “PostgreSQL vs MySQL”. I would encourage you all to write your feedback in the comment section so that next time we can improve in a better way.