What are the key differences?

What are the key differences?

MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) are two of the most popular enterprise database systems in the world. MySQL is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) and MSSQL Server is an RDBMS developed by Microsoft.

Businesses can choose from various editions of MSSQL Server based on their unique requirements and budget. But database administrators (DBAs) and programmers should consider how MySQL and MSSQL Server differ before choosing one over the other. Taking the time to think about your options will help you choose the best RDBMS for your needs.

But that’s easier said than done. So, we have created this comprehensive MySQL vs MSSQL Server guide. We will see the main differences between them and we will delve into how they work.

MySQL schema

MySQL is a popular open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is widely used for managing and storing structured data. It was developed by MySQL AB, which is now owned by Oracle Corporation. MySQL is known for its scalability, reliability, and ease of use.

MySQL follows a client-server model, where clients can connect to the MySQL server to perform various database operations, such as creating, querying, modifying, and deleting data. It supports standard SQL (Structured Query Language) and offers a range of features including data integrity, transactions, indexes, and stored procedures.

MySQL is commonly used in web applications, content management systems, and other software solutions that require organized and efficient data storage and retrieval.

MSSQL Schema

MSSQL, short for Microsoft SQL Server, is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It is widely used in enterprise environments and provides a robust platform for storing and managing structured data. MSSQL supports a wide range of features, including transaction processing, data warehousing, and business intelligence.

It uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to interact with the database and offers advanced capabilities such as indexing, stored procedures, and triggers. MSSQL integrates well with other Microsoft products and technologies, making it a popular choice for organizations that rely on the Microsoft ecosystem for their database needs.

MySQL or MSSQL: what makes them similar and different

SQL is the preferred language for relational databases, regardless of whether you intend to store, edit, or retrieve data. This is how dynamic sites and apps fulfill virtually all user requests. In the MySQL vs MSSQL Server comparison below, we will look at the basic similarities and differences between both options.

MSSQL vs MySQL: Similarities

MySQL and MSSQL Server share some similarities in that they are both relational databases. However, most developers specialize in either, usually not both. While MySQL and MSSQL may look similar, the architecture they are based on is different.

First let’s cover the main similarities:


MySQL and MSSQL use the standard table model for column- and row-based data storage found in relational databases.

quality performance

Since databases are responsible for both retrieving and storing data in the shortest possible time, they are the backbone of your applications. Fortunately, MySQL and MSSQL Server provide high-quality performance speeds.


MySQL and MSSQL take advantage of primary and foreign keys to create relationships between tables.

Success and popularity online

Regarding the execution of web applications, MySQL and MSSQL Server are the most used databases (with the exception of Oracle). Typically, you’ll be offered the choice of MySQL vs. MSSQL when you sign up for a hosting service.

convenient scalability

MySQL and MSSQL have the ability to scale with your business as it continues to grow. They can be used for projects of all sizes, capable of supporting millions of daily transactions.


Both platforms share a similar syntax, although there are some minor differences between the create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) statements.


Connection drivers for virtually any popular language can be found relatively simply online. As a result, you can connect MySQL and MSSQL without getting involved in complex coding.

MSSQL dates back to 1989, but open source MySQL is a bit more recent, having been released in 1995. Both platforms have more than two decades of history and have established solid footholds in the market. You can run MySQL on Windows or Linux, usually within a LAMP environment. MSSQL runs on Windows, so it is usually part of a Windows environment.

MySQL and MSSQL are capable of handling large and small software projects, so you can expect similar levels of performance. Regardless of the server chosen, performance will depend primarily on your DBA’s ability to optimize code and queries.

MSSQL vs MySQL: differences

Yes, MySQL and MSSQL Server may be similar in many ways, mainly in regards to their interfaces and basic standards, but they work in significantly different ways. Most of these differences are architecturally related and occur behind the scenes, so the average user will typically not notice them.

But DBAs still need to understand the differences as they are very important when choosing between MySQL and MSSQL.

OS Compatibility

MSSQL Server was developed by Microsoft for Windows OS only, but has since made RDBMS available for Linux and Mac OS as well. That means businesses can run the database system on three different platforms, though users still don’t have the option to use specific capabilities when using SQL Server on Mac OS X or Linux.

However, MySQL offers smooth performance on several popular operating systems, such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

quality support

Several programming languages ​​are supported by MySQL and MSSQL, including:

C++RubyJavaPythonPHPVirtual BasicDelphiGo

MySQL also offers support for additional languages, such as Perl, Eiffel, Haskel, and Tcl. Due to the versatility of MySQL, it has gained popularity in numerous developer communities.

While you can take advantage of both types of databases for Linux and Windows projects, MySQL works with PHP natively, and MSSQL Server is primarily used with .NET. If you rely only on MySQL for PHP and MSSQL Server for Windows projects, you can expect simpler integration.

MyISAM and InnoDB

MyISAM and InnoDB are MySQL configurations that allow developers to perform various programming and design related activities. MSSQL Server will not allow you to specify different engines when creating databases.


Since MySQL is open source, it’s a free option, but you’ll need to pay for support when it’s needed. However, with MSSQL, you’ll need licenses for the servers running the platform, which makes it more expensive.


Since MSSQL Server allows you to configure your entity framework classes in .NET, you can start with LINQ queries. But you would have to download third party tools to use .NET with MySQL.

IDE Tools

MySQL and MSSQL both have IDE tools, but you’ll need to align the right tool with the right server: Enterprise Manager for MySQL, Management Studio for MSSQL. Both tools allow you to establish a connection to the server and configure its security, architecture, and table layout.

binary collections

Both MySQL and MSSQL Server were created as binary collections. MySQL allows developers to use binaries to manipulate database files while it runs, and the database files can also be manipulated by alternate processes at run time.

On the other hand, MSSQL Server prevents processes from manipulating or accessing binaries or database files. You will be prompted to run an instance if you intend to accomplish this. As a result, hackers will not be able to perform any direct manipulation of the data, or even access it in the first place. In general, MSSQL Server offers tighter security than MySQL.


You need to extract your data as SQL statements to back it up when using MySQL. The RDBMS provides you with a tool to lock the database while your data is being backed up, which minimizes the risk of data corruption when switching between different editions or versions of MySQL.

The drawback of this is that restoring data becomes a very time consuming task as you would need to execute multiple SQL statements. But MSSQL Server does not lock the database during data backup, which allows users to easily backup and restore large amounts of data.

Freedom to end query execution

Users can’t cancel a query after it starts executing in MySQL – you would need to kill the whole process. But MSSQL Server allows users to truncate database queries while they are running without killing the whole process.

Furthermore, MSSQL Server incorporates a transactional engine to maintain a consistent state. That gives MSSQL Server a key advantage over MySQL.

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