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Microsoft SQL Server vs. MySQL: What's the Difference?


Microsoft SQL and MySQL are two of the most popular relational database management systems (RDBMS) used today. Although they have some similarities, some major differences should be considered when deciding which one to use for a particular project. 

Understanding Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS)

An RDBMS database system uses a relational model for storing and organizing data. It allows you to store, retrieve and manage data in an organized way. An RDBMS has several components, including tables, fields, and records. This makes it easy to create complex queries for retrieving specific information from the database. The most popular RDBMS today are MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle. This article will look at the differences between Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and MySQL.

What is Microsoft SQL?

Microsoft SQL Server 2019 is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft Corporation. It is commonly used to store and manage data for applications, businesses, and websites. SQL Server can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud with SQL Azure and be accessed through Windows Admin Server. It provides a wide range of features, such as security, scalability, availability, and performance, that make it ideal for large enterprises. SQL server database was first developed in 1989 by Microsoft and Sybase. Since then, Microsoft has released subsequent database versions like SQL server 2000, SQL server 2008, and SQL server 2012.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) created by the Swedish company MySQL AB in 1995. It stores and manages data for applications, businesses, and websites. Unlike SQL Server, it can be deployed on many operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X. It is also free to use, making it an attractive option for small businesses or startups.



Similarities between SQL Server and MySQL

SQL Server and MySQL are based on the Structured Query Language (SQL), the standard language for interacting with relational databases. They're also both scalable and high-performing and support multi-database. Both SQLS have three data types: numeric, date & time and string. However, there are some key differences in their implementation of SQL.

Differences between Microsoft SQL and MySQL

The main differences between Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and MySQL include the following:



Microsoft SQL Server 2019 is a commercial product and requires a license to use. MySQL is open-source and free software, so there is no cost associated with using it. The latter only needs you to pay for technical support should you need it.


Operating System Compatibility

By default, Microsoft SQL Server 2019 was made to be compatible with Windows-based OS. However, in 2016, Microsoft made the product available for Mac and Linux-based operating systems. On the other hand, MySQL is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and FreeBSD. SQL Server supports Windows servers 2019, 2016, and 2022 as well as Windows 10 and Windows 11.


Programming Language Support

MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server support multiple programming languages, including C++, Visual Basic, Python, Go, R, Java, PHP, Ruby, and Delphi. However, MySQL supports additional programming languages like Scheme, Perl, Tcl, Eiffel, and Haskel. MySQL supports many programming languages, making it a popular choice among different developer communities. 



Both SQLs are EC2 compliant, offering solid data encryption, authentication, and authorization. However, Microsoft SQL Server 2019 has a more secured core as well as advanced security options than MySQL, as users have to run an instance of the database to access it. MySQL allows database file manipulation while running, which can pose a potential security risk.





Both SQL Server and MySQL provide the same level of performance and speed. They utilize indexes to sort data and accelerate performance and can host several databases on a single server. However, according to an analysis performed by IJARCCE, the SQL server performed better than MySQL regarding response time. Other than INSERT queries, it was consistently faster for other tests. SQL server also scales faster than MySQL.


Backup and Restoration

MySQL blocks the database entirely while the backup takes place, which can cause significant disruptions if you work with a large amount of data. In contrast, Microsoft SQL doesn't block the database, allowing you to continue working in real time even while the backup is in progress. With MSSQL, you can complete backup and restoration processes quickly, with minimal effort.


You can use the mysqldump command to back up your entire database or combine it with a --single-transaction utility to override the blocking. You can then store the backup in a file or transfer it to another computer for storage. Meanwhile, Microsoft SQL uses a different approach. You can use the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to create backups, and the restored file can be imported straight into SSMS.


Storage Engines

Both MS SQL Server and MySQL support a variety of storage engines. However, MS SQL Server only supports one default engine, InnoDB, while MySQL supports multiple storage engines, including MyISAM and InnoDB. Furthermore, each engine offers different features that make it ideal for different scenarios. For example, the MyISAM engine is better for read-intensive applications, while the InnoDB engine is better for transactions and write-intensive applications.



Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL use similar syntax, but there are some subtle differences, especially around the create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) statements. Also, MS SQL syntax is simple and easy to use, while MySQL syntax is a bit complex.



MySQL lets you filter out the tables, rows, and users in various ways. But it only supports filtering on an individual database basis. This means you'll have to filter database tables individually by executing multiple queries. In contrast, MSSQL supports row-based filtering, which sieves out the records on a database-per-database basis. This allows you to filter multiple rows without considering the number of databases. What's more, the filtered data is kept in a separate distribution database.


Option to stop Query Execution

Microsoft SQL uses a transactional engine to hold the state consistent. So it allows you to shorten the query execution without terminating the whole process. But you can't kill or cancel the query execution without ending the entire process with MySQL.





MySQL and MS SQL servers use different commands. For example, you can use the SELECT command to retrieve data from a table in both databases. But the accompanying commands are different. As for concatenation function, you'll use SELECT CONCAT ('My,' 'SQL') for MySQL and SELECT ('SQL' + 'SERVER') for MSSQL. For Generate GUID (Global Unique Identifier), SELECT UUID() for MySQL and SELECT NEWID() for MSSQL.


Overall, both Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and MySQL offer robust database solutions that can be used to meet various business needs. Considering their differences and similarities is essential before deciding which database platform to use. This will help ensure that you have the best setup to handle your data storage needs. If you're still unsure, MyChoiceSoftware can help you make the best decision for your business. Our team of experienced professionals will provide comprehensive analysis and advice to ensure that you select the right database platform for your business.


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