Both MySQL and Oracle provide the same architecture and use the relational model, and both offer many standard features such as indexing, vertical scalability, and support for popular operating systems. However, there are some critical differences between the two tools. Deciding between them can shape an enterprise’s data management and directly impact its success. In this Oracle vs MySQL comparison, we strip away the complexities to give you essential insights into both databases, focusing on functionality, performance, and cost-effectiveness. Join us as we dissect key differences and provide you with the critical information needed to inform your database choice.

Key Takeaways

  • Oracle and MySQL are both popular relational database management systems with distinct features; Oracle targets complex enterprise needs with advanced security and data partitioning, while MySQL is known for its simplicity and web integration.

  • Oracle is optimized for large-scale operations with high-performance strategies and Real Application Clusters, whereas MySQL excels at managing smaller-scale relational databases and offers both vertical and horizontal scalability.

  • The costs associated with using Oracle or MySQL differ significantly due to Oracle’s complex and costly licensing structure, while MySQL provides a cost-effective, open-source alternative with the option of a paid Enterprise Edition.

This article will outline the pros and cons of both Oracle and MySQL, diving deep into what these two relational database management systems have to offer users.


Table of Contents


Database management systems (DBMS) allow organizations to categorize and structure available data to create a smooth, more organized working environment. They are fundamental for businesses because they provide an effective way of managing large volumes and various data types. Considering the world generates around 1.145 trillion megabytes of data per day—a value that’s constantly increasing—having the right tools to manage big data is essential.

Good database solutions can also feed into your data warehouse with the right data integration tools, allowing companies to can make informed decisions more quickly. Picking the right database management system makes a difference.

While some database systems have specific features to comply with your business objectives, others provide a broader range of benefits and could be more cost-effective. Oracle vs. MySQL is a common debate when choosing the best database solution, and it becomes even more confusing when you realize that both SQL databases are developed by Oracle.

Here's a brief comparison of Oracle and MySQL:

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Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all features and capabilities of both databases, but it should give you a good idea of the main differences between Oracle and MySQL.

Read on to discover which database management system comes out on top in the MySQL vs. Oracle showdown.

Oracle vs. MySQL: How Do These Two Database Management Systems Stack Up?

What is Oracle?

Oracle SQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) designed to be self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing and to eliminate error-prone manual database management. It can run on various operating systems and allows for safe storage and fast data retrieval. Oracle was the first database tool developed for business purposes as a storage engine using the SQL query language, released in 1979 by Oracle’s predecessor, Relational Software. Oracle V2 offered a commercial database with basic SQL language and SQL statements.

SQL stands for "structured query language." It was developed in the 1970s by IBM and is used for communicating with relational databases. Today, SQL is considered the global standard for manipulating stored, relational data.

Oracle has come a long way since the 1970s, and the current long-term release is Oracle Database 19c. Those wanting insights into new and upcoming features can also take a look at version 21c. Remember, in this article we’re only looking at "Oracle Database," also known as Oracle SQL. Oracle also offers the Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service, which is a non-relational alternative data management solution.

Oracle Database Features

  • It is scalable, portable, distributed, and programmable.
  • It allows interaction with the database without knowing the physical storage parameters of the data.
  • Oracle enables smooth communication between applications across different platforms with the Oracle Database.
  • Oracle Database can run on various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.
  • It enables the ACID property to maintain the integrity and reliability of your data.
  • It can efficiently manage large-scale data volumes.
  • It has a recovery manager tool that provides cold, hot, and incremental database backups and recoveries.
  • It has SQL and PL/SQL language support and CHAR, VARCHAR2, NCHAR, and NVARCHAR2 character support.

Some other benefits of Oracle include:

  • Capable of running large ILTB and VLDBs
  • Very feature-rich
  • Reliable
  • Provides Flashback technology to view past states of databases and objects offers a no-code data pipeline solution to Oracle Database. For information on's native Oracle connector, visit our integration page.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a popular database management system also designed for handling relational databases. It is an open-source database server supported by Oracle that offers scalability to its users. Compared to the Oracle Database, MySQL's processing is just as fast, and its interface is often cited on review sites as being more intuitive and easier to use.

The Swedish company MySQL AB developed and supported MySQL. In January 2008, Sun Microsystems bought MySQL AB for $1 billion. In April 2009, Oracle Corporation agreed to purchase Sun Microsystems, then owner of MySQL's copyright and trademark. Many small and big companies use MySQL, and MySQL works with many operating systems like Windows, Linux, macOS, etc., with C, C++, and JavaScript programming languages and syntax.

So, when you wonder why two Oracle RDBMSs could be so different and have such varied applications, remember that the development history of both systems was very different.

MySQL Database Features

  •          It is a free and open-source RDBMS.
  •          MySQL is an easy-to-use relational database management system.
  •          It follows a client/server architecture.
  •          It provides excellent performance, high flexibility, and increased productivity.
  •          It offers scalability.
  •          It offers incredible security.
  •          It enables transactions to be rolled back and committed, and also provides crash recovery.
  •          It has SQL language support and CHAR and VARCHAR character support.

Whichever Oracle-powered RDBMS you ultimately choose, make sure you have the data integration tools in your tech stack that can handle the integrations you need. For more information on's native MySQL connector, visit our integration page.

Related Reading: 3 Ways to Integrate MySQL With Python

Performance and Scalability: Oracle vs MySQL

Performance and scalability are often the deciding factors in choosing a database management system. Oracle’s prowess lies in managing large volumes and high loads, making it suitable for complex enterprise environments.

On the other hand, MySQL’s approach to performance and scalability caters to small to medium-sized deployments, excelling in managing relational databases efficiently.

To get a better gauge of the performance of both the Oracle and MySQL databases, let's take a look at what actual users have to say.

How Oracle Manages Large Volumes and High Loads

Oracle’s performance strategies encompass optimized data model design, setting clear performance goals, consistent application benchmarking, and effective database application maintenance.

To optimize scalability and performance, Oracle provides specific features such as Real Application Clusters (RAC), Sharding, and Memoptimize Pool. Such features highlight Oracle’s commitment to manage large volumes and high loads effectively.

As of March 2023, Oracle has a ranking of 4.3/5.0 stars on G2. In addition, 834 Oracle users have left reviews about the database.

An Oracle user who is a technical associate at a mid-level company had this to say about Oracle's performance in their review, "The best multi-model relational database for OLTP. The elegance and beauty of the architecture are simply unbeatable. The optimizer is the unicorn of Oracle, and it's worth the name no other SQL Database has an optimizer so efficient. Quick Backup and Recovery with logical and physical backup options. The flashback technology is a lifesaver in case you dropped a table by accident. For the licensed version, support is premium and feels like it."

Another Oracle user and senior data engineer left this review, "It is the best on-premises database that I used so far, security is always high, and we can have multiple benefits out of it. I used this for the reporting and data engineering work, stored a huge amount of data at the organizational level, and performed analytics on the same. It's easy to understand and manage relational data inside the tables for a longer duration."

In addition, Oracle Database users gave the following ratings on Oracle’s performance:

  • Ease of Use – 8.2/10.0
  • Quality of Support – 8.2/10.0
  • Ease of Setup – 7.3/10.0

MySQL's Approach to Performance and Growth

MySQL’s scalability is often highlighted as a major asset. It supports both vertical and horizontal scaling, enabling data and workload distribution across multiple servers or enhancing the resources of a single server to manage growth.

However, scaling MySQL databases significantly requires additional engineering effort, as it was not inherently built with large-scale growth in mind. Techniques such as sharding, partitioning, and application-level optimizations are employed to enhance MySQL’s performance, along with infrastructure adjustments involving replica databases, in-memory databases, and microservices architecture.

Also looking at March 2023, MySQL currently has a ranking of 4.4/5.0 stars on G2. A total of 1,589 MySQL users have contributed to the information available on the respected review site.

One data scientist has this to say about MySQL's performance in their review, "MySQL is open source, and this comes with obvious benefits such as multiple support options, faster fixes to bugs, and of course security. Interestingly, all of the aforementioned are foremost benefits of MySQL as a relational database management system."

An additional MySQL user left this review, "MySQL comes with a plethora of capabilities; both command line and interface are simple to use, it can create complicated database tables, and database management is a breeze using MySQL. Their official website contains extensive documentation to understand more about a given feature. However, it does not provide many alternatives for creating tables that seem like suggestions, but it requires a lot of software to be installed, which may slow down the system."

Take a look at the ratings MySQL users give on MySQL's performance:

  • Ease of Use – 8.7/10.0
  • Quality of Support – 8.0/10.0
  • Ease of Setup – 8.5/10.0

Interestingly, all of these ratings have increased slightly since April 2022, possibly showing that updates and upgrades fall in line with user requirements and feedback.

Oracle vs. MySQL: How To Decide Which Database To Use

When considering MySQL vs. Oracle, it is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each tool as it relates to your desired business outcomes.

When Is Oracle the Better Choice?

Oracle is a feature-rich, enterprise-level database management system that is well-suited for large, complex, and mission-critical applications that require high availability, scalability, and security. It offers advanced features such as support for advanced analytics, parallel processing, and high availability. However, Oracle can be expensive and has a steep learning curve.

Oracle is a ubiquitous choice with the Fortune 100 list of companies and larger enterprises, as it is designed for large business applications and large data warehouses. 

Those looking for the most extensive list of features will choose Oracle because it is packed with features and minimizes the need for third-party software.

When Is MySQL the Better Choice?

MySQL is an open-source database management system that is easy to use, fast, and scalable. It is ideal for small to medium-sized applications, web applications, and e-commerce sites. MySQL is known for its reliability, performance, and low cost of ownership. It has a large and active user community, and there are many open-source tools and libraries available to work with MySQL.

MySQL provides a better choice for projects on a smaller scale. By migrating database-driven applications to MySQL or using MySQL for new development projects, corporations are realizing cost savings that many times stretch into hundreds of thousands of dollars. For startups and smaller companies, MySQL fits better.

Which database is better Oracle or MySQL?

In summary, both Oracle and MySQL have their strengths and weaknesses, and the decision between the two depends on your specific needs, budget, and technical expertise. If you require advanced features and can afford the cost, Oracle may be a better option. But if you need a reliable and cost-effective database for smaller applications or web projects, MySQL is a good choice.

Discover more about modern SQL-based and NoSQL-based databases, including Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, MariaDB, and more, in this article: Which Modern Database Is Right for Your Use Case?

Transitioning Between Databases: Considerations for Migrating

Transitioning between databases requires careful planning and consideration of differences in schemas, data types, and compatibility of stored procedures, triggers, and functions. This ensures that data integrity is maintained and that all functional aspects of the application are preserved.

Migrating from Oracle to MySQL

Migrating from Oracle to MySQL involves exporting data, converting data types and syntaxes, and modifying Oracle-specific SQL clauses for compatibility. Tools like Oracle SQL Developer can be leveraged to export Oracle data in formats suitable for MySQL.

The migration also necessitates the modification of Oracle-specific SQL clauses to ensure SQL code compatibility with MySQL. Manual migration requires:

  • Setting up the ODBC Data Source

  • Configuring Oracle’s listener.ora and tnsnames.ora files

  • Creating a database link within Oracle for connectivity to MySQL.

Switching from MySQL to Oracle

Switching from MySQL to Oracle can be achieved using tools like WinSQL or custom scripts to handle complex data migration tasks. WinSQL’s ‘connected mode’ allows data to be directly transferred between a MySQL database and an Oracle database when both databases are accessible at the same time.

Where direct connections are not feasible, data can be exported from MySQL to a temporary storage using WinSQL’s ‘disconnected mode’ and then imported into an Oracle database. This approach can circumvent challenges of traditional text file migrations.

How Can Transform Data Management

No matter which database you choose in the Oracle vs. MySQL debate, every business can benefit from integrated data without having to invest in hardware, on-premises software, or personnel such as data engineers. With, you will have immediate connectivity to numerous databases plus your business-critical SaaS straight out of the box. is a leading no-code data pipeline platform that brings all your data sources together with its drag-and-drop interface. utilizes ETL (extract, transform, load) technology, reverse ETL, and super-fast ELT/CDC (change data capture) capabilities to bring all your business transactions and information into your data warehouse for better, more actionable insights. Complete data integrity empowers your business to achieve full data observability, improving internal business systems’ efficiencies and processes with ease.

Find out how easy it is to bring your existing databases and other data sources together. Try for yourself with a 14-day trial of our platform, and schedule a call with our expert team for more advice and information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between mysql and sql?

The main difference between MySQL and SQL lies in their nature and usage. MySQL is an open-source database system, while SQL is a language used to interact with relational databases, such as MySQL. This means that MySQL is an implementation of the SQL standard, allowing you to handle data in a structured manner.

Is Oracle still the best database?

Yes, Oracle is still considered one of the best databases, as it continues to dominate the enterprise market and has received high scores in database management evaluations.

Does MySQL belong to Oracle?

Yes, MySQL belongs to Oracle, as Oracle acquired MySQL following its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010.

How does Oracle manage large volumes and high loads?

Oracle manages large volumes and high loads through optimized data model design, clear performance goals, consistent benchmarking, and specific features like Real Application Clusters (RAC) and Sharding to optimize scalability and performance.

What are the pricing and licensing considerations for Oracle and MySQL?

Oracle's core-based licensing model can be costly due to additional costs for features and options, while MySQL, being open-source, allows for free use and distribution, making it a more cost-effective solution. Consider these factors when making a decision.