MySQL Review

It offers all the features of a RDBMS system, including monitoring tools, backup and recovery, high availability and easy migration from other databases.​

What is most valuable?

MySQL is an Open Source RDBMS, which means you keep your costs low, as long as you don’t need to have support and/or you have your own MySQL expert. However, MySQL also offers the enterprise edition for users that would like support and more advanced features.

When it comes to features, MySQL offers all the features of a RDBMS system, including monitoring tools, backup and recovery, high availability and easy migration from other databases.

How has it helped my organization?

For any web project today you are going to need a database system. If you use any Content Management System, MySQL is most of the times the database of your choice.

MySQL is easy to use, most developers have experience using it and it is an Open Source, cost-effective solution.

What needs improvement?

Although MySQL should cover most of the needs of an average user, there are constrains that need improvement.

For example, MySQL doesn’t support check constraints. MySQL’s performance is not optimal on subqueries and can significantly increase the server load for database intensive applications.

Another issue is the ineffective table manipulation during multiple transactions which result in implicit Commits.

Finally, since MySQL is now part of Oracle, and Oracle already sells their own databases, changes and bug fixes have significantly slowed down for obvious reasons. Oracle cannot improve MySQL too much, since it will then compete with their commercial database systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using MySQL either through custom projects or through CMS, for more than 15 years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven’t encountered any serious stability issues with MySQL.

However, as with all systems, you need to keep your database “tidy”, making sure to optimize it, clean it and avoid corrupt files.

For critical projects, it may be wise to have redundancy by having two servers synced all the time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Most scalability issues with MySQL can be simply resolved by adding more memory, optimizing settings or moving to a better server.

Of course, if you are talking about 40-50TB of data, or critical applications, then you will probably need to move to a more commercial database, such as Oracle.

How is customer service and technical support?

We haven’t used the enterprise edition of MySQL, since most of our projects do not require such support levels. Most issues are handled by our developers.

Which solutions did we use previously?

MySQL has been the only solution for all of our web projects.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up MySQL is simple, however, optimizing it requires some experience which is also based on the demands of each customer.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we started using MySQL, it was more or less the best Open Source RDBMS for web projects. Today, you have multiple options, such as PostgreSQL, SQLite and MariaDB, therefore the choice for a newcomer should be based on their project needs.

What other advice do I have?

For us, MySQL is the choice for all of our projects. It is simply to use, supported by all content management systems and, of course, Open Source.

We haven’t had any major issues, and since we have now developed MySQL technical skills and custom libraries, there is no reason to move on with a different RDBMS, unless circumstances change.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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