In the modern world today, competition between companies is very common even when they are offering similar products. In a competitive market, providing the best services and products and having the majority of customers for a particular product does help shape the profit of a company. When it comes to the field of Database Management, the choice of MySQL vs Oracle is a relatively tough one.

Both MySQL and Oracle are owned by the same company, Oracle Corporation. Both of them are used by big and small companies and depending on the situation, one can dominate over the other. In terms of software, Oracle is the more powerful one because of its extra features over the basic MySQL. It also supports parallel and distributed Databases and offers better indexing because of which can have a competitive advantage over MySQL.

This article presents a comprehensive analysis of the two Databases and helps companies decide which one to choose for their business operations. It talks about the features of each Database and also provides the key parameters that are required to distinguish them. Read along to find out about both these popular Databases and how companies can choose the Database they need depending on the situation.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is the first Open-Source RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) that was available on the market. Today, despite having many variations to MySQL, it has still managed to keep its reputation and popularity in the market, because of its 26 years of experience. An important point to note is that all the variations of MySQL have a similar syntax to MySQL, which means that MySQL provided the foundation for all these variations.

MySQL was developed in the mid-’90s and was originally designed to keep data organized and used SQL (Structured Query Language) to query all the records in the Database. It is used with the combination of PHP and Apache Web Server that are above a Linux distribution.

The first version of MySQL was released in 1995 by the Swedish company MySQL AB. The company was founded by David Axmark, Allan Larsson, and Michael Widenius. It was released under the GNU GPL (General Public License) license. In 2001, the software had more than 2 million installations and by 2004, the software was downloaded more than 30,000 in a single day.

In 2008, MySQL was taken over by Sun Microsystems and in 2009, when Oracle Corporation took over Sun Microsystems they got MySQL. Similar to other RDBMS, MySQL uses tables to store data in the form of rows and columns. It has triggers and stored procedures to maintain the relationships between tables and also supports various keys such as Primary Keys and Foreign Keys to maintain data integrity and consistency.

Since 1995, many companies have used MySQL. Some of the organizations that use MySQL include GitHub, US Navy, NASA, Tesla, Netflix, WeChat, Facebook, Zendesk, Twitter, Zappos, YouTube, and Spotify.

In order to learn more about MySQL and how to deploy it in computer systems, click this link.

Key Features of MySQL

MySQL is one of the first RDBMS that is popular for the past 26 years. Its regular updates and efficiency in performance are some of the main factors that determine its success even today. Some of the key features of MySQL are given below:

  • It was one of the first Open-Source software in the market.
  • It is highly scalable and flexible to all types of data and users.
  • It offers high performance and availability to use any time and from any place by multiple users.
  • It has robust transactional support and supports Web Development and can easily be embedded with Data Warehouses.
  • It is supported by many server operating systems such as FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, OS X, and Windows.
  • The enterprise edition of MySQL has proprietary code that only the MySQL users have access to.
  • It offers routing by using the MySQL Router but does not support Data Analytics.
  • MySQL is written in C and C++.
  • It has 1600 fork processes built in it.

What is Oracle?

Oracle is also an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) that is designed to remove any errors in a manual Database system. It is also cross-platform and can be run on various operating systems. It is the first RDBMS system that was developed solely for the purpose of business in order to manipulate records in a Database.

The first version of Oracle, Oracle V2 was developed in 1977 and released in 1980 by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates when they developed the consultancy, Software Development Laboratories which then became Relational Software Inc (RSI), and in 1983 became Oracle Corporation. The first version of Oracle supported SQL features as well.

The latest, stable version of Oracle is Oracle 12c but developers at Oracle Corporation are also working on Oracle 18c and Oracle 19c. Compared to other Databases, Oracle is very scalable, portable, and easily programmable. Any person who has some basic knowledge of SQL can execute queries easily. It also enables easy transfer of data between different Databases. Also check out Oracle ADW.

Since 1980, many companies have used Oracle. Some of the organizations that use Oracle include Bauerfeind AG, CAIRN India, Capcom Co., ChevronTexaco, Coca-Cola FEMSA, COOP Switzerland, ENEL, Heidelberger Druck, MTU Aero Engines, National Foods Australia, Spire Healthcare, Stadtwerke München, Swarovski, Tyson Foods, TVS Motor Company, and Vilene.

In order to learn more about Oracle and how to deploy it in computer systems, click this link.

Key Features of Oracle

Oracle is also a popular RDBMS that is highly scalable, portable, distributed, and easily programmable. It has also been in the market for roughly 25 years and receives regular patches and updates. This has enabled it to still be in the competing market today. You can also read our article about tools of Oracle ETL. Some of the key features of Oracle are given below:

  • It was the first RDBMS that was suited solely for business purposes.
  • It can handle a large amount of data quickly.
  • It is highly scalable, portable, distributed, and programmable.
  • It is cross-platform because it runs on more than 60 platforms from mainframes to Apple Macs.
  • It is supported by many server operating systems such as z/OS, Linux, UNIX, OS X, and Windows.
  • Data reliability and integrity is maintained because it follows the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) properties.
  • Communication is also easy in Oracle because it has many networking stacks that enable communication with other applications on different platforms smoothly.
  • It also has a recovery manager tool that performs regular Database backups and assists in Database recoveries.
  • Oracle is written in Assembly Language, C, and C++.
  • As per Oracle Version 11c, it has 512 fork processes built in it.
  • It supports XML (Extensible Markup Language).
  • It supports both SQL and PL/SQL Language.
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Factors that Drive the MySQL vs Oracle Decision

Now that you have a basic idea of both concepts, let us attempt to answer the MySQL vs Oracle question of how to make a decision between the two. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here and the decision has to be taken based on the business requirements, budget, and parameters listed below. The following are the key factors that drive the MySQL vs Oracle decision:

1) MySQL vs Oracle: Performance & Speed

Performance of a Database refers to the ability of the Database to store data and retrieve records according to the user’s requirements. Speed of a Database refers to its ability to quickly execute queries and complete the transactions efficiently.

Oracle supports Data Partitioning and is best suited for large-scale data. It is also very flexible in both static and dynamic environments and executes queries at a faster rate in both environments. It also supports both SQL and PL/SQL and has many storage features including tablespaces, synonyms, and packages.

MySQL has a very slow processing speed and is not able to compete with the highly scalable and robust Oracle. It also has lesser storage engines which limit the processing ability.

2) MySQL vs Oracle: Database Structure & Syntax

Database Structure and Syntax are crucial to the operation of any Database. Without having a proper format to execute code, users will not be able to access the records in the Database.

In MySQL, an Open-Source RDBMS structure is followed whereby data is stored in the form of rows and columns and there are triggers and keys that are put in place to maintain the integrity and consistency of the data.

Oracle follows a different structure. It has a Multi-Model structure with a single but integrated backend. This ensures that Oracle can support multiple data models such as Graph, Relational, Key-Valued, and Document within a Database.

Indexes help to enhance the performance of a Database because they can help to retrieve records quickly. MySQL has its indexes in the form of B+ trees whereas Oracle has multiple indexes such as:

  • Normal Indexes: These are the default indexes and use B+ trees.
  • Bitmap Indexes: These are indexes whose row ids for a key-value pair are stored in the form of a bitmap.
  • Partitioned Indexes: These indexes contain a partition for every entry in the record.
  • Function-Based Indexes: They are indexes that help to generate queries based on the values returned by expressions that can act as function parameters.
  • Domain Indexes: These are indexes that are instances of an application-specific index called Index Type.

Syntaxes are similar and in some cases identical for both the Databases. Some of the Syntaxes in both the Databases are shown below:

  • Creating a Department Table

MySQL Syntax

CREATE TABLE department(
dept_id int PRIMARY KEY,
dept_name varchar(255),
numofemp int);

Oracle Syntax

CREATE TABLE department(
dept_id int,
dept_name varchar(255),
numofemp int,
CONSTRAINT department_pk PRIMARY KEY (dept_id));
  • Selecting Records from the Department Table

MySQL Syntax

SELECT * FROM department;

Oracle Syntax

SELECT * FROM department;
  • Inserting Records into the Department Table

MySQL Syntax

INSERT INTO department(dept_id,dept_name,numofemp) VALUES(‘1’,’Marketing’,’50’);

Oracle Syntax

INSERT INTO department(dept_id,dept_name,numofemp) VALUES(‘1’,’Marketing’,’50’);
  • Updating Records in the Department Table

MySQL Syntax

UPDATE department SET dept_id = ’2’ WHERE dept_name = ‘Production’;

Oracle Syntax

UPDATE department SET dept_id = ’2’ WHERE dept_name = ‘Production’;

It can clearly be seen that other than the command to Create a table, Oracle and MySQL have the same commands for Database operations.

3) MySQL vs Oracle: Deployment & Clustering

Deployment refers to the ability to use the Database across multiple applications. Clustering is the ability to have multiple copies of the data from a parent Database to a child Database. Both these processes are important because, when a company has a proper deployment and backup of its resources, it can manage its employees effectively.

Oracle is written in C, C++, and Assembly Language and can be deployed on many server operating systems such as z/OS, Linux, UNIX, OS X, and Windows. Clustering can be enabled in Oracle by using Oracle Streams. It is an in-built feature of Oracle that enables data replication and integration. They help to propagate sharing transactions, events, or any form of data from one Database to another or also within the same Database. Clustering technologies are also available for servers by using Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters). It uses Oracle Clusterware to bind multiple servers and treat them as one unit.

MySQL is written in C and C++ and can be deployed on server operating systems such as FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, OS X, and Windows. Clustering also is a one-way synchronous replication process where one server will act as the Master and all the others will be the Slaves. MySQL helps to replicate data from all Databases, selected Databases, or even selected tables within a Database.

4) MySQL vs Oracle: Support, Development & Documentation

Support refers to the community and the employees that help users when they face any issues and also report any complaints. Development is a constant requirement as the application is always in need of improvement. Documentation is the process of reporting all the transactions and bugs at regular intervals.

Oracle has good community support and also has several other support options when companies use their paid products such as MyOracle. It has good documentation by having help guides available to the public for both basic and advanced features. Development is kept private but updates and patches are regular from Oracle Corporation.

MySQL offers technical support services based on Oracle’s lifetime support. The support team consists of MySQL developers and support engineers on a 24X7 basis. They fix bugs, security issues and also offer regular maintenance. Development of MySQL is done by Oracle Corporation and is not available to the general public. Security patches are released every 2 months. Documentation is also maintained by Oracle Corporation.

5) MySQL vs Oracle: Database Connectors & Compatibility

Database connectors are required to maintain the relationships between the tables in the Databases. Compatibility is a feature of many applications that ensures that the applications can run on multiple platforms.

Oracle has a variety of Database connectors including Java, .NET, C, C++, Node.js, Python, PHP, Go, R, Ruby, Perl, etc. In terms of compatibility, Oracle and MySQL are common as they are maintained by the same company.

MySQL has a variety of Database connectors including C, C++, Delphi, Perl, Java, Node.JS, Python, etc. MySQL is the foundation for comparison and so does not have any compatibility versions for analysis.

6) MySQL vs Oracle: Pricing Models

Pricing Models are the ways the Databases offer their services to their users. Users can choose an edition of the product and pay accordingly.

The pricing model for Oracle is designed to fit the company’s budget and goals. Oracle offers 4 editions for their customers- Oracle Database Standard Edition 2, Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, Oracle Database Personal Edition, and Oracle Database Express Edition. The Express Edition is free for students and is portable on any machine. Each of the other editions has a small payment in order to be used. Companies can decide on each edition based on the rates they are charged. In order to use an edition, companies need to contact the Oracle team and they will give the details on the pricing.

The editions that Oracle offers are shown below:

Oracle Pricing Model
Image Source:

In order to get more information on the pricing model of Oracle, click this link.

The pricing model of MySQL is designed to suit any company, in order to have the optimal performance at all times. They offer 3 editions- the MySQL Standard Edition, the MySQL Enterprise Edition, and the MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition. Companies can choose between each edition depending on their budget. 

The pricing model for MySQL is given below:

MySQL Pricing Model
Image Source:

For more details on the pricing model of MySQL, click this link.

Disadvantages of MySQL

Despite the experience that MySQL has had over the last 26 years, better variations are emerging from it because it is not able to handle some limitations:

  • As it is owned by Oracle, there are many restrictions.
  • It is ideally not suited for large-scale data.
  • It doesn’t support integration with other client applications.
  • As it has triggers, that can impose a high load on the Database server.
  • It has lower storage options than Oracle and also exhibits slower speed.
  • The memory storage capacity is lesser than Oracle and MySQL cannot support large thread pools at once.
  • It is not completely Open-Source and uses some proprietary code in the Enterprise Edition.

Disadvantages of Oracle

Although Oracle is a good alternative to the other Databases and has regular updates, it faces some limitations:

  • Oracle’s Enterprise Edition is the only free edition and it is licensed only for commercial purposes. This means that very few people can access and learn it.
  • All of the prices, updates, and patch notes are only known to Oracle Corporation, which means that the public cannot try and come up with a solution for various problems. This will reduce the transparency of the product.
  • Learning the Syntax of Oracle is a little complex as compared to MySQL.

The below graph shows the popularity between MySQL and Oracle over the years. It can be seen that both MySQL and Oracle have a similar structure in terms of popularity. Over the past 7 years, their popularity is unstable because of better variations of Databases. But somehow, both have managed to handle a good number of users over the years.

MySQL vs Oracle Trends Graph
Image Source:


This article gave a comprehensive analysis of the 2 popular Database technologies in the market today: MySQL vs Oracle. It talks about both the Databases and their features and limitations. It also gave the parameters to judge each of the Databases. Overall, the choice to choose which Database suits the company depends on the goal of the company and the resources it has.

We have also written an article about Oracle to MySQL Migration. You might love to check that.

MySQL is a great technology to work with because of its experience in the market for over 26 years and also because Oracle Corporation releases updates regularly. In case of performance, scalability, premium technical support, and efficiency are major requirements, then Oracle is the better alternative because Oracle offers excellent support for its customers and is worth the extra payment.

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Aakash Raman
Former Business Associate, Hevo Data

Aakash is a research enthusiast who was involved with multiple teaming bootcamps including Web Application Pen Testing, Network and OS Forensics, Threat Intelligence, Cyber Range and Malware Analysis/Reverse Engineering. His passion to the field drives him to create in-depth technical articles related to data industry. He holds a Undergraduate Degree from Vellore Institute of Technology in Computer Science & Engineering with a Specialization in Information Security and is keen to help data practitioners with his expertise in the related topics.

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