2014-03-31 11:35:00 UTC

Did you switch from a different solution to MySQL? Can you list a few pros and cons for making the move?

Any information you can share about moving to MySQL will be helpful to the community.

11 Answer
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On a previous project we used Access, MySQL, and SQL Server Express. We migrated the Access backend database to MySQL while keeping the Access front end. We did not migrate the processes and data from SQL Server Express to MySQL, but we did have to link to the MySQL database to be able to query live data. Talend was often used to move data into and out of MySQL.

The decision was to use MySQL as the data store for enterprise-wide data. The SQL Server processes were highly specialized (used only by one person to perform a specific function) and would only be used (presumably) for another few months, so it didn't seem to make sense to convert the stored procedures and schema to MySQL.

The Access database front end was rolled out to nearly a dozen people and the data was mission-critical and constantly updated, so housing it in MySQL so it could be updated and used for feeding other processes made sense.

Pros of MySQL: It is free and seems to be robust.
Cons of MySQL: It didn't always play nicely in the Microsoft ecosystem. Migrating to a Microsoft Access front-end with a MySQL back end required a lot of work, troubleshooting, and inelegant workarounds that a SQL Server back end would not have. That may be because I had done SQL Server back ends a lot, but the MySQL back end only once. Linking the SQL Server to MySQL was less problematic once we figured out how to query the MySQL tables. (It isn't straightforward.)

Overall I would recommend MySQL over SQL Server Express (which is also free) because SQL Server Express is limited in some ways. For example, you cannot save an import job in SQL Server Express. You have to walk through the steps every time. We may have been able to get around that using Talend, or even Access. MySQL, at least in the free version, does not have the huge array of ancillary services like SQL Server (the paid edition) like SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, etc, so if those services are important I'm not sure I'd recommend MySQL unless you look at complementary products like Jaspersoft and others. Of course those services are expensive, so if cost is an issue MySQL is well worth the price.

2014-03-31 23:20:03 UTC
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