In the digital age, data serves multiple functions. Raw data can contain clues that may lead to trade secrets and financial information. As information, data helps promote growth through educational opportunities and insights. Your information is your asset and requires proper management and security.
This article reviews the two most popular database management systems and the key purposes they might serve in your project.
What Is MySQL
MySQL is a system dedicated to the management of a relational database. The system encompasses a suite of programs that structure data in a row-based table. The table organizes data elements in a manner that creates connections between them. This method of organization helps make sense of the data and use it appropriately. MySQL helps maintain the integrity and security of the database.
Key Features of MySQL
The simplicity of MySQL has made it a popular database management system since its initial release in 1995. This level of simplicity is owed to the low number of functionalities the system offers—in the community edition. Parties interested in a higher level of functionality can make use of the paid versions or integrate with third-party tools.
Free and Paid Versions Available
Oracle Corporation owns the MySQL software and currently provides six licensing versions:
- MySQL Enterprise Edition—database management functionalities such as monitoring, backup, security, and high availability.
- MySQL Standard Edition—limited basic MySQL functionalities plus Oracle Premier Support.
- MySQL Classic Edition—only for embedded database for ISVs, OEMs and VARs
- MySQL Cluster CGE—provides all the paid features plus a MySQL cluster manager.
- MySQL Embedded (OEM/ISV)
- MySQL Community Edition—the free open-source version of MySQL, made available per the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).
Extensive Integration Capabilities
MySQL enables a high level of flexibility. You can integrate with a variety of third-party tools to customize the system according to your needs and client specifications.
The following tools can help you handle MySQL tasks:
- phpMyAdmin—free software for MySQL administration.
- Tcprstat—free tool for TCP analysis.
- MariaDB—for database auditing.
- MySQL Workbench—for data modeling and administration.
Asynchronous Replication and Database Clustering
In asynchronous replication, the replication process is split into two phases—storage and replication. First, the data is transferred to storage. Next, during the replication process, the data is copied and transferred for secure backup. Replication can either occur real-time or at a scheduled interval.
MySQL enables the use of asynchronous replication with database clustering. At the database clustering level, multiple databases are hosted through multiple servers. Together, they create a cluster that shares resources and implements a synchronous replication. While the cluster components use a two-phase commit mechanism, the servers create asynchronous replications.
Partial SQL Compliance, Not Compliant with ACID
SQL compliance can be achieved by complying with the full list of SQL guidelines, written for the purpose of standardizing the use of SQL worldwide. MySQL doesn’t meet all SQL standards required for compliance.
Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (ACID) compliance helps ensure the four key data management qualifications are met. The community version of MySQL isn’t ACID-compliant.
SQL compliance and ACID are self-regulatory and it’s up to you to decide the scope of compliance needed for any certain project or organization.
What Is PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL is a system dedicated to the management of object-relational databases. The system combines two models for organizing data—relational and object-oriented—into a hybrid model that provides enhanced flexibility. Thus, data objects can be organized as objects and classes.
Key Features of PostgreSQL
Extensive Level of Customization
PostgreSQL comes with an extensive set of functionalities that enable a high level of customization within the system. From data administration, security, to backup and recovery—PostgreSQL provides more than the bare necessities and can be customized according to the needs of the organization.
Free Version Supported by Open Source Community
PostgreSQL is an open-source project. There is one version of the system, offered for free, and updated on a regular basis by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group and community contributors. The PostgreSQL community supports itself and the system users by providing online educational resources and communication channels such as the PostgreSQL wiki, official documentation, and online forums. Commercial support can be purchased from third-party providers.
Robust Integration Capabilities
PostgreSQL is designed with big databases in mind, allowing for complex queries and simple integration with big data tools.
The following tools can help enhance PostgreSQL with big data functionalities:
- Postgres Enterprise Manager (PEM)—for extended PostgreSQL admin
- Druid III—for data visualization.
- Power*Architect—for ERD modeling.
The Community Guide to PostgreSQL GUI Tools provides more information about popular tools for extending PostgreSQL functionalities.
PostgreSQL offers the following replication options as part of the Backup, Restore, Data Integrity & Replication feature matrix group:
- Cascading streaming replication
- Logical Replication
- Quorum commit for synchronous replication
- Replication Slots
- Streaming-only cascading replication
- Streaming Replication
- Synchronous replication
Almost Full SQL and ACID Compliance
PostgreSQL has been ACID-compliant since 2001, and the 2018 version of PostgreSQL is almost fully SQL-compliant. PostgreSQL meets 160 out of the 179 core SQL compliance standards.
How to Choose a Database Management System
While MySQL and PostgreSQL serve a similar function as a database management system—each system has unique characteristics that cater to different needs. Choose the system that best fits the needs of the project at hand.
MySQL is recommended for the following purposes:
- Simple web-applications
- Long-term flexibility
- Scaling on a budget
PostgreSQL is recommended for the following purposes:
- Complex database designs
- Performing customized procedures
- Assigning Object level privileges