homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor 2014
Home / Forums Index / Code, Content, and Presentation / Databases
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: physics

Databases Forum

mySQL vs. SQL

 11:54 pm on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)


I'm a complete beginner when it comes to databases:

Is there a huge difference between SQL and mySQL? Is mySQL easier to learn than SQL? Is SQL better than mySQL in one way or another (as in more advanced stuff possible?)?

Would knowing mySQL help someone easily learn SQL (is lots of stuff identical)?

I just read a thread where somebody mentioned statistics and tagged the thread with php,mysql,statistics....Is knowledge in any intermediate/advanced statistical techniques ever necessary if one does database programming (in SQL/mySQL)?

Why does everybody use mySQL on the web (with php)? why not SQL?




 6:19 am on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Why not SQL.

Well, if you are referring to Microsoft SQL Server, because it actually costs money. Very capable. A flagship product that is under constant development.

Ansi SQL is a language specification.

I would not touch mySQL with a ten foot sanitized barge pole and a twenty foot extension. Oh, and I don't much care for php either.

To be fair, if anyone insists on a free database, there is always Postgres, Ingres, Firebird.

Oh, and forget that old song and dance about open source being better because you can patch it yourself. First, most people don't have the skills, and second the code is impenetrable. Second, no one comments anything, except to insert the usual license boilerplate at the top of the module. Third, the code usually looks like author had really bad drugs or really good drugs. Even apache suffers from this. Documentation is always "coming real soon".


 9:17 am on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi plumsauce and thanks for the reply first of all.

I can see you're not a big fan of mySQL hehe..but what's so bad about it (I'm a complete noob like I said)? If I got it right the advantage is that it's free..and the disadvantage is that it's umm..less powerful (less safe?) than SQL?

What's so bad about php?

Do the languages of SQL and mySQL differ significantly or do they overlap a lot?



 9:40 am on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

SQL is a language.

different databases usually support the SQL language with a few add-ons.

for instance, the MySQL database uses the MySql language

and Microsoft SQl-Server uses T-SQL

SQL is a very easy language to learn, there is very little syntax and the different variants are almost the same.

when it comes to the actual databases MySql is now owned by SUN and they release a free and a paid version.

microsoft also release a free version of their server.

the two databases are different and suit different applications.


 10:24 am on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

as implied by other responses, you should define what you mean by "SQL".
SQL is the generic acronym for "structured query language", there are ANSI standards for SQL, there are SQL's based on ANSI SQL and there are SQL-named dbms that use an SQL.

despite plumsauce' 30-foot rule, MySQL is actually used by quite a few significant web application, so it really depends on what you are specifically doing with it.
in general it is robust and reliable and is in wide usage.
this MySQL doc covers standards compliance and extensions:


 10:36 am on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)


Here are a few companies who are not applauding plumsauce's 30-foot rule :)

Mysql is used by Sony, craigslist, Suzuki, Lycos, Yahoo, Associated Press, Friendster, BBC, Adobe, . . .


 3:57 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is there a huge difference between SQL and mySQL?

That's a meaningless question, as SQL and mySQL are different kinds of things. They aren't comparable.

As pointed out by others, SQL is a generic term meaning "Structured Query Language". There is also are ANSI and ISO standards for SQL that define the syntax of a specific SQL language.

Many database servers implement or partially implement these standards, and most extend them in some way.

Many database servers use the term "SQL" in their name, MySQL being one of them.

"SQL" is not an alternative to "MySQL". MySQL isn't better or worse than "SQL", as MySQL is a program you run on your computer, and SQL is a language specification.

Microsoft has a product called "Microsoft SQL Server", and some here apparently thought that that is what you meant.

To answer your question literally, then, yes, there's a huge difference between MySQL and SQL, since they aren't even the same kind of thing.


 5:23 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Like I said I'm a complete noob when it comes to databases :-)..so sorry for confusing these things.

So I could compare Microsoft SQL server and mySQL with one another?

And both use SQL +- other stuff? Thus somebody who has been dealing with mySQL will also be able to deal with Microsoft SQL server (at least with the standards (=SQL) which both use?



 5:41 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

It might help to know why you are asking.

Are you applying for a job using one or the other?

Are you considering a career, and want to know if one or the other is better to learn?

Do you want to create a web site using one or the other, and want to know which one might be best?

For starters, Microsoft SQL server runs only on Windows OS's. MySQL can run on either Linux or Windows, though Linux would be the preferred platform.

If you want to create your own website, you probably should step back a bit and first decide if Linux or Windows suits your needs better.


 6:22 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi jtara,

I'm not applying for a job or really considering it as a career. It's mostly my curiosity..I'm mostly into e-commerce..mostly SEO & web analytics (which is where I'm considering a career) and b/c of being interested in web analytics I couldn't keep myself from doing some lateral thinking and started reading a bit about business intelligence

I used to be interested in pursuing a career in that field (I'm majoring in business management) thinking business intelligence was mostly about business+statistical techniques (regression, cluster analysis, decision trees,...), but realized that for business intelligence database skills seem to be as important (or more) as statistical techniques are (depending on what your role is, I guess).

So one thing led to another and I got interested in databases (realizing I should learn php & mysql, too in the future)...:-)

Anyways, what I'm interested in is

1) why does everybody go with php and mysql on the web? It seems that everybody is doing that. Why are they not using another programming/database language?

2) Is what I'm going to learn if I learn to deal with databases on the web (mysql for example) be the same kind of skill (a similar kind of skill) that business intelligence folks need?

thanks for your patience!

P.S.: Maybe I should mention that I used to be crazy about programming computer games during almost all of elementary and put most of my free-time into that, but then stopped it at the beginning of highschool and until a year and a half ago when I got interested in the web again, I really knew absolutely nothing about computers, but realizing the web is built on computers, I'm starting to be interested in all this stuff again :-)


 5:32 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

1) why does everybody go with php and mysql on the web? It seems that everybody is doing that. Why are they not using another programming/database language?

Although PHP and MySQL are quite popular they are not the only technologies being used. Many shared servers come pre-loaded with the two and that may be one reason the popularity is there. Perl and PostGreSQL are often also pre-loaded on many shared servers and are quite popular. Many contract programmers are able to develop in different programming languages as well as interface with many different relational database management systems. PHP and MySQL are not the only choices.

2) Is what I'm going to learn if I learn to deal with databases on the web (mysql for example) be the same kind of skill (a similar kind of skill) that business intelligence folks need?

You may have to more definitive regarding "business intelligence" here but I would say that learning SQL is certainly going to be an asset considering where your discussion has been heading.


 5:39 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

1) why does everybody go with php and mysql on the web? It seems that everybody is doing that. Why are they not using another programming/database language?

Ditto what coopster says about not everyone using the combo. But it does have a large base because:
1) Cost- both are free and can run on *nix or Windoze, so applications/databases can be ported with minmal (in theory anyway) difficulties.
2) Established user base- usually easy to get support and find posted code from other developers.


 5:43 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)



 9:42 am on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

why does everybody go with php and mysql on the web? It seems that everybody is doing that.

1) Both are open source. This not only means that they are free, but you have no license hassles (e.g. license audits, no paperwork), the vendor does not have the same hold over you 9, etc. - all the usual advantage sof open source.

2) Both are installed by most hosting companies, even cheap ones.

3) Both are easy to install on your own server. Most versions of Linux make installation and configuration very easy, and there are easy installers for Windows and Mac as well. You can install and configure Apache, PHP and MySQL in one go, as though they were a single program.

4) PHP is easy to learn, has extensive libraries, and there is a lot of existing open source software taht you can tweak.

5) PHP is easy to develop with an eliminates a lot of subtle bugs, at a cost to performance, by processing every request completely separately - all data in memory is lost between pages.

6) MySQL is fast, if you use its default MyIASM tables. It sacrifices data integrity for speed, but that is a reasonable compromise for web apps - you would not want to use it for a banking system though!

7) lots of people know both, there is excellent documentation for both.

That said, there is a lot of stuff done in other languages and other databases. There is a lot of good web software (CMSs and the like) written in Perl, Python, Ruby, Java etc., there are people plenty of people who use MSSQL or Postgres for websites.

I am currently considering doing something using Python and Postgres, but only because I would only want to install it on a dedicated server. If I wanted to write something that I hoped would be widely used, it would have to be MySQL, and probably PHP.


 5:49 pm on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, PHP and MySQL are quite popular for sure, but still its your code who sais how professional and flexible your website is. Unfortunatly computer world evolves at an astronomic rate every single second, and what we use today is replaced by "something else" tomorrow, sometimes based on the same concepts sometimes is a new concept and more overhead comming to catch up on the new technologies. Im not an expert in this kind of topic but so far as i know and for friends who have helped me a lot in the development and planification of my database and the connection with the SSPL such as PHP its always recomended to use some kind of interface to serve as bridge between your serser side code and your database on the server so this "bridge" will be able to adapt to other Database Managament System wihtout going to rewrite a high percentage of your php code if you want to migrate from MySQL to Postgres for instance. There are some alternative like Pear_DB which can hep on this, but personally i rather to build it from scratch so it focus on my business logic needs so it runs faster and i know exactly where is every piece of my code :).

Summarizing, dont fix your thoughts to this programming language or to this database managment system, think intelligent and with a future perspective. So dont just concentrate on MySQL programming but also think about how to build flexible web applications :)

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Code, Content, and Presentation / Databases
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved