sql and mysql

The Difference Between SQL and MySQL

SQL and MySQL are the most common jargons tossed around in the subject of database management. Knowing them might just give you the upper hand as an entrepreneur. Read on to learn about more SQL and MySQL.

The words SQL and MySQL are two commonly confused terms. Other than the fact that they do sound alike, they’re both associated with the concept of database management system. However, these two have completely separate functions. To clear up the whole SQL vs MySQL debates, we have to study their real definition. But before that, we need to understand the context as to when and how they’re used.

So, what are SQL and MySQL?

SQL and MySQL both fall under the umbrella of Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). We will get into the technicalities of this technology, but we will find out what it’s for.

What is a Relational Database Management System?

relational database

A Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a subset of the Database Management System, it is specifically used for a relational database. It creates the storage format and manages the access of data.

The relational database refers to the structured format of the storage (its rows and columns), while the RDBMS is the program itself. The RDBMS executes queries on the data, including adding, updating, and searching for values.

How is it used by startups?

When a small business grows big, complications arise. The more customers it acquires, the more it needs to adjust to growing demand. Imagine the boatload of products and customer information a startup has to track in its growth. Mixing up sensitive data can heavily affect its credibility.

This is why a lot of enterprises leverage the most advanced software to manage their data. It is incredibly useful for businesses, serving as a repository for essential information. 

In using a relational database, you reduce the amount of storage space to manage transactions and documents.

How does it work?

A database management system allows a company to expedite its transactions by automating data gathering and retrieval. 

Take for example the Human Resources department. It needs a database for tracking employee records. Or if you’re in the manufacturing industry, you’ll need to keep track of the inventory, production, and distribution of your products. Database management streamlines your operations and conveniently documents it.

SQL vs MySQL: What’s the difference?

Now that we know how RDBMS functions, it’s time to learn where SQL and MySQL come into play. 

The difference between SQL and MySQL lies in their roles. SQL is the standard language used to communicate tasks in the database while MySQL is a type of RDBMS.

You can think of SQL as the blueprint of a building, while MySQL is the whole infrastructure complete with running elevators. Yes, there isn’t really a logical debate between SQL and MySQL as they’re both parts of one big system. 

Let’s further understand how each term works.

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Standard Query Language and is used to perform various operations in the database. Developers turn to this when they’re writing data integration scripts, while data analysts use it to set up and run analytical queries. Aside from MySQL, SQL is also used for other RDBMS such as Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, Access, Ingres, etc.

Using SQL statements, you can instruct the server to perform key data operations like:

  • Query—request specific information from the existing database.
  • Manipulation—add, delete, change, sort, and other actions to modify the data, the values, or the visuals.
  • Identification—define data types, e.g. converting numerical data to integers. You can also define a schema or the relationship of each table in the database
  • Access management—provide security for data, you can limit who can access information stored in the database

What is MySQL?

As previously mentioned, MySQL is a type of RDBMS. It is an open-source system with a client-server model. It’s one of the most popular RDBMS because of its flexible and easy-to-use source code. 

A lot of tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Google use MySQL for data storage. Although initially intended for limited use, MySQL gradually became compatible with computing platforms like Linux, Ubuntu, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

Should your business use MySQL?

It really depends on the nature of your business. MySQL is one of the biggest names for databases, but it doesn’t mean it automatically fits your needs. MySQL is just part of the long list of databases available in the market.   

Here are the different types of databases you can choose from:

  • Centralized database
  • Distributed database
  • Personal database
  • End-user database
  • Commercial database
  • NoSQL database
  • Operational database
  • Relational database
  • Cloud database
  • Object-oriented database
  • Graph database

Overwhelmed yet? Not to worry. Some factors can help narrow down your decision. Here’s a quick guide in choosing your business database:

1.    Define your goals

Are you looking to increase leads and improve your customer engagement? Do you want to regularly track your sales and inventory? Are you planning intensive market research in the future?

When you’re choosing your database storage, you’ll need to be specific where you are going to use it for. Find out what kind of information is crucial to your business and determine how you want it organized. Different types of databases have certain features that stand out; it’s not an all-in-one package.   

2.    Compare Systems

Don’t jump the gun in choosing your database. You need to compare all available systems based on data integrity, performance, security, and maintenance.

Weigh in the pros and cons of each database; it’s best to get things right from the outset. In the long run, it’s going to cost you a mint if you discover you’ve chosen the wrong database and have to migrate everything to a new database.  

3.    Hire experts

If you’re not confident in choosing the database for your business, hire the ones who know. Your development team can break down all the details for you. It’s best to get their suggestion as they will also be the ones to work with the system. You can trust that the people who have worked on the engine know what they’re talking about.

Where do you find software experts?   

There’s a shortage of software experts in the US. That’s why most startups turn to offshore software development. It is efficient, affordable, and you get access to a wider talent pool.

Full Scale can help you assemble your team of software development experts. We have a large selection of software engineers, project managers, and data analysts ready for deployment. Whether it’s creating, managing, or moving your database system, we have the skills and knowledge to help you out. Interested? Talk to us!

Contact us now to start building your team!