8 Reasons Everybody Should Be Working with MySQL

MySQL is a freeware rival to major database providers like Oracle that uses the Structured Query Language or SQL. This relational database management system is open source and it is growing in popularity for a number of reasons. Here are eight reasons why everybody should be working with MySQL and why it has become a full rival to brand names like Oracle.

The Growing and Expanding Suite of Tools

Oracle has long been dominant because it interfaces with everything from websites to enterprise applications. MySQL has grown and evolved into a mature rival to Oracle, and you can now find MySQL tools ranging from content management systems, forums, blogs, galleries, shopping carts, and websites. MySQL administration tools are available while graphical user interface tools also exist. Many of these tools have existed for a decade or more, so you aren’t left choosing between two niche tools for any application and hoping it works. All of this is aside from MySQL’s robust transactional database engines with features such as atomic and consistent transaction support, unrestricted row level locking, and other features that enforce referential integrity. The only strike against MySQL is the fact that Oracle works with both static and dynamic systems while MySQL only works with static systems.


MySQL works with a wide variety of operating systems. It not only works with Linux, UNIX, Windows, and the Mac OS. It also works with less common operating systems as BSD, Symbian, the z/OS, and Amiga OS. Oracle does not work with Symbian, Amiga, or BSD. Then there’s the fact that MySQL supports Java while Oracle does not.

Affordable Training

The cost savings you see with MySQL only start with the purchase price. Oracle has followed Microsoft’s example of expensive long-term licensing to organizations at every level, focusing on enterprise customers willing, able, and required to pay large sums to use their applications. Oracle also charges quite a bit for training for everything from using Oracle as a general user to system administration. Being charged several thousand dollars for a single week of Oracle administration training is par the course. If you want to learn how to migrate databases or upgrade to the latest version, you get to pay again.

Contrast this with MySQL’s open source ethos and affordable training opportunities. There are plenty of online training courses and article for MySQL and classroom providers for people who are short on time.


MySQL is a high-performance database application. This is in part due to its distinct storage-engine framework that allows administrators to configure it specifically for performance. This allows e-commerce websites handling a million queries a day to operate without delay or handle millions of server queries for enterprise applications with optimal speed. Configuration options in MySQL include unique memory caches and full-text indexes.Another benefit of adopting MySQL is its speed of implementation. You can download and install MySQL in less than an hour. System administrators enjoy self-management features for administering the database on a day to day basis to expanding space to data design. You could choose to use MySQL and be using it the same day, and administer it doesn’t require several full-time database administrators.


MySQL offers scalability from a personal database to one suitable for running a full organization, but Oracle’s better for running very large VLDB (very large databases). In this regard, MySQL isn’t the best choice if you’re trying to run a database that rivals the NSA’s massive data lakes containing everyone’s phone and email metadata. MySQL’s strength is on demand scalability. If you want to add a few terabytes of data, you don’t have to call in the pros to do so when using MySQL. A side benefit of using MySQL for large databases is its much larger footprint, so you can run multiple deep or complex queries at a time without slowing down performance for everyone else. Doubling the size of the database doesn’t double how long it takes to run a report.


MySQL is regularly ranked among the most secure database management systems in the world. Its transactional processing and advanced data security make it ideal for supporting e-commerce. Because MySQL transactions work as a single unit, financial transactions, in particular, have complete data integrity. If any stage of the transaction fails, the entire transaction within the group fails. For example, customers’ money isn’t debited until the entire transaction completes without errors. If there is an issue with the transaction, their bank accounts aren’t debited and no information can be compromised if the failure is due to someone trying to record or interfere with transactions.

MySQL has powerful data encryption built in and it supports SSH and SSL. Another benefit of MySQL is the ability to limit server access to only authorized users and block users down to the machine level.


Just as there are Unix servers for which uptime is one hundred percent, MySQL offers near perfect uptime. There are many options such as master/slave replication configurations and specialized cluster servers to protect your data and ensure that it stays available. However, if you cannot use the master/slave setup, scaling up the framework will take longer than if you’re working with Oracle. If you have multiple master setups, replication conflicts sometimes occur when you use a manual failover.

Another great aspect of MySQL is the fact that it provides on-site and phone support, while Oracle only provides forum support.


MySQL allows you to customize your database to suit your particular needs, whether it is streamlining a database to offer fast and reliable e-commerce transactions or unique reports. MySQL is ideal for those who need additional features or functionality that Oracle cannot provide or won’t offer unless you pay them a fortune. One caveat to this is that customization or simply modification of a MySQL server requires careful coordination with your application developer to prevent problems.