MySQL and PostgreSQL are both popular open-source database management platforms which are in use by some of the world's largest sites.
In this article, we'll explore PostgreSQL vs. MySQL and outline the difference between MYSQL and PostgreSQL so that you can make an informed decision on why you may pick one database application over another.
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What is PostgreSGL?
PostgreSQL, often simply referred to as Postgres, is an open-source relational database management system. It's available for a wide range of operating systems including Linux, WIndows, and MacOS. It is also the default database engine for MacOS Server. For those wondering, PostgreSQL is pronounced "post-gress-Q-L". Some of the key features of PostgreSQL include:
- Automatically updatable views
- Materialized views
- Foreign keys
- Stored procedures.
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What is MySQL?
Just like PostgreSQL, MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. It boasts a more user friendly interface and has dozens of front-end GUI interfaces such a sPHPMyAdmin which can be used for novice users to manage MySQL databases. It's key features include:
- Widely used by sites worldwide
- Easy to understand programming syntax
- Consumes less memory overall than PostgreSQL
- Some licensing restrictions as it is operated by Oracle
Why MySQL is more popular than PostgreSQL?
There's no question that MySQL is infinitely more popular than PostgreSQL. It's used on some of the most popular sites worldwide such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. MySQL also forms the M in the "LAMP stack" which is generally how simple web servers are configured (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).
But why is MySQL so popular? MySQL does have the advantage of being developed first. It was created on 23 May 1995 whereas PostgreSQL was created on 8 July 1996. But certainly one year of extra development would not account for such a sharp contrast in popularity.
There's a few reasons for its popularity. First of all, compared to Microsoft SQL, MySQL is open-source and completely free to use. It can also run on nearly any OS, and It uses basic SQL rather than a specialized variant which makes it easier for novice users to utilize. MySQL also has a wide variety of GUI front-ends, make it even easier for users to navigate. It can scale to nearly any sized application (as evidenced by its use by Facebook) and it's easier to find experts and support in MySQL.
Overall, the ease of use of MySQL and the fact that it has grown in popularity due to its connection with Oracle has contributed to MySQL having a larger market share than PostgreSQL.
What is the difference between MySQL and PostgreSQL?
While historically PostgreSQL had a performance increase over MySQL, these days the difference in performance is negligible, so performance should not be a factor when choosing between the two. However, Postgres forks a new process for each new client connection, which means that it
Postgres is an object-relational database, while MySQL is a purely relational database. This means that Postgres includes features like table inheritance and function overloading. Postgres also adheres more closely to SQL as it has an emphasis on technical standards compliance.
When comparing the two database engines, the main difference is that due to the popularity of MySQL, it can be more difficult to find system administrators and developers proficient in PostgreSQL. This is important to consider when you are trying to determine which software to use.
Is PostgreSQL better than MySQL?
Both database management systems are quite similar to one another in terms of performance and functionality. The key difference is how each is setup and manipulated. This means that PostgreSQL is not necessarily better than MySQL. It largely depends on which database system you and your developers are familiar with. You will be well served by either option.
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