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MySQL vs. PostgreSQL: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 23, 2023
MySQL is an open-source relational database developed by Oracle, while PostgreSQL is an advanced, open-source object-relational database system.

Key Differences

MySQL is one of the world's most popular relational database management systems (RDBMS). It's known for its fast performance and reliability. Developed by the Swedish company MySQL AB, it was later acquired by Sun Microsystems and then by Oracle Corporation. PostgreSQL, on the other hand, is often regarded as the most advanced open-source database solution. It supports both SQL (relational) and JSON (non-relational) querying.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
When discussing extensibility and support for custom functions, PostgreSQL stands out. It offers a wide array of built-in functions, and if those aren't enough, users can define their own. Additionally, PostgreSQL supports custom data types and operators. In comparison, MySQL provides stored procedures, but its extensibility features might not be as expansive as PostgreSQL's.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
Licensing is another crucial difference between the two. MySQL operates under the GNU General Public License but has faced criticism over the years due to Oracle's proprietary licensing for certain features. PostgreSQL, meanwhile, uses the PostgreSQL License, a liberal open-source license, which grants users the freedom to use, modify, and distribute the software.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
From a performance perspective, both MySQL and PostgreSQL offer robust solutions. However, they have different optimization techniques and might perform differently depending on the workload. For instance, while MySQL might be faster for read-heavy operations, PostgreSQL often excels in complex queries and write-heavy tasks.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
Concerning community support, both databases have strong communities. MySQL has been around since 1995, and its widespread adoption has led to an extensive ecosystem. PostgreSQL, founded in 1996, boasts a vibrant community that continually contributes to its feature-rich capabilities.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Development & Ownership

Developed by MySQL AB, now owned by Oracle.
Advanced open-source object-relational database system.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Extensibility

Offers stored procedures.
Supports custom functions, data types, and operators.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Licensing

GNU General Public License with some proprietary features.
PostgreSQL License (liberal open-source).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Performance Characteristics

Often faster for read-heavy operations.
Excels in complex queries and write-heavy tasks.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Community Support

Extensive due to its early inception and widespread use.
Vibrant, contributing to its rich features.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
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MySQL and PostgreSQL Definitions

MySQL

A popular choice for web databases.
WordPress, a widely used CMS, is built on MySQL.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

PostgreSQL

Supports both SQL and JSON querying.
With PostgreSQL, developers can natively store and query JSON data.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

MySQL

An open-source relational database management system.
Many websites use MySQL for their backend data storage.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 23, 2023

PostgreSQL

A choice for complex, large-scale applications.
Many geospatial databases prefer PostgreSQL for its PostGIS extension.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

MySQL

Known for its speed and efficiency.
MySQL can handle large datasets without significant performance degradation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

PostgreSQL

An advanced open-source object-relational database system.
PostgreSQL supports table inheritance and function overloading.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 23, 2023

MySQL

A database system developed initially by MySQL AB.
MySQL has undergone several ownership changes since its inception.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

PostgreSQL

Offers robustness and fine concurrency control.
PostgreSQL handles multiple concurrent users efficiently.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

MySQL

Part of the LAMP stack in web development.
Developers often pair MySQL with Linux, Apache, and PHP.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

PostgreSQL

A database system known for its extensibility and standards compliance.
PostgreSQL users can define their custom data types.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

FAQs

What type of database system is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source relational database system, while PostgreSQL is an object-relational database system.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Who owns MySQL?

Oracle Corporation owns MySQL, whereas PostgreSQL is a community-driven project.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 23, 2023

Which is known for better extensibility?

PostgreSQL is known for superior extensibility compared to MySQL.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Which database offers JSON querying support?

Both MySQL and PostgreSQL support JSON querying, but PostgreSQL often has broader capabilities.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Is MySQL part of the LAMP stack?

Yes, MySQL is typically the 'M' in the LAMP stack, while PostgreSQL can replace it in alternative stacks.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Do both databases have stored procedure support?

Both MySQL and PostgreSQL support stored procedures.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Which has a longer history?

MySQL was released in 1995, and PostgreSQL was introduced in 1996.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

How do their licenses differ?

MySQL uses the GNU General Public License, while PostgreSQL uses its liberal open-source license.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Which database is more community-driven?

While both have strong communities, PostgreSQL is entirely community-driven, unlike MySQL which is owned by Oracle.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Is MySQL's ownership a point of contention?

Some have raised concerns over MySQL being owned by Oracle, but PostgreSQL remains community-driven.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Are there cloud versions for these databases?

Both MySQL and PostgreSQL have cloud versions offered by various providers.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Can MySQL handle JSON data?

Yes, MySQL can handle JSON data, but PostgreSQL offers broader JSON functionalities.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Which is typically faster for read-heavy operations?

Generally, MySQL is faster for read-heavy operations compared to PostgreSQL.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Are both databases scalable?

Both MySQL and PostgreSQL are scalable, but they might require different configurations for optimization.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Which has better support for custom data types?

PostgreSQL typically offers better support for custom data types compared to MySQL.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Which database offers table inheritance?

PostgreSQL offers table inheritance, a feature not present in MySQL.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Is PostgreSQL considered more advanced?

Often, PostgreSQL is regarded as more advanced than MySQL due to its extensive features.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Do both databases support ACID properties?

Both MySQL (with InnoDB storage engine) and PostgreSQL support ACID properties.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Can PostgreSQL be used in place of MySQL in the LAMP stack?

Yes, PostgreSQL can replace MySQL in the LAMP stack, leading to the LAPP stack.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Which is preferred for geospatial databases?

PostgreSQL, with its PostGIS extension, is often chosen for geospatial databases over MySQL.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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