Oracle versus MySQL

 Looking at Oracle versus MySQL Environments

After coming back from Oracle Open World in San Francisco,  the differences between Oracle and MySQL stood out more than ever.   The Oracle and MySQL database environments are completely different.   Both databases can be used in lots of different environments and they are both fantastic solutions for the right situation.  I've always used the comparison of Oracle being an aircraft carrier and MySQL being a fast fleet of speedboats.  This difference is more apparent than ever.  Now when I think of Oracle I think not only of Oracle but of the supporting aircraft carrier force around it.  


The environments for Oracle are getting more and more complex.   There are just tons of products supporting the Oracle environment with lots of different options.  I really think Oracle needs to stream line its message.   I heard a lot of feedback from numerous individuals that were just completely overwhelmed with all the options and products.   There is a lot of innovation and tremendous activity around products and features.  For large enterprise business applications Oracle appears to be dominating the market.


MySQL does not come close to all the features of Oracle.  However, this is why so many people love MySQL.  MySQL is fast, easy to work with, streamlined and has a significantly reduced cost of ownership.   I am seeing MySQL significantly increasing in popularity everywhere I go.  The LAMP stack is also growing in popularity at ever increasing rates.  Developers building web applications don't care about all the features in a database.   .NET, PHP, Java and Ruby developers want a fast database server that is easy to work with.  That is why MySQL is so popular in web based environments.   Developers don't care about database features, they care about a fast database server that meets the needs for their web applications that is easy to use.


What a totally biased comparison, approaching Oracle with a negative attitude and MySQL with a positive one. A commercial database like Oracle (or SQLServer or DB2) is obviously not the choice for websites that only need simple queries to a backend database.

Now compare the use of MySQL in a non-online application setting, that requires complex business rules. You'll be surprised how Oracle (and SQLServer and DB2) dominate MySQL.

Each products has its target use. You're comparing apples and pears. Yes, they're both databases. A Ferrari and a Skoda are both cars, but you won't compare these two now would you?

Posted by SwitchBL8 on September 28, 2008 at 11:14 PM MDT #

Thanks for you feedback. The post is not intended to be negative towards Oracle. Oracle has more features than any other database server and is possibly going to dominate the enterprise business applications and middle-tier space. I can't be more positive than that. Oracle is showing incredible ingenuity and is expanding in the database, applications, middle-tier, operating system and "hardware" space.

Posted by George Trujillo on September 28, 2008 at 11:43 PM MDT #

Oracle cetainly has more options.but do you think their is some basic difference between how oracle & mysql store data tables

Posted by jasveer singh on February 10, 2009 at 01:51 PM MST #


Regarding the comment: "Developers don't care about database features, they care about a fast database server that meets the needs for their web applications that is easy to use."...

Although it maybe true, but I thought we should probably encourage the developers to actually care about the database features. For example, Gregg Petri has written a paper on comparing Oracle9i and MySQL 4 (, but it might be a little out of date by now. Nevertheless, some fundamental features were pointed out that might be of concern to developers.

In addition to development features of a database, one should also consider the administrative features of a database. At the end of the day, it's not the developers who will keep a database running once it's in Production, it's the DBAs.

My point here, is that one should pay a bit more attention to the database features when picking between Oracle and MySQL. In regards to managing the complexity, and deciphering it all for the developers, it's probably a job for the DBA (?).

Just my thoughts...

Posted by fredt on February 16, 2009 at 10:37 AM MST #

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This blog is my perspective of Sun in relation to Oracle, MySQL, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Education and Virtual Reality platforms. The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.


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