MySQL vs MSSQL: Comparing Similarities and Differences

MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) are two of the most popular enterprise database systems in the world. MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS), and MSSQL Server is an RDBMS developed by Microsoft.

Choosing the right database system is a critical decision for enterprises, as it directly impacts operations and efficiency. With several editions of MSSQL Server available to suit various budgets and requirements, the options may seem overwhelming for database administrators (DBAs) and programmers. Before making a choice between MySQL and MSSQL Server, it’s key to grasp their key differences.

To simplify this process, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide comparing MySQL and MSSQL Server. In this guide, we’ll explore the key differences between the two systems and delve into their performance capabilities, helping you make an informed decision tailored to your needs.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is widely used for managing and storing structured data. It was developed by MySQL AB, which is now owned by Oracle Corporation. MySQL is known for its scalability, reliability, and ease of use.

MySQL follows a client-server model, where clients can connect to the MySQL server to perform various database operations, such as creating, querying, modifying, and deleting data. It supports standard SQL (Structured Query Language) and offers a range of features including data integrity, transactions, indexes, and stored procedures.

MySQL is commonly used in web applications, content management systems, and other software solutions that require efficient and organized data storage and retrieval.

What is MSSQL?

MSSQL, short for Microsoft SQL Server, is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It is widely used in enterprise environments and provides a robust platform for storing and managing structured data. MSSQL supports a wide range of features, including transaction processing, data warehousing, and business intelligence.

It uses the SQL (Structured Query Language) to interact with the database and offers advanced capabilities such as indexing, stored procedures, and triggers. MSSQL integrates well with other Microsoft products and technologies, making it a popular choice for organizations that rely on the Microsoft ecosystem for their database needs.

MySQL or MSSQL: Key Similarities and Differences

SQL is the preferred language for relational databases, regardless of whether you intend to store, edit, or retrieve data. This is how dynamic apps and sites undertake virtually all user requests. In the following MySQL vs MSSQL Server comparison, we’ll check out the basic similarities and differences between both options.

MSSQL vs MySQL: Similarities

MySQL and MSSQL Server share some similarities, as they are both relational databases. The majority of developers, though, specialize in either — usually not both. While MySQL and MSSQL may appear similar, the architecture they are built upon is different.

Let’s cover the major similarities first:


MySQL and MSSQL utilize the standard table model for column-and-row-based data storage found in relational databases.

Quality Performance

As databases are responsible for both retrieving and storing data in the shortest time possible, they are your applications’ backbone. Fortunately, MySQL and MSSQL Server provide high-quality performance speeds.


MySQL and MSSQL leverage both primary and foreign keys for creating relationships between tables.

Online Success and Popularity

With regards to running web applications, MySQL and MSSQL Server are the most widely used databases (with the exception of Oracle). You will typically be offered a choice of MySQL vs MSSQL when you sign up for a hosting service.

Convenient Scalability

MySQL and MSSQL have the ability to scale with your business as it continues to grow. They can be used for projects of all sizes, capable of supporting millions of daily transactions.


Both platforms share a similar syntax, though there are some minor differences across create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) statements.


Connection drivers for virtually any popular language can be found online relatively simply. As a result, you can connect MySQL and MSSQL without getting involved in complex coding.

MSSQL dates back to 1989, but the open-source MySQL is slightly more recent as it was launched back in 1995. Both platforms have more than two decades’ history behind them, and have established solid market footholds. You can run MySQL on Windows or Linux, typically within a LAMP environment. MSSQL operates on Windows, so it’s most commonly part of a Windows environment.

MySQL and MSSQL are capable of handling software projects big and small, so you can expect similar levels of performance. Regardless of your chosen server, the performance will mainly hinge on your DBA’s ability for optimizing code and queries.

MSSQL vs MySQL: Differences

Yes, MySQL and MSSQL Server may be similar in multiple ways, primarily with regards to their interfaces and basic standards, but they operate in significantly different ways. The majority of these differences are related to the architecture and occur behind the scenes, so the average user will typically not notice them.

But DBAs should still understand the differences as they’re so important when choosing between MySQL and MSSQL.

Operating System Compatibility

MSSQL Server was developed by Microsoft for Windows OS only, but it has since made RDBMS available for both Linux and Mac OS too. That means that enterprises can run the database system across three distinct platforms, though users still don’t have the option to utilize specific capabilities when using SQL Server on Mac OS X or Linux.

However, MySQL offers smooth performance on several well-known operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Quality Support

Various programming languages are supported by both MySQL and MSSQL, including:

  • C++
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Virtual Basic
  • Delphi
  • Go

MySQL offers support for extra languages, too, such as Perl, Eiffel, Haskel, and Tcl. Due to MySQL’s versatility, it has gained popularity in numerous developer communities.

While you can take advantage of both types of database for Linux and Windows projects, MySQL works with PHP natively and MSSQL Server is primarily used with .NET. If you rely on MySQL for PHP and MSSQL Server for Windows projects only, you can expect simpler integration.

MyISAM and InnoDB

MyISAM and InnoDB are MySQL configurations, enabling developers to undertake various activities related to programming and design. MSSQL Server won’t let you specify different engines while creating databases.


As MySQL is open source, it’s a free option, but you will need to pay for support when necessary. However, with MSSQL, you will require licenses for servers running the platform, which makes it more costly.


As MSSQL Server lets you configure your entity framework classes in .NET, you may begin with LINQ queries. But you would have to download third-party tools instead for using .NET with MySQL.

IDE Tools

MySQL and MSSQL both have IDE tools, but you will have to align the correct tool with the correct server: Enterprise Manager for MySQL, Management Studio for MSSQL. Both tools enable you to establish a server connection and set up your security, architecture, and table design configurations.

Binary Collections

Both MySQL and MSSQL Server were made as binary collections. MySQL lets developers utilize binaries for manipulating database files while running, and database files can also be manipulated by alternative processes at runtime.

On the other hand, MSSQL Server prevents processes from manipulating or accessing binaries or database files. You would be required to run an instance if you intended to achieve this. As a result, hackers will be unable to perform any direct data manipulation — or even access it in the first place. Overall, MSSQL Server offers tighter security than MySQL.

Data Backup

You should extract your data as SQL statements to back it up when using MySQL. The RDBMS provides you with a tool for blocking the database while your data is backed up, which minimizes the risk of data becoming corrupted when switching between different editions or versions of MySQL.

The drawback of this is that restoring data becomes a time-consuming task, as you would need to execute several SQL statements. But MSSQL Server doesn’t block the database during data backup, which allows users to backup and restore huge amounts of data with ease.

Freedom to End Query Execution

Users cannot cancel a query after it begins running on MySQL: you would need to kill the whole process. But MSSQL Server lets users truncate database queries while running without requiring the whole process to be killed.

Furthermore, MSSQL Server incorporates a transactional engine for maintaining a consistent state. That provides MSSQL Server with a key advantage over MySQL.

MSSQL vs MySQL – Are They Supported By Plesk?

MySQL is supported by Plesk under both Linux and Windows. For Plesk Obsidian under Linux you will need MySQL 5.7 and later. For Windows please use MySQL community edition 5.7. As concerns MSSQL – it is supported by Plesk Obsidian under Windows and our recommendation will be Microsoft SQL Server 2005-2015.


As seen in this article, the choice between MySQL and MSSQL will ultimately depend on your specific needs and preferences. MySQL is known for being easy to use, reliable, and scalable, making it a great choice for businesses looking to save costs and work with different operating systems and programming languages. On the other hand, MSSQL, developed by Microsoft, offers strong security features and works seamlessly with Windows. Examining similarities and differences outlined in this post will help you make informed decisions that suit your needs and budget, ensuring efficient database management.

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