MySQL Overview

MySQL is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Open Source Databases. It is most often compared to Firebird SQL: MySQL vs Firebird SQL

What is MySQL?

Until its recent acquisition by Oracle, MySQL was possibly the most renowned open source database enterprise package that could be accessed completely for free. With the merger, the server increased both its features and its price tag, but there is still a free version available to the general community to contribute ideas and suggestions.

MySQL is a fast and relatively inexpensive database management system. It can easily integrate with a wide variety of programming languages, and it is considered to be a very reliable option. One of the most prominent features that customers seem to enjoy is the easy scalability of this system.

MySQL Buyer's Guide

Download the MySQL Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

MySQL Customers

Facebook, Tumblr, Scholastic, MTV Networks, Wikipedia, Verizon Wireless, Sage Group, Glassfish Open Message Queue, and RightNow Technologies.

MySQL Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about MySQL pricing:
  • "Microsoft licensing for SQL Server is probably ten times more expensive. I used to work for the government, and I remember when we were looking into upgrading to the enterprise version of SQL Server 2019, the licensing was going to cost 350,000. To get the equivalent in the cloud, it was going to be about four grand to get the same processing power and everything else. With MySQL, it was going to be about 300 for the same licensing. Cost-wise, for sure, there is a huge difference. Would you prefer to pay 300 a month or 3,000 to have the same amount of data resources? You might lose a few options that you need, but it isn't worth the price difference."
  • "It's an open-source database management system that can be used free of charge."
  • "This product has a good price point."

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Patryk Golabek
CTO at Translucent Computing Inc
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Aug 5, 2020
Good beginner base but it should have better support for backups

What is our primary use case?

We use multiple models here because we do full development. What we deploy on MySQL is from the Helm chart or it's a Dockerized deployment of MySQL. So we're using the Helm stable chart right now. That's sort of the easiest way to deploy it - to say just one command and it bootstraps your whole database within your classical means or cluster. You can do it locally with mini-crews or developers, for organizational use, or Kubernetes. It's single-node Kubernetes. Also, you can just deploy MySQL locally with a Helm chart. Regarding production, we have a kind of automated process which is similar… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "This specific version of this MySQL has been battle tested for a long time. Any issues are known issues and we pretty much don't have any problems when they're in production. So it's very stable."
  • "In terms of what I'd like to see in the next release, one thing that's always missing is dash boarding. There's no real BI tool for MySQL, like there is in Yellowfin and all the different tools that you get. They all have MySQL connectors, but there's no specific BI tool for MySQL. These open source projects have sprung up, but they're more general purpose."

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I would tell others is regarding the backups. Once you start doing it yourself, backing up becomes a thing. When we sign up the clients, we'll give them a set amount of backups daily and we always give them a little verbiage about how much data can be lost if the thing goes down. Or for example, if you get hit somewhere, what is the last backup you did? How much are you willing to lose? Backups can become quite complicated, and that's something that you have to manage yourself. We have to come up with clever solutions to do runs within our Dockerized environments in…
Arief Gunawan
Product manager at Metrodata Electronics Tbk PT
Real User
Top 5
Oct 22, 2020
Has a simple and user-friendly installation

What is our primary use case?

We sell MySQL to customers who need to build second tier applications, not their core application. For some of our customers, when they are planning to build their second tier application, they will choose MySQL rather than Oracle which is more expensive.

Pros and Cons

  • "The one interesting thing about this product is that it is open source. It comes from an open source product. MySQL has been positioned as open source, but it also provides support."
  • "If the customer is already using or has already used Oracle for a long time they will know the look and feel and the character of this database that can fit into their business."

What other advice do I have?

My message to our customers out there is that you want to get a good product. A good product in terms of the cost and an effective solution. But you also need some guarantee that this product will be supported by the principle. Because there are so many cheaper products out there but they don't have principles to support the product. They rely on the community for the troubleshooting. So I recommend to the customers to try this product. MySQL comes from open-source so it means it's a cost-effective solution. But the important thing is this product has its own principle that is supporting this…
Learn what your peers think about MySQL. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
476,892 professionals have used our research since 2012.
NareshMote
Data Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Jun 30, 2020
A great open-source product that offers great scalability and compatibility

Pros and Cons

  • "MySQL is open-source. There are a lot of open-source communities trying to come up with their own patches, and to come up with their own features, which help MySQL develop faster than traditional databases like Oracle, which is closed source."
  • "They should come up with a better solution than the NDB cluster for better scaling. If they could come up with a better solution for write scaling, apart from the NDB cluster, which is supported by all open source communities, that would be great. Although the NDB cluster, I believe, is an open-source tool, it's not widely supported as a solution."

What other advice do I have?

We are using MySQL 5.6, 5.7, and MySQL 8.0. In terms of advice, I'd say when implementing MySQL, if a company has been using any previous relational database, like Oracle, Microsoft SQL or DB2, the easiest way to migrate from any database is from Oracle to MySQL. There'll be some challenges from Microsoft SQL, as well as from DB2 to MySQL. Any existing application which is working with the Oracle database as a backend database, DB2 database as a backend database, or Microsoft as the backend database, they will still work fine with MySQL. MySQL is a product supported by a lot of applications…
GG
reviewer1432350
Computer & Information Systems Manager at a real estate/law firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Oct 20, 2020
Provides a simplistic view for building custom queries and has less performance overhead

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the simplistic view of MySQL to build custom queries and things like that as compared to SQL Server, which seems more cluttered. SQL Server has a query analyzer. MySQL pretty much does the same, and performance-wise, it has less overhead for connecting to our ERP system. It seems more responsive and cleaner. With MySQL, you get what you need without any overbloating, for which Microsoft is known. That's why they have so many constant security patches for everything because there is so much stuff, which degrades performance."
  • "The GUI interface probably can be improved. Let us say I want to see the relationships in the database. In the query analyzer, I would like to go and drop the tables and create relationships between the tables. I haven't found a feature like that in MySQL. It was a shortcoming even in SQL Server. MySQL can have more performance monitoring tools. I know Google has these tools, but within MySQL, there are not that many tools to monitor things like performance and database locking. They might be in there, and I might not be familiar enough to know where they are. I am a pretty new user of MySQL."

What other advice do I have?

If you want just a database for data storage, I would recommend MySQL. If you want something that has everything in it, such as reporting services and analytics, SQL Server might be better. Cost-wise, MySQL is almost pricing itself out. I would rate MySQL an eight out of ten for ease of use, especially for someone who has never used it and implemented it. It was pretty straightforward to implement it. It gives you what you need. It surely provides the basics such as data storage, setting up the tables, etc.
ND
reviewer1456815
Specialist Geosciences Data Consultant at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Top 5
Feb 28, 2021
Simple to use, good for data manipulation and creating views

What is our primary use case?

My daily tasks are related to data mining and TBICO Spotfire is one of the products that I use. We are a small group of geologists operating in a niche area who are analyzing geochemical data. Our backend database is MySQL and we use products such as Power BI, Tableau, and Spotfire to display data for the geochemists. I perform data-related tasks such as data manipulation and creating views, then updating the database afterward, all using SQL queries. As part of this, I'm making entries as needed or corrections to data that has already been processed.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is pretty simple to use and I don't have anything really bad to say about it."
  • "I would like to have the ability to cancel a query in SQL Developer."

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing MySQL is to ask around because there are many different ways that you can create a database now. Relational databases are no longer the best way to organize your data. It really depends on what it is that you're doing. For example, you may not need a relational database, but instead just a file structure. So, look at all of your options and speak with the experts to see what kind of database is needed before assuming that you need an RDBMS. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
LeonMofor
Ingénieur Etude et Développement / Technical Lead Java at ATOS
MSP
Top 5
Oct 12, 2020
Open-source, easy to install, and has good documentation, but scaling it can be difficult

What is our primary use case?

MYSQL is our main database. We use it for every project. I use it for storage procedures, SQL administration, and database administration. We also use it for the development of reports, and projects that are deployed for our customers. It is also used to develop applications. The majority of companies use it for their development projects.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are that it's free and the documentation is good."
  • "In the next release, I would like to see the scalability features improved to allow you to configure it and reduce the complexity with the configuration, making it easier for the end-user to scale. Make it as simple as it can be."

What other advice do I have?

I am not using the user interface because I'm a developer. Generally, I just try to find how to use the command-line interface to access what I want for the system. Oracle is still the best, but it's too expensive. Before purchasing this solution, know the needs of your environment and be sure that you don't have to scale it. If you want to scale it you will require more knowledge on the product and you will need more support for it. If you have a little project with a thousand users connected to the instances, it will be able to be scaled. But if you are looking to be able to handle large…
goforitandy
IT Consultant at Learning Support Services
Real User
Top 5
Nov 12, 2020
Free, cost-effective, with a powerful plethora of tools

What is our primary use case?

It is an ideal database to use online learning environments and SMEs. It works well with Moodle, the open-source learning solution, and is the defacto standard for that product as Moodle is written in PHP which generally goes hand-in-hand with MySQL. As it is an open-source and free solution it is an economical method of storing important companies or small business data. At the same time, it offers a rich set of functions comparable to other large-scale enterprise solutions such as SQL Server and Oracle.

Pros and Cons

  • "Like other databases, it has a rich set of functions, such as stored procedures and its own procedural language, which is akin to Oracle SQL. It also has trigger and cursor commands you would expect with a good database language."
  • "MySQL tutorials and guides could be improved. Often they are too complex for someone with no database experience to understand."

What other advice do I have?

You do need to have technical knowledge of databases in general, but MySQL is not too difficult to learn if used alongside PHPMyAdmin, but there are other tools you could consider, such as MySQL Workbench.
RS
reviewer1252344
COO at a tech vendor with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
Oct 24, 2020
Cost-effective, good performance, easy to use, and the cross-platform capabilities are nice

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is as a reporting solution, data collection, data manipulation, and similar tasks. We install MySQL on Linux and Windows machines for testing our enterprise application. We are a solution provider and this product is part of our offering to our clients.

Pros and Cons

  • "What I've been most pleased with is the cost point, performance, and ease of use."
  • "The analytics features are in need of improvement."

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is looking into implementing MySQL is to start by carefully evaluating their use cases. One of the things that we found is that MySQL didn't necessarily have all of the flexibility for JSON and XML processing at the time. I know that they've improved it, although it's not quite the same as what you see specifically in Oracle. So, the customer has to evaluate that. For straight-on basic transaction processing, it's worked out just as well with few issues from SQL Server to MySQL or from Oracle to MySQL. For my use, I'm fine with what they have. I'll be interested in…
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Buyer's Guide
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