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Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


SQL and MySQL are two of the most widely used data management tools across the world. However, for a newbie, or even someone with more expertise, the distinction between the two might be confusing.

Since web development is becoming ever more interactive, databases have become an imperative component of a website. Databases are used in some form or another by even the most basic applications. Nearly every single website nowadays saves, accesses, and updates data in order to provide a certain result.

With the increased use of databases, it is now necessary to have a fundamental understanding of various relational database management systems, abbreviated as RDBMS.

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Source: CBC

What is a Relational Database?

A relational database is a form of database that helps us to recognize and retrieve data based on its relationship to other data in the database. It stores data into rows and columns in a set of tables to facilitate processing and querying.

  • In a relational database, each column inside a table includes particular data as well as a field that records the true value of an attribute.
  • The rows inside a table, on the other hand, comprise a collection of the values associated with a certain item. 
  • The primary key is a unique identifier for each row. You may retrieve the saved data without reorganizing the tables.

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Relational databases subscribe to integrity rules to make sure the data contained in tables is always valid and accessible. For example, an integrity rule indicates that duplicate rows in a table are not permitted. It will avoid the appearance of rows with identical data, hence eliminating table errors.

RDBMS is the primary choice for many top-tier businesses because it organizes data in tables that give the following advantages:

  • Improved Data Usability.
  • Data can be accessed by several users.
  • Data recovery and backup are simple.
  • Data Redundancy Is Limited.
  • Data Security.

Now that we’ve discussed the RDBMS, let us now have a look at the fundamentals of SQL in order to differentiate it from MySQL.

Also See, Specialization and Generalization in DBMS , Multiple Granularity in DBMS

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What is SQL?

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a computer language that allows you to retrieve, manage, and store data in a relational database management system. A programming language is essential to construct an application on any system, and it is also required to manage databases.

SQL Query refers to the condition of SQL statements that are declarative in nature. There are several SQL clauses that may be used to specify the intent of action when constructing queries. IBM was the first to design SQL

SQL can be used to handle a variety of relational database management systems, including SQL ServerMySQLOracle, and MS Access. You may construct and modify any database, as well as create schemas, by writing SQL codes and queries.

SQL is made up of many different types of statements, which are classified as SQL sub-languages:

  • DDL: Data Definition Language (Contains commands for creating and editing tasks).
  • DCL: Data Control Language (Contains instructions relating to access control).
  • DQL: Data Query language.
  • DML: Data manipulation language (Contains instructions for inserting, updating, and deleting data).

Also See, difference between sql and nosql

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a relational database management system that is now owned and operated by Oracle Corporation. It is an open-source platform for storing, retrieving, and managing relational databases. MySQL employs SQL queries to conduct database operations. MySQL is a well-known relational database management system (RDBMS) that is fast, efficient, trustworthy, and easy to use.

Many top-tier firms, like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and many more, use MySQL as their preferred database system for managing enormous amounts of data.

Must Read MySQL Case Statement and  Checkpoint in DBMS.

Key Differences

  • SQL is used to access, update, and manipulate data in a database, whereas MySQL is an RDBMS that helps you to keep the data in an organized way in a database.
  • SQL is a database language, whereas MySQL was among the first open-source databases accessible on the market.
  • SQL is a Structured Query Language, and MySQL is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) used to store, retrieve, change, and administer databases.

Difference between SQL and MySQL

Parameters SQL MySQL
Definition SQL stands for Structured Query. Language, as the name implies, is a language designed to handle relational databases. MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that employs SQL to access data from the database.
Operations By executing various processes, it aids in the retrieval and manipulation of stored data in a database. Stores existing data in distinct tables in an orderly fashion.
Functions Used to create database queries. Allows for the storage, alteration, and administration of data in a tabular format.
Format and Syntax The essential grammar and instructions remain the same, and the format is standard. MySQL is frequently updated.
Support There is no Microsoft support for Apache Spark Connector for SQL. It includes MySQL workbench as an integrated tool for designing and creating databases. 
Storage Engine Allows for the use of a single storage engine. It is more adaptable since it supports numerous pluggable storage engines.
Server and Database In SQL, the server stays independent of the database, allowing you to do other tasks on the database during a data backup session. During a data backup session, the server blocks the database and you are unable to make any other activities on the database, reducing data corruption while transitioning from one MySQL version to another.
Data Security External processes or third-party programs cannot directly change data. Using binaries at run time, database files may be readily changed or modified.
Community Support SQL does not have community support because it is not an open-source language. Because it is an open-source platform, it has a large and active community.


You can also read about the Multiple Granularity Locking and  Recursive Relationship in DBMS.

Difference between SQL and MySQL Server

MySQL and SQL Server are two of the most popular Relational Database Management Systems software. Both software packages have unique characteristics and are ideal in their own right. Here's a short comparison of the two most prevalent SQL-based systems.

1.) Syntax: SQL Server syntax is believed to be very basic and straightforward. MySQL, on the other hand, is more complicated than SQL Server.

2.) Written In: Both MySQL and SQL Server are developed in the same C and C++ programming languages.

3.) Storage Engine: SQL Server employs a single storage engine created by Microsoft. MySQL, on the other hand, employs several storage engines, making it far more adaptable. Users can select engines depending on their speed, dependability, or any other criteria.

4.) Security: In terms of security, SQL Server outperforms MySQL. Other processes in SQL Server are not permitted to view or change the data. In other words, hackers or any third-party software cannot directly access the data. Binaries can be used to change database files in MySQL at run time, making it less secure. Any other unknown procedure can simply access and change the data.

5.) Licensing: Oracle Corporation owns MySQL, which is totally free and open-source software. SQL Server, on the other hand, is solely Microsoft-owned proprietary software. Its source code is typically not accessible to others.

6.) Multilingual: SQL Server is a language that is available in a variety of languages, which contributes to its widespread adoption. MySQL, on the other hand, only supports English as a language.

7.) Supported Platform: SQL Server is compatible with Linux, macOS, Windows, and Windows Server. Since the system is accessible on Linux and macOS via docker, it misses a few capabilities. MySQL, on the other hand, fully supports practically all common operating systems. The operating systems include Linux, Windows macOS, and Solaris.

8.) Supported Programming Languages: SQL Server supports a wide range of programming languages, including C++, Java, Go, PHP, Python, VB, and R. MySQL presently supports all of the above-mentioned languages. Instead, it also supports languages such as Perl, Scheme, Tcl, and Haskel. It is one of the reasons why the MySQL development community likes it.

9.) Community Support: Because SQL Server is not open-source software, community support is limited. If you come across an issue, you'll have to contact Microsoft SQL Server support. This is where MySQL scores the most points. Almost every difficulty may be solved by just searching the internet. If not, there is always the community.

10.) Editions: Microsoft SQL Server is available in several versions, including Enterprise, Standard, Web, Express, and Developer. You'll need to weigh several factors before deciding on the best one. MySQL comes in three flavors: Standard, Enterprise, and Cluster GCE. There is also a Community version, which is free and open-source, as previously stated.

11.) Pricing: In terms of cost, both the developer and express editions of SQL Server are absolutely free. Other editions, on the other hand, will set you back a pretty penny. For example, the Enterprise edition costs roughly $14,256, while the Standard edition costs $3,717. The annual subscription for MySQL's ordinary version is $2,000, while the Enterprise edition is $5,000. While the Cluster GCE will cost you $10,000.

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Must Read SQL Clauses


  1. Should I learn SQL or MySQL?
    To operate on any database management system, you must first master the standard query language, often known as SQL. As a result, it is preferable to master the language first and then comprehend the foundations of the RDBMS.
  2. What applications make use of SQL and MySQL?
    MySQL is used by many well-known web-based applications and businesses, including WordPress, YouTube, and Joomla. SQL is also utilized by a variety of platforms, including MYSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.
  3. What does Open Source mean?
    Simply said, open-source software is software in which the entire source code is freely available to everybody and may be shared and updated.
  4. What is the use of a Storage Engine?
    A storage engine is a piece of software that is used by a database management system to generate, read, and update data from a database.
  5. How difficult is it to learn SQL? 
    SQL is not a difficult language to learn. It is a simple language with a fixed format that does not get many modifications. As a result, if you set your mind to it, you should be able to learn it quickly.
    To learn more about SQL, you can refer to SQL Library

Key Takeaways

There is no doubt that there is a significant difference between SQL and MySQL. To summarise, leaning towards any side is not feasible. Despite their numerous differences, there is no one who can claim victory over the other. Both have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. You may, however, combine them to obtain the best of both worlds. 

Hope you learned something. But the knowledge never stops, so to better understand the Database management system, you can go through many articles on our platform. 

Also Read - TCL Commands In SQL

Don't stop here, Ninja; check out the Top 100 SQL Problems to get hands-on experience with frequently asked interview questions and land your dream job.

Happy Learning Ninja :) 

Topics covered
What is a Relational Database?
What is SQL?
What is MySQL?
Key Differences
Difference between SQL and MySQL
Difference between SQL and MySQL Server
Key Takeaways