If you’re new to the world of database management, it can be difficult to wrap your head around all of the different forms of lingo being thrown around. Two different languages you may have heard mentioned are SQL and MySQL. Beyond just what these two languages are, you may be wondering how they function or what is best for your needs. Let’s jump right into it.
“What is SQL?”
Starting at the beginning, “SQL” is an acronym that stands for “Structured Query Langauge.” Used in programming and data management, SQL is a domain-specific language. This means that it is customized to a specific application domain. SQL is built to manage data contained within a relational data stream management system (RDSMS) or a relational database management system (RDBMS). SQL is similar to its predecessor APIs such as Virtual Storage Access Methods (VSAM) or Indexed Sequential Access Methods (ISAM), but with the added advantages of removing the required specification of how one accesses a record as well as introducing the ability to pull multiple records with a single command. (For modern clarification, many people use the term “SQL” when referring to the broader “Microsoft SQL Server”, though SQL is a language and not just a product of Microsoft.)
“Where did MySQL come from?”
Where SQL differs from MySQL is that MySQL is an open-sourced RDBMS. In a sense, it is an open-source language — a product of sorts. With the “My” (the name of co-founder Michael Widenius’ daughter), the language is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License. As of the time of this piece, MySQL is owned by the Oracle Corporation — of which additional versions are made available for sale.
Pros and Cons of SQL vs MySQL
In order to ensure the quality of performance of both versions of SQL, additional support measures have been taken by their respective vendors. Having Microsoft as the vendor benefits SQL as the company can provide additional assistance in the form of supported Cloud storage. In addition to cloud, Microsoft makes data migrations in SQL easy and affordable with a free Server Migration Assistant (SSMA). Because MySQL is now provided in many forms by the Oracle Corporation, they offer a lucrative Virtual MySQL DBA Assistant services in the form of support representatives. This is, however, at a particular tier in their service offering.
Data security is a large concern for entities utilizing SQL or MySQL and it’s in this realm that SQL seems to have a slight leg up on it’s open-sourced companion. While both SQL and MySQL are EC2 compliant to ensure sufficient security for use within government and business applications, SQL is additionally secured with Microsoft’s Baseline Security Analyzer. MySQL? Well, not quite so much.
Ability To Update
While SQL is incredibly stable and reliable because of its oversight, MySQL’s open-source qualities make it a language that changes with a speed more on par with the needs of users. Still, because of this flexibility, this can make MySQL somewhat unstable on occasion when the most stable version is not known. If it’s a more reliable and support language, Microsoft has offered such in the form of SQL 2005 all the way through to SQL 2016 as of the time of this post.
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