How is MySQL Different from PostgreSQL?

Although MySQL and PostgreSQL are both open-source RDBMSs (relational database management systems) there are some radical differences between the two platforms. Each system has its own respective benefits and trade-offs that you’ll need to work around.

MySQL versus PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is focused on data integrity, reliability, and developer-centric features. This means that functions and tools favor the developer instead of the end user. With PostgreSQL, there’s less hassle with licensing, table inheritance – especially when a large number of tables are used – database events, custom data types, and rules systems.

On the other hand, MySQL is focused on web apps that are read-mostly, most often written in PHP. This means it favors client-side functions and puts more emphasis on the end user. Ultimately, MySQL is most popular because it handles simple queries better, and faster.

Quite frankly, neither platform is better than the other, they just have different use cases. Which database tool you choose will largely depend on what you are doing in terms of development.

As a more detailed comparison:

  • Both database platforms are ANSI standard compatible, however, PostgreSQL had the standard embedded from the start.
  • PostgreSQL has one storage engine, and MySQL has nine. The only two that matter are MyIsam and InnoDB. Both database software platforms support these two storage engines, which means they are fully ACID compliant.
  • Both PostgreSQL and MySQL use row-level locking, so you can make table changes easily.
  • PostgreSQL excels when it comes to subqueries.
  • PostgreSQL supports NoSQL and allows developers to store JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) files in a database. MySQL supports JSON, but not NoSQL.

Next, we’re going to show you How to Setup a MySQL Development Environment.

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