MySQL vs NoSQL – A Detailed Guide

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

In the computing world, data is organized into databases that are digitally stored. While the database is small and can be stored on a file system, many databases are stored on computer clusters and in the cloud. The Internet contains a lot of data, and to store this information we need databases. There are two types of databases: non-relational databases and relational databases. If you are familiar with databases, you are probably aware of SQL. A relational database is managed by a specific language known as SQL.

The SQL database management system utilizes MySQL. Microsoft has created this product, whereas NoSQL is a type of database that is vital to have SQL to get to the document-based contents of the non-relational database system. In spite of the fact that sorting out and normalizing the database is crucial for a relational database with MySQL, Whereas NoSQL permits unformatted and non-related information to be put and worked according to the client’s necessity,

In We will compare MySQL and NoSQL in this guide and explore both their benefits and drawbacks at the same time. Let’s begin by discussing the two main types of databases.

Introduction to Relational Database

Relational databases are databases in which the data of one table might be related to the data of another table; because of the relationship, they are called relational databases.

Imagine there is a table containing the customers of a company and another table containing the orders received from those customers. In that case, both tables could connect and tell the company which customers ordered which products.

Relational databases are mainly used to collect large amounts of data. A relational database operates data with the ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability). This property ensures better reliability and efficiency.

Relational databases work through the relational database management system (RDBMS), managed by SQL, which we have just discussed.

A relational database manages data in the form of a table in which one table’s information might relate to the other table’s data.

A relational database puts together information into single or more information tables in which information types might be connected; these relations assist with the structure of the information. SQL is a language that developers use to make, adjust, and extricate information from relational databases and control the admittance of users to those databases. Even though relational databases and SQL have their own working system, an RDBMS like MySQL functions with a working system to execute a relational database in a storage system on a computer. It further handles users, takes into account network access, and works with testing database trustworthiness and production of backups. The biggest relational database software companies are Oracle, MySQL, SQLite, Microsoft SQL, Redis, and PostgreSQL.

Non-relational Database Oveview

The data information comes in various shapes and sizes. Thus, it requires space to spread out. Unlike a relational database, a non-relational database is a type of database that doesn’t use tables, rows, or primary keys. Instead, relational databases use the store model, specially optimised for particular data types and requirements.

Non-relational databases are also known as NoSQL databases, which means “Not Only SQL.” As relational databases use SQL, non-relational databases can utilise different types of query language.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is one of the most significant SQL relational database management systems (RDBMS) and is used by big names in the market like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It is also used by many database-driven companies like WordPress and Joomla.

It is a purely relational database in which you set a defined schema for the whole table, and then you can enter or edit data. According to that schema, but the downside is that you can’t change the schema easily. The data is stored in the form of tables. It is worth keeping in mind that MySQL is not a relational database, but rather a method to handle relational databases.

The role of an RDBMS, including MySQL, is:

  • Implement the data in the computer’s storage
  • Manage data through your computer
  • Provide network access for the data to the user
  • Create backups of the Database.

The MySQLdatabase was founded by a Swedish software company called MySQL AB, which Oracle Corporation acquired in 2010. It was released on May 23rd, 1995 for the first time. The stable version was released on January 2, 2022.

The Swedes David Axmark and Allan Larsson and Swede Michael “Monty” Widenius are the founders of MySQL. They make MySQL an open-source and publicly available database software under the terms of the GNU (General Public License). MySQL is also known to be an integral part of a web software stack called LAMP, which stands for (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python).

Advantages of MySQL

1. MySQL is free to use

The majority of RDBMS software is paid, so you have to spend money on them, while MySQL is free. MySQL does not cost you anything. Various versions are available, but beginners don’t need to pay for it.

2. MySQL is open-source software

Due to its open-source nature, MySQL can be enhanced by installing third-party extensions.

3. MySQL is an old company in the market

There have been many versions of MySQL over the years. Because of its popularity, it’s been around for a long time. The widespread nature of this product makes it easy to find a solution to any problem it may cause on the Internet.

4. MySQL is easy to use

In comparison with the other RDBMS software, MySQL is easy to use if you know a bit of SQL and have some experience in coding. However, it requires a beginner-level knowledge of programming.

5. MySQL is faster than any other RDBMS.

MySQL works well, and it is also faster. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on MySQL. All you have to do is provide the Correct command, and it will do the rest.

Disadvantages of MySQL

  • Less efficient with an extensive database

Even though MySQL can handle heavy work, if the database is too large, you can face some problems and bugs. That is why some big companies do not prefer to use MySQL.

  • Some advanced features are not available.

Although MySQL has many features, some advanced features are not available in MySQL, such as monitoring and optimization features. For example, full-text searching.

  • Big companies have started using NoSQL

Many big names in the market, like Wikimedia and Linux, have migrated to MariaDB (NoSQL software), which can also be a red flag for MySQL.

  • It is not a free community.

Some RDBMSs own MySQL, so some programmers don’t use it because they think MySQL has lost its value.

  • Don’t work without a fixed schema.

As you may know, MySQL or any other RDBMS software requires a schema for every table. Let’s say you added four columns to a table, and now, on a specific row, you want to add more columns. You can’t do it unless you add an extra column to the whole table, so that is a downside as well.

What is NoSQL?

NoSQL means not only SQL or non-relational database systems. NoSQL works in the opposite way that RDBMS does.NoSQL is a type of database (DBMS), and please note that it is not database software. MongoDB is considered one of the biggest DBMS systems that work with the NoSQL type.

In NoSQL, the data is stored in documents, whereas in MySQL, the data is stored in the form of tables. NoSQL mainly works on JSON (the Java programming language). However, you can use any other programming language as well. It doesn’t require the SQL language to work; it is called NoSQL.

There are many types of NoSQL.

Types of NoSQL:

  • Document-oriented databases.
  • Key-value stores.
  • Column-oriented databases.
  • Graph-oriented databases.

NoSQL functions with the CAP theorem combine to represent consistency, accessibility, and partition resistance.

NoSQL is widely used in many real-time web applications. It is also heavily used for storing large amounts of data as it is cheaper than any RDBMS software.

NoSQL was first introduced by Carlo Strozzi in 1998 when he created a NoSQL database called Strozzi NoSQL, an open-source relational database. However, the database was not non-relational, but still, the interface doesn’t contain any SQL exposure.

After that, Johan Oskarsson, a developer, re-established NoSAQ in 2009. He wants to clone software like Bigtable and DynamoDB to make some NoSQL software that will be open source.

NoSQL is slowly getting popular, and big companies are shifting to NoSQL software.

The biggest NoSQL software companies are MongoDB, Amazon DynamoDB, Bigtable, Apache CouchDB, and Apache HBase.

Advantages of NoSQL

  • They are cheaper.

In comparison to SQL software, NoSQL software is cheaper, and some of it is even free to use. That is why many companies are shifting towards it.

  • It can handle a very large amount of data.

NoSQL software can elaborate on data both horizontally and vertically, while SQL can only expand data vertically. So, NoSQL can store a very large amount of data because of this feature. That means you can store large amounts of data at a lower price.

  • It works without structured query language.

NoSQL doesn’t require SQL (structured query language) to work. NoSQL works in the Java programming language (JSON), which is easy to see.

  • High speed

NoSQL can handle large amounts of data at high speeds, which benefits the user by saving him time.

  • They are open source as well.

In addition to its features, NoSQL doesn’t require any paid license, and you can download it on your laptop or PC without any special license.

Disadvantages of SQL

  • No backup support

This is a big drawback of NoSQL that it doesn’t provide any additional tools for backup. MongoDB provides some tools, but they’re not as mature as the complete backup solution.

  • less mature

Because SQL software is old and hence more mature, while NoSQL software is new in the market, that is why NoSQL software is less mature than relational software.

  • NoSQL software doesn’t support ACID properties.

NoSQL doesn’t support ACID properties, which makes it less reliable. However, you can implement your codes to support ACID.


To conclude, the detailed comparison of MySQL vs. NoSQL must have given a clear picture. NoSQL databases are turning into a significant part of the database system today. They are being sent with various benefits, similar to execution at a major data level, design adaptability, etc. Consequently, they could be a real game-changer in the upcoming IT market.

On the other hand, NoSQL is an appealing innovation without the kind of arrangement of guidelines that SQL databases like MySQL offer. With the standard SQL language, MySQL is currently covering a gigantic part of the market. Because SQL allows for simple database access and changes, Consequently, the MySQL database’s general issues can be handled easily by its knowledgeable community.

Similarly, as with any major business choice, IT experts also need to gauge their choices and subsequently conclude the contrast between both in terms of vital features. In any case, some might contend that NoSQL is the way of the future, but others are stressed over its absence of standardization. Finally, the decision will depend on the complexity of the company’s business needs and the amount of data it consumes.

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