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Ensuring data is stored, processed, and analyzed securely and efficiently has become increasingly essential. When storing data, there often needs clarity between SQL and MySQL. They are two of the most popular database technologies used today to store, organize, and retrieve data. Despite their similarities, a few key distinctions make them suitable for different types of applications.

In this article, we will explore the differences between SQL vs. MySQL to help you understand which technology suits your needs.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source, relational database management system (RDBMS) that provides a scalable platform to manage data using Structured Query Language (SQL) to interact with the database for easy data retrieval and manipulation.

MySQL Architecture

MySQL architecture is based on a client-server model and consists of three components: 

  • Client: It is a web-based, desktop, or command-line application used to interact with the MySQL server. 
  • Server: It is the program that is liable for operating the databases and responding to requests from the client. 
  • Storage Engine: It is responsible for storing and retrieving data from the databases whenever a query is run.

Benefits of MySQL

  1. It allows choosing between various storage engines, which can be optimized according to the application types.
  2. It is apt for managing high-speed read and writes operations, making it appropriate for large datasets. 
  3. Depending on the user's requirements, it can quickly scale up or down. 
  4. It has many security features, including encryption, authentication, and authorization. 
  5. It is free-to-use open-source software, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses of all sizes.

What is SQL?

SQL (Structured Query Language), often called SEQUEL, is a programming language specially created for managing data in databases. It creates, modifies, and retrieves data by communicating with the databases.

Benefits of SQL

  1. The learning curve for SQL is not steep and can be learned by users without any programming experience.
  2. Queries in SQL can be optimized to run fast, making it an ideal choice for applications with large databases. 
  3. SQL databases are scalable and can easily add more resources per need. 
  4. SQL databases have backup features that help safeguard data against any damage. 
  5. SQL allows users to create custom queries specific to their needs.
  6. SQL is a cross-platform language; it can be used on multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

SQL Vs. MySQL: Major differences

Before further diving into the comparison between SQL and MySQL, here is a brief overview of their distinctions.

Factors MySQL SQL
Definition & Purpose It is an RDBMS used to manage data. It is a language used to communicate with databases
Developers It was first built by oracle corporation in 1995 IBM created it by researchers in the 1970s.
Programming languages support It supports languages such as C, C++, java, etc. It is a programming language itself.
Connectors MySQL workbench is supported. No connectors are supported.
Community Support It has an active community. of 2 million active users. It has an active community of 4 million active users.
Syntax It is software that is built on SQL. Some new latest version updations are seen. A proper set of rules is followed to perform a specific query.
Multilingual No, only English is supported. Yes, it is available in different languages.
Platform Support It is supported by Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It is supported by Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
Pricing Open source RDBMS with flexible pricing plans Mutiple pricing plans are provided.
Storage Engine Multiple storage engines are supported. A single storage engine is supported for different operations
Backup Longer time is taken to restore data. Quick data restoration is seen.
  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Definition & Purpose

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) that stores and manages data by querying it using the Structured Query Language(SQL).

SQL is a programming language used to communicate with databases to manage and retrieve data.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Developers

MySQL is built on SQL and was developed by Oracle Corporation and was first released in 1995. Ever since, it has become the most prevalent database management system in the world, powering millions of web applications and websites.

SQL was created in the 1970s by IBM researchers and has become the most used and popular language for database management. 

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Programming Language support

MySQL has support for languages such as C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, and Node.js, which gives developers the flexibility to create robust applications

SQL, on the other hand, is itself a programming language used to manage data and information in relational databases. It is a standard language for interacting with relational databases and many popular database management systems, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, etc.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Connectors

MySQL Workbench is a powerful visual tool used to handle MySQL databases. It provides a complete collection of graphical tools with a built-in SQL editor and a query builder to create and run SQL queries on the go. The MySQL Workbench Community Edition is the open-source version of MySQL Workbench and is free to use. It provides all the features of the commercial version, from creating and managing databases to creating visual representations of the table schema for better understanding. SQL does not support connectors as it is a database language itself.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Community support

SQL and MySQL have highly interactive communities of users and developers providing support and resources.

SQL has a larger community with over 4 million active users and 3 million developers. With extensive online resources, it has over 10,000 tutorials,1,000 books, and over 1,000 forums. 

MySQL also has an engaging community of 2 million active users and 1 million developers. 

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Syntax

SQL is a standardized language that is used to create, update, delete, and retrieve data from a database, whereas MySQL is a relational database management system that is based on SQL but has its own set of commands. 

MySQL queries are written using a specific syntax that differs from the syntax used for SQL. 

For example, to find the top N rows in SQL, we need to write this query:

Whereas to find the top N in MySQL, we have to write this query:

The syntax of SQL and MySQL can be confusing sometimes, but by following the respective documentation it is possible to write queries in either language.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Multilingual

SQL is multilingual; it is available in multiple languages, while MySQL is limited to English only. SQL here has the upper hand as it can be useful for developers from across the globe.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Platform Support

SQL is supported on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. MySQL is also available on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X and on cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, etc.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Pricing

Both SQL and MySQL offer a variety of pricing plans and features. Let’s look at the different pricing plans and their approximate costs. 

For SQL, the top-tier and the most expensive plan is the SQL Server Enterprise Edition costing US$13,748 for two core packs.

The standard edition for SQL costs US$3,586 for two core packs

The MySQL Cluster CGE is the most expensive tier and costs US$10,000. 

The MySQL Enterprise Edition is priced at US$5,000.

MySQL Standard Edition is priced at US$2,000.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Storage Engines

Storage engines are used by SQL and MySQL to handle data effectively. The main difference is that SQL uses a single storage engine, while MySQL uses multiple storage engines. 

SQL uses its storage engine, the Microsoft SQL Server Storage Engine (MSSSE). The MSSSE provides a range of features, such as row-level locking, data compression, and advanced indexing. 

MySQL has different storage engines, such as MyISAM, InnoDB, Memory, etc. Each of these storage engines has its own set of features and capabilities. Thus, MySQL provides more flexibility to users to choose the best storage engine for their particular use cases.

  1. SQL vs. MySQL: Backup

The method in which backup is taken in MySQL and SQL is slightly different. 

In MySQL, data needs to be backed up in SQL statements to minimize the chances of data corruption the server blocks the database. SQL does not block the database at the time of backup, allowing other operations to be performed on the database while the data is being backed up.

MySQL blocks the database at the time of backup, resulting in long restoration times, whereas MS SQL does not and allows for other operations to be performed while it is being backed up, resulting in quicker restoration times.


It is difficult to determine which is better between SQL and MySQL as SQL is a versatile language, while MySQL is a powerful and popular open-source database management system. To use MySQL database effectively, you need to understand SQL well; both technologies must be combined to manage resources and customers effectively.

Sprinkle Data is a data pipeline tool that can be used to pull data from MySQL database and further structure and streamline data into one standard format. It is a no-code data pipeline and analytics platform supporting over 100 data connectors. If you want to unify all your data in a single place, then Sprinkle data is one of the best pipeline tools available today.


  1. Is MySQL the same as SQL? 

No, MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS), while SQL is a programming language used to interact with databases.

  1. Is SQL used in MySQL? 

Yes, SQL is used in MySQL. SQL is the standard language for managing relational databases, and MySQL is a popular database management system.

  1. Is MySQL a coding language? 

No, MySQL is not a coding language. It is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that stores and manages data in a structured format.

  1. What are the five types of SQL? 
  • Data Definition Language (DDL) 
  • Data Manipulation Language (DML) 
  • Transaction Control Language (TCL) 
  • Data Control Language (DCL) 
  • Query Language (QL)
  1. Which major companies use MySQL? 

Some of the major companies that use MySQL include 

  • Amazon 
  • Facebook 
  • Google 
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Uber
  • Airbnb
  • eBay
  • Netflix
  • PayPal
Written by
Soham Dutta