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If you wish to pursue the domains of Big Data, BI, and Business Analytics, you will inevitably come across SQL and MySQL. The following are the topics that we will be covering today to help you learn more about these two key terms in the world of databases:

To start learning about SQL and MySQL, you will first have to know about relational databases and RDBMS. So, here is a quick overview.

Check out this MySQL video tutorial for beginners by Intellipaat:


Relational Databases and RDBMS Overview

A relational database organizes and stores data items, which are in a structured format, into a set of tables with columns and rows that can be linked based on common data or predefined relationships between them. How does this help? With a single query, you can retrieve a completely new table from the data that is in one or more tables. This also allows a better understanding of the relationships between the data and the capability to make better decisions based on the insights generated.

Every table is divided into specific categories called fields. Each column under a field contains vertical entries or values. The rows contain a collection of related values for a particular object. Each row comes with a unique identifier called the primary key. If you want to access the stored data, you can do so without reorganizing the tables.

As part of the integrity rule, relational databases make sure that the stored data is always accurate and accessible. One such instance is the elimination of duplicate rows in a table, thereby eliminating further errors in the process.

To understand the concept of RDBMS, you will have to first quickly understand DBMS. DBMS is a database program or software system that catalogs, retrieves, and runs queries on data. It efficiently handles all the data and has the capability to allow data extraction or modification by users or other programs. MySQL, Microsoft Access, SQL Server, Oracle, RDBMS, Clipper, etc., are all examples of DBMS.

RDBMS, on the other hand, is a subset of DBMS and is specifically designed for relational databases. It is an acronym for relational database management systems.

The key difference between RDBMS and DBMS is that RDBMS applications save data in a tabular form, while DBMS applications do it in the form of files.


Check SQL Command cheat sheet to understand basic concepts SQL commands and prepare for interviews.

What is SQL?

In simple terms, SQL or Structured Query Language is a standard language that is used for storing and managing data in RDBMS. With SQL, users can add, access, retrieve, update, and delete data in relational databases and tables. With SQL, database can be queried in several ways by using English-like statements. SQL is owned, hosted, maintained, and offered by Microsoft and is used by MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, MS Access, and Informix as their standard database language.

One of the significant aspects of using SQL is that you can retrieve multiple records in a database with a single command.

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What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source RDBMS owned by Oracle that performs specific functions or operations and manages relational databases through SQL commands. It is written in C and C++ and supports major platforms such as Windows, UNIX, Linux, and macOS X. It can be installed on a server or even on a desktop.

MySQL offers the ability to tailor the source code as per the requirements and grants multiuser access to databases. It is scalable, fast, and reliable, and it offers an easy way to start a low-memory disk or CPU database. It is one of the core components of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP,) which is an open-source web-service stack.

Check out the difference between NoSQL and SQL in our comparison blog on SQL vs NoSQL.

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SQL vs MySQL: The Fundamental Differences

Definition: SQL is a domain-specific query language. MySQL is an RDBMS that uses SQL to retrieve data from the database.

Operations: Through SQL, one can perform operations to retrieve and manipulate stored data in a database. MySQL stores the existing data in separate tables in an organized manner.

Functions: SQL is used to write queries for databases. MySQL facilitates data storing, modification, and management in a tabular format.

Format and syntax: SQL follows a standard format, and the basic syntax and commands remain the same. MySQL is updated frequently.

Support: Apache Spark Connector for SQL does not come with any Microsoft support. MySQL comes with MySQL workbench as an integrated tool that helps in designing and building databases.

Storage engine: SQL supports a single storage engine. MySQL supports multiple and pluggable storage engines that make it more flexible.

Server and database: The server remains independent of the database in SQL, which means that you can perform other operations on the database during a data backup session. The same is not possible with MySQL as the server blocks the database. This minimizes data corruption when switching from one MySQL version to another.

Data security: SQL server offers much more data security than MySQL server. In SQL, external processes or third-party apps do have access to and cannot manipulate data directly. While in MySQL, database files can be easily manipulated or modified by using binaries during the run time.

Community support: SQL, not being an open-source language, does not come with community support. MySQL offers rich and robust community support because it is an open-source platform.

SQL vs MySQL Pricing

Difference between SQL and MySQL in Tabular Form

Difference Between SQL and MySQL

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To conclude, the SQL vs MySQL comparison cannot be a debate as they are two innately different data management tools that are complementary to relational database requirements.

Drop your questions in our SQL Community and start a discussion.

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