MySQL vs SQL Server – Key Differences in Details

In this tutorial, we will learn what is the major difference between MySQL and SQL Server (MySQL vs SQL Server), what are the similarities between both and will cover the following topics.

  • Key differences between MySQL and SQL Server
  • Similarities Between MySQL and SQL Server
  • MySQL vs SQL server which is better
  • MySQL vs SQL server performance
  • MySQL vs SQL server syntax
MySQL vs SQL Server
MySQL vs SQL Server

Key differences between MySQL and SQL Server

Programmers utilize a relational database management system (RDBMS) to create, read, update, and delete back-end data while designing software applications. They even use custom structured query language (SQL) statements to modify the RDBMS. Developers can select from a variety of RDBMS according to the project’s individual requirements.

And in this section, we are going to discuss 2 main relational database management systems available in the market:

  • MySQL
  • Microsoft SQL Server

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system that Oracle purchased in 2008. MySQL runs several of the world’s most popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Microsoft SQL Server is also a relational database management system (RDBMS) created and maintained by Microsoft. SQL Server, which was first released in 1989, is currently available in a variety of versions with varying feature sets, including Enterprise, Standard, and Express versions.

Major Differences between MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server


  • SQL Server was originally developed only for the Windows operating system.
  • But in the last few years, Microsoft has made it available for both Linux and Mac as well. Hence giving their users multiple options.
  • Unfortunately, while operating SQL Server on Mac OS X or Linux, users still don’t have the opportunity to use some features.
  • MySQL, on the other hand, works well on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Language Support

  • Both MySQL and SQL Server support many programming languages like Java, PHP, C++, Python, Ruby, Visual Basic, Delphi, Go, and R.
  • But MySQL also supports Perl, Scheme, Tcl, Haskel, and Eiffel.
  • MySQL is popular among many developer communities due to its support for a variety of programming languages.

Storage Engine

  • MyISAM and InnoDB are two of the storage engines supported by MySQL. Programmers can also utilize a plug-in storage engine while using MySQL.
  • However, when you build a database with SQL Server, you cannot choose alternative engines.


  • MySQL is open-source and free to use, we only have to pay for support if we need it.
  • And SQL Server is more expensive to run because we’ll need to buy a license for the server that runs the software.


  • We backup data in MySQL by extracting all data as SQL statements, and while backing up data, MySQL also freezes the database.
  • And this MySQL functionality decreases the risk of data corruption while migrating from one version or edition of MySQL to another.
  • However, because this feature requires the execution of several SQL statements, the data restoration process is more time-consuming.
  • SQL Server, unlike MySQL, does not lock up the database while backing up data. Users may back up and recover large amounts of data without putting in extra time or effort.

Stopping Query Execution

  • While executing a query, MySQL does not allow users to kill or abort it. To stop SQL query execution, users must stop the entire process.
  • In SQL Server, on the other hand, we can terminate a database query without canceling the entire operation. It also makes use of a transactional engine to maintain consistency.


  • MySQL is available in two different versions for users to choose from. MySQL Community Server or MySQL Enterprise Server are also options. MySQL’s community edition is open source and free, however, the enterprise edition includes several proprietary extensions.
  • SQL Server, on the other hand, comes in a variety of standard and special editions. SQL Server is available in enterprise, standard, web, workgroup, and express editions. We can also choose from a variety of specialized RDBMS editions, such as azure, compact, developer, embedded, evaluation, fast track, and localDB.

Similarities Between MySQL and SQL Server

Similarities in mysql and sql server
MySQL and SQL Server similarities

Both MySQL and SQL Server are relational database management systems (RDBMS) so there are similarities between them. And in this section, we are going to understand some of the similarities between both.

  1. Tables– For storing data, both platforms use the same conventional relational database table model and store data in a row-column fashion.
  2. Keys– Primary and foreign keys are used in both systems to establish table relationships.
  3. Scalability– Both platforms are scalable to grow your business. They can handle millions of transactions each day and are suited for both small and large applications.
  4. Performance– As the database serves as the foundation of your application, storing and retrieving data as rapidly as possible. MySQL and SQL Server are both high-performance databases.
  5. Syntax– Although the syntax of these two database platforms is identical, there are some minor differences between CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) statements.
  6. Drivers– Fortunately, by exploring the internet, users can get connection drivers for practically every popular programming language. This allows users to connect to MySQL and MSSQL without having to write any complex code.

MySQL vs SQL server which is better

When deciding between MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server, it’s important to consider project requirements, budget, development environment, etc. So in this section, we will cover some of the important features and functionalities which can help you decide between MySQL and SQL Server.

  1. CRUD Operation- MySQL prefers to select data to make it easier to display, edit, and save it. But when it comes to data insertion and deletion, it lags behind SQL Server.
  2. Security– In terms of overall security, the SQL server has the upper hand. Baseline Security Analyzer is a tool in SQL Server that helps administrators ensure that their SQL server installation is up to date. There is no such security analyzer in MySQL.
  3. Support- The relevant suppliers for both systems offer both paid and free help. MySQL assists in the form of technical support and a Virtual MySQL DBA assistant. Microsoft, on the other hand, provides a free tool called SSMA (SQL Server Migration Assistant) that enables migrating data from other databases such as Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft Access, and Sybase to SQL Server straightforward and painless.
  4. Scalability– If you have a huge company with a lot of data and are concerned about speed, security, and power, and most crucially, if you have enough money, SQL Server is the way to go. I would suggest MySQL for individual users and small to medium-sized businesses if the volume of data and labor required isn’t too large.
  5. Functionality– In terms of development features and capabilities, MySQL isn’t particularly robust. With the release of SQL Server 2019, Microsoft has included plenty of new development features, including a big data cluster, updated analytics tools, and more.

MySQL vs SQL server performance

Both MYSQL and SQL Server provide comparable speed and performance for high-end applications. Both are capable of hosting several databases on a single server. And both use indexes to sort data and speed up performance.

The International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering (IJARCCE) released a performance comparison of MySQL and SQL Server in 2015. In which they tested SQL Server 2008 and MySQL 5.6.17 on a Windows operating system.

And different SELECT, INSERT, DELETE, and UPDATE queries were run on both RDBMSs, and the time it took to complete them was recorded. In terms of response time, it was determined that SQL Server performs better than MySQL. Except for the INSERT queries, SQL Server consistently outperformed MySQL in all of the other test cases.

In terms of SELECT statements, the biggest difference between the two could be noted. MySQL took roughly three times the time that SQL Server did for a SELECT statement with 3000 records.

MySQL vs SQL server syntax

Both MySQL and SQL Server have similar syntax but both of these relational database management systems have some differences in the commonly used SQL code. And in this section, we will discuss these differences.

FactorsMySQLSQL Server
Length functionSELECT CHARACTER_LENGTH(expression) FROM table_nameSELECT LEN(expression) FROM table_name
Concatenation functionSELECT CONCAT (‘My’, ‘SQL’)SELECT (‘SQL’ + ‘SERVER’)
Select top n records from a tableSELECT * FROM table_name LIMIT 10SELECT TOP 10 * FROM table_name
Generate Global Unique IdentifierSELECT UUID()SELECT NEWID()
Get current date and timeSELECT NOW()SELECT GETDATE()
Case Sensitive CollationThere is no case sensitivenessThe table names and column names become case sensitive if the database is set up using case-sensitive collation.
mysql vs sql server syntax

Here we saw a few differences of mysql vs sql server syntax.

Is MySQL better than SQL Server?

Is MySQL better than SQL Server? If you are working in .Net and windows applications, then it makes little sense to use SQL server over MySQL. But if you are using PHP or Python or Java applications, then it makes sense to use MySQL database. Both MySQL and SQL Server supports Windows and Linux operating system. Since MySQL is free to use compared to SQL server, a lot of people prefer to use MySQL over SQL Server.

Is MySQL the same as SQL Server?

Is MySQL the same as SQL Server? MySQL is free and owned by Oracle where as SQL Server is paid and is owned by Microsoft. But both are relational database management systems used to store data. They are two different products from two different well-known companies but solve similar purposes.

So in this tutorial, we have learned what is the major difference between MySQL and SQL Server, what are the similarities between both, and we have covered the following topics.

  • Key differences between MySQL and SQL Server
  • Similarities Between MySQL and SQL Server
  • MySQL vs SQL server which is better
  • MySQL vs SQL server performance
  • MySQL vs SQL server syntax

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