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PostgreSQL Vs MySQL: Major Differences and Similarities

PostgreSQL Vs MySQL: Major Differences and Similarities

Database frameworks are important, whether you are a developer or a data professional. Based on the demands of your job role, you will be putting database frameworks such as MySQL and PostgreSQL to use. Though both of the frameworks are used to store, manage, and process data, they fundamentally differ from each other.

Do you want to know the difference between PostgreSQL and MySQL and which is right for you? Keep reading this article further to find an answer.

Points to be pondered:

What Is PostgreSQL?

What is PostgreSQL - PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Key Differences - Intellipaat

PostgreSQL is a powerful, open-source object-relational database system. The basic form of the database management system is considered a relational database management system (RDBMS). It stores the data in the form of tables, making sure that the content can be mapped relation-wise.

If you add object-oriented features to RDBMS, the database mechanism becomes an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS). This kind of database is very helpful in the case of applications that have complex objects associated with them. Many big organizations, such as Netflix, Uber, Twitch, Spotify, etc., use PostgreSQL for relational data management.

Below are some key defining characteristics of PostgreSQL:

  • PostgreSQL offers free service solutions to everyone as it is open-source software. You can use its source code for free.
  • PostgreSQL provides unconditional support for both SQL and NoSQL-based databases, which means it provides extendability to them.
  • Unlike traditional SQL and NoSQL-based databases, PostgreSQL provides additional benefits to its users, and concepts like table inheritance and function overloading are also present. 
  • The working principle of PostgreSQL is almost similar to that of other types of contemporary databases. However, the architecture of PostgreSQL is more powerful.
  • Various components of PostgreSQL are developed as a combination of multiple procedural languages, like Java, Python, Pearl, etc. However, initial development is done in the C programming language

This is a brief introduction to PostgreSQL. In the coming section, we are going to check out what MySQL has to offer.

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What Is MySQL?

What is MySQL - PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Key Differences - Intellipaat

MySQL is the second-largest database software used by software developers. It is an open-source SQL-based relational database that stores data in one or more tables. This application database focuses on robustness, stability, and maturity.

The MySQL database is developed, distributed, maintained, and supported by Oracle. MySQL is used by many high-level organizations, such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, and others, due to its speed and cost-effectiveness. It also powers database-driven programs like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, among others.

MySQL was developed in 1995. Below are some of the key defining characteristics of MySQL:

  • MySQL is freely available in open source, and you can customize it as per your requirements.
  • MySQL promises to equip you with a scalable, flexible, and easily accessible database.
  • The core components of MySQL are written in the C programming language and CPP programming language.
  • MySQL works on a simple client-server architecture in which the end users are known as clients.
  • The end users request through a server to access the resources, and a request-response cycle is generated.

If you want to learn tools like PostgreSQL or MySQL, it is preferable to master the SQL programming language first, since all the frameworks are developed from the ground up by keeping SQL as a point of reference. Here’s a Free SQL Course that will help you master the fundamentals of SQL to further master frameworks like PostgreSQL and MySQL.

Similarities Between PostgreSQL and MySQL

Both PostgreSQL and MySQL are commonly used relational database management systems. They have similar characteristics, such as a relational model, an open-source nature, ACID compliance, cross-platform compatibility, and significant community support. Also, they employ normal SQL syntax, so that consumers can be comfortable with it.

Despite these similarities, there are several distinctions between PostgreSQL and MySQL, which allow customers to select the database that best meets their project requirements.

Which Programming Languages Do PostgreSQL and MySQL Support?

PostgreSQL and MySQL may not always support the same programming language. Below is a table that shows the programming languages supported in different databases.

Programming LanguagePostgreSQLMySQL
RLimited supportLimited support
GoSupported (via lib/pq)Supported

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Features of PostgreSQL

Features of PostgreSQL - PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Key Differences - Intellipaat

PostgreSQL has still not managed to outshine its competitors, specifically MySQL, despite its exceptional features. Most of the features of both parties are the same.

Below, you can find the points on which PostgreSQL is preferred. You might find that some features of PostgreSQL are quite similar to those of MySQL. 

  • PostgreSQL is built on a very strong architecture that offers a fault-tolerant system, which makes it the most robust database solution provider.
  • PostgreSQL is fast, provides a flexible system, has a scope of scalability, and is highly secured as compared to other competitors.
  • PostgreSQL offers a highly compatible software system that makes PostgreSQL compatible with every operating system out there on the market.
  • PostgreSQL provides integration possibilities with the new emerging technologies, which makes it more reliable than any other database.

If you want to learn about Postgre SQL in detail, then check out our Youtube video:

Features of MySQL

Features of MySQL - PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Key Differences - Intellipaat

MySQL is very popular among developers because of the below-mentioned reasons.

  • MySQL is well documented, well maintained, and has the rich support of an active community.
  • MySQL stores data in a tabular format, that is, in rows and columns. Every record present in the database is indexed, which makes it highly accessible.
  • MySQL has the longest active development time phase as compared to others, and PostgreSQL, if we want to talk specifically about it.
  • MySQL offers a very scalable system that has better performance optimization when offering services.
  • The services offered by MySQL are agile and highly customizable according to your needs.
  • The software solutions provided by MySQL are very versatile, which means that they are supported by almost every operating system.
  • MySQL has very comprehensive support for multiple programming languages and associated frameworks, which makes integration with other services very simple.

Is the flooding of information on PostgreSQL vs. MySQL confusing you? Don’t worry. We will make it easy for you.

Also, learn how to create database in PostgreSQL.

PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: What Are the Differences?

PostgreSQL vs MySQL: Difference

The information that we have discussed in the above sections regarding PostgreSQL vs. MySQL is compressed into a tabular form for easy understanding.

Open SourcePostgreSQL is a type of open-source database that is licensed under the PostgreSQL license.MySQL is a type of open-source database that is licensed under general public license (GNU).
Type of DatabasePostgreSQL is based on ORDBMS.MySQL is based on RDBMS.
Written inThe initial development of PostgreSQL is done in the C programming language, and later on, updated components are developed in various procedural languages.The initial and later development of MySQL is done in the C programming language and the CPP programming language.
GUI Tool ProvidedpgAdminMySQL Workbench
SQL CompliancePostgreSQL shows almost complete compliance with SQL.MySQL shows partial compliance with SQL. Concepts like check constraints are not supported.
Data Types SupportedPostgreSQL supports advanced data types like user-defined types, arrays, etc.MySQL only supports standard data types like numbers, char, etc. No support for advanced data types is present.
TroubleshootingTroubleshooting PostgreSQL is difficult compared to MySQL.Troubleshooting MySQL is very easy compared to any other competitor.
ScalabilityPostgreSQL provides a highly scalable system for complex queries and data.For simpler data, MySQL provides a highly scalable system, but for complex data, scalability is low.
FlexibilityPostgreSQL is highly flexible with multiple technologies with the same yield, even with new emerging technologies.MySQL is flexible, but it does not provide high flexibility; integration with new emerging technology is not possible.
ArchitectureThe architecture on which PostgreSQL is built is very strong and powerful.The architecture on which MySQL is built is very simple and weaker than that of PostgreSQL.
UsagePostgreSQL is used for large systems where the data is more complex.MySQL is usually used for web-based projects where the data used is simple.
MVCC SupportFull support  Partial/Limited support 
Used byNetflix, Instagram, Groupon, etc.Airbnb, Uber, Twitter, etc.

These are the major differences between PostgreSQL and MySQL. We hope you have a clear understanding of both databases.

Want to learn the difference between two different database schemas, such as SQL and NoSQL? Read our comprehensive guide on SQL vs NoSQL.

Learn MySQL Tutorial from scratch and become a database pro!

When to Use PostgreSQL

Below are some of the cases where PostgreSQL is preferred:

  • PostgreSQL can be the ideal choice for performing complex read-write operations while working with data that needs to be validated.
  • PostgreSQL does not limit the size of your database. So if you need to maintain a large database, PostgreSQL can be the best choice.
  • PostgreSQL is a popular choice for NoSQL functionality because it supports a wide range of data types, which include JSON, hstore, and XML.

Learning MySQL will help you to kickstart your journey in the field of databases, check out our blog on SQL Tutorial for Beginners.

When to Use MySQL

Below are some of the conditions where MySQL would be preferred over any other database management system:
When it comes to storage engine flexibility, MySQL can be the best choice for use because it provides flexibility to integrate data from a variety of table types, such as InnoDB and MyISAM. For example, InnoDB is a storage engine that supports transactions and foreign key constraints, which makes it ideal for applications that require data integrity. MyISAM is another storage engine that is known for its simplicity and fast read performance, which makes it ideal for read-heavy workloads.

Prepare yourself for PostgreSQL from our PostgreSQL interview questions blog

How to Choose Between PostgreSQL and MySQL

How to Choose Between PostgreSQL and MySQL - PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Key Differences - Intellipaat

Choosing between PostgreSQL and MySQL completely depends on the requirements of the project of an individual or an organization. Below are some of the points that can help you choose between them.

  • If you require a feature-rich database that can handle complex queries and large datasets, choosing PostgreSQL over SQL can be the best choice because of its scalability.
  • If you require a simpler database that is simple to install and operate, as well as fast, dependable, and easily understood, MySQL can be a great choice over MySQL.
  • In terms of learning, MySQL can be a good choice over PostgreSQL because of its larger community, which makes it easier to find resources and support.


We hope you all have a good understanding of both the databases, PostgreSQL and MySQL. Remember, there is nothing wrong or right with choosing either of the databases; it is all about which database suits you best according to your needs and requirements. So, if you need advanced features and scalability, handle complex queries and large datasets, and emphasize data integrity and ACID compliance, PostgreSQL is preferred over MySQL. If you prioritize speed and performance and focus on ease of use and simplicity, MySQL is preferred over PostgreSQL.

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Is PostgreSQL better than MySQL?

MySQL is the best database for handling read-only instructions. When concurrency is needed, it is not the recommended option. For handling complicated queries, big datasets, and read-write operations, PostgreSQL is the best option. However, for read-only tasks, it is not recommended.

Are MySQL and PostgreSQL commands the same?

Both MySQL and PostgreSQL have similar syntax. This is how both would appear in a select query: SELECT* FROM STUDENTS; however, some subqueries, such as “LIMIT” or “ALL,” are not supported by MySQL. Standard SQL clauses such as “INTERSECT” or “OUTER JOIN” are also not supported by it.

Is Postgres faster than MySQL?

Performance-wise, PostgreSQL and MySQL are equivalent for most workloads, with differences of no more than 30%. On the other hand, if your query misses an index, it may be 10x ~ 1000x degradation, regardless of the database you use.

Can I replace MySQL with PostgreSQL?

With the help of Pgloader, which is an open-source database conversion tool, you can easily transfer data between several RDBMSs, such as MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.

Are PostgreSQL and MySQL the same?

No, although there are many similarities between the two systems, PostgreSQL is open source, and SQL Server is controlled by Microsoft. This is the main difference. The ability of businesses to handle, store, and activate data is now more important than ever for running modern business operations.

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About the Author

Data Engineer

As a skilled Data Engineer, Sahil excels in SQL, Business Intelligence, and database management. He has contributed to projects at companies like Bajaj and Tata. With a background in software engineering, he crafted efficient solutions for data pipelines, analytics, and software integration, driving insights and innovation.