What is SQL? Difference Between MSSQL and MySQL


With the surge in information use in the current business spheres, the requirement to manage databases has developed exponentially. You might be familiar with this word and know these databases have become necessary for every business.

Information is crucial, but it will be of no utilization except when examined. For this reason, a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is widely used to help organizations and database administrators to create relations between particular data sets and management tools. 

This article will briefly explain SQL and some different and similar aspects of MSSQL and MySQL.


Table of Contents:

  1. What is SQL?
  2. Similarities : MSSQL and MySQL
  3. Differences : MSSQL vs. MySQL

What is an SQL?

Structured Query Language (SQL) is the standard language to manage and deal with databases. Other than minor syntax structure changes, the more significant part of the database queries for adding, recovering, or controlling database information depends on the standard SQL syntax.

SQL was developed by IBM to easily query a database for adding, removing, updating, or altering. In addition, SQL is used to manage multiple Relational Database Management Systems by writing queries and codes in SQL. Hence you can create and make changes in any database with schema creations. 


MSSQL and MySQL are well-known and broadly used Database Management Systems (DBMS). MySQL is the first open-source RDBMS, while MSSQL is a Microsoft-developed RDBMS.

Enterprises can choose from different versions of the MSSQL server depending on their budgets and necessities. 

So, before deciding to go with either of the database servers, administrators need to assess how MSSQL and MySQL are different to ensure that they select the right RDBMS for their requirements.

As discussed, SQL is an ideal language for RDBMS, irrespective of storing, editing, or retrieving the data. It enables dynamic applications and sites to perform essentially every client request. 

We are sharing this comprehensive list based on similarities and differences between MSSQL and MySQL servers so you can make an informed decision.

Similarities : MSSQL and MySQL

Now, we know that MSSQL and MySQL are relational databases with similarities. But for the developers, no matter which relational databases they hold specialization in, at first glance, they appear quite the same. But in terms of architecture, they differ. So, let’s discuss some similarities they share – 


This factor is the base of any database, so MSSQL and MySQL use standard column and row-based data storage models in relational databases.

Standard Performance

The databases are the backbone for storing and retrieving the data instantly, and both offer high performance with good speed.


MySQL and MSSQL use primary and foreign keys to create relationships between tables.

Virtual Popularity

Both are the most common databases for use with web applications. When you sign up for hosting, you’re asked to choose between MSSQL and MySQL.

High Scalability

MySQL and MSSQL both can easily be scaled with your business growth. And both are suitable for small and large websites and can undertake large daily traffic and transactions.


Both platforms have similar syntax. However, there are some negligible differences in create, read, update and delete statements. 


Searching the web will find some connection drivers for the most popular languages, enabling you to connect with MSSQL and MySQL without complicated coding. If we look at the origin of both, MySQL was introduced in 1995, while MSSQL in 1989. So MSSQL is older than MySQL. But both have been in production for over decades and possess an excellent reputation in the market. 


MySQL is compatible with Linux and Windows OS within the LAMP environment. On the other hand, MSSQL is highly preferred with Windows and as a part of the Windows environment.

Overall, both MSSQL and MySQL can handle large and small-scale projects. So, you can expect a similar performance level from both of them; it won’t matter which option you choose. The performance will primarily rely on your DBA’s ability to optimize queries and code.

Differences : MSSQL vs. MySQL

MSSQL and MySQL may be similar in some ways, considering the relation to the interface and basic relational database standards; however, their behavior is quite contrasting. Most of these differences are related to the architecture and occur in the background; therefore, the user may not notice them. But database administrators should still understand the differences as they are essential when choosing either of the options.

Real Compatibility

We know MSSQL was developed by the IT giant Microsoft exclusively for Windows OS. Recently, Microsoft made RDBMS available for both Linux and Mac OS. So that enterprises can run the database system across three different platforms. However, the users still lack the option to utilize some capabilities while running SQL servers on Mac OS X or Linux. On the other hand, MySQL can run smoothly on multiple popular OS, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Programming Support

Both support various programming languages, including – 

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

However, MySQL provides additional language support, including – Perl, Tcl, Eiffel, Haskell, etc. This distinct feature of MySQL has made it highly popular among the programming communities, especially since you can enjoy the benefits of both databases for Linux and Windows projects. On the other hand, MySQL tends to work natively with PHP, and MSSQL is mainly preferred for .NET frameworks.


As discussed above, MySQL is open source, which means it is a free option, but if you need support, you must pay for it. However, MSSQL comes with a cost because you will require licenses for servers running the platform, which makes it a little expensive.

MyISAM and InnoDB

These configurations for MySQL allow the developers to perform the activities based on design and programming. Unfortunately, MSSQL doesn’t let you specify different engines when you are creating a database.


MSSQL lets you set up your entity framework classes in .NET, which means you can get started with LINQ queries. While in MySQL, you have to download third-party tools instead of using them.

IDE Tools

Both have IDE tools, but you’ll need to match the right tool with the appropriate server. For example, MySQL has Enterprise Manager, while MSSQL utilizes Management Studio. These tools let you connect with the server and manage architecture, security, and table design configurations.

Binary Collections

Both are designed as binary collections. MySQL allows the developers to use binaries for manipulating database files while running, and alternative processes can also manipulate database files at runtime.

MSSQL server averts from manipulating or accessing binaries or database files; if you want to get this, you must run an instance, decreasing the chances for the hackers to manipulate the data directly. Hence, MSSQL gives pro-grade security than MySQL.


When using MySQL, you must back up data by extracting it as an SQL statement. The RDBMS gives you a tool to block the database while data is being backed up. This minimizes the risk of corrupted data switching between different MySQL editions or versions. But the drawback is that restoring data becomes quite time-consuming, as you need to execute different SQL statements. 

In comparison, MSSQL Server doesn’t block the database during data backup, which allows users to back up and restore vast amounts of data with reasonable convenience.

Limits Query Execution Freedom

MySQL doesn’t allow the users to kill or cancel a query once it starts running. Users must kill the complete process to stop the SQL query execution. MSSQL users can truncate a database query while it’s running without killing the complete process. Moreover, MSSQL uses a transactional engine to maintain a consistent state, giving MSSQL a notable advantage over MySQL.


Now you have a clear idea about SQL and the critical differences between MSSQL and MySQL. Hence, despite many differences, there is no clear winner, making it hard to state with certainty which one is superior. Moreover, both of them have their different sets of benefits and drawbacks. So, the ultimate decision of going with either MSSQL or MySQL will depend on your specific requirements.

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