Database Management Systems – The Differences Between MySQL and MSSQL

November 4, 2023 / Security

Database Management Systems

As our reliance on data increases, businesses need to manage increasing amounts of it efficiently. To do so, they rely on database management systems (DBMS) to store, organize, and retrieve information. MySQL and MSSQL are two of the most popular DBMSs available today. While both serve the same purpose, they differ in many ways. In this article, we will explore the difference between MySQL and MSSQL.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source DBMS that was first released in 1995. It is a free-to-use system that runs on multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. MySQL is known for its scalability, reliability, and speed, making it a popular choice for web applications, data warehousing, and e-commerce websites. MySQL uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to interact with data, making it easy to use and learn.

What is MSSQL?

MSSQL is a proprietary DBMS developed by Microsoft. It was first released in 1989 and is designed to run on Windows-based systems. MSSQL is known for its robust security features, scalability and integration with other Microsoft products. MSSQL uses T-SQL (Transact-SQL) to interact with data, which is a Microsoft-specific extension of SQL.

Similarities and differences

Here we look at some of the key differences between MySQL and MSSQL

  • Ownership and licensing
    Although it is now owned by Oracle, MySQL remains an open-source database management system. MSSQL, on the other hand, is a proprietary, commercial database management system owned by Microsoft. This means that MySQL can be used and distributed freely under the GNU General Public License (GPL), while MSSQL requires a paid license, thus making it more expensive to use.
  • Language support
    MySQL supports a wide variety of programming languages, including Java, Python, PHP and many more. This makes it a popular choice for web development, where different programming languages may be used on the front end and back end. MSSQL, meanwhile, is designed to work primarily with Microsoft’s own programming languages, such as .NET and C#. While it is possible to use other programming languages with MSSQL, it may require additional configuration and setup.
  • Platform support
    MySQL is designed to be platform independent. This means that it can be installed on a wide variety of operating systems. Though predominantly used with the various Linux distributions, it can also work on others, including Windows and macOS. MSSQL is primarily designed to run on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. While it is possible to run MSSQL on other platforms using virtualisation or other techniques, it may not be as easy or efficient as running it natively on Windows.
  • Performance and scalability
    MySQL has an excellent reputation for high performance and scalability, particularly when it comes to handling large volumes of data. What’s more, it is also designed to be highly customisable and configurable, which allows developers to optimise its performance for specific use cases. This makes it ideal for high-traffic websites and other web applications.

    While MSSQL also offers great performance and scalability, it may require more compute resources and configurational tweaking to achieve the same levels of performance as MySQL. From a scalability perspective, MSSQL is typically used in enterprise-level applications where scalability is less of a concern.

  • Security
    Data security is vital for all businesses and both MySQL and MSSQL have a range of built-in security features to protect data and prevent unauthorised access. Of the two, MSSQL is generally considered to be more secure than MySQL. This is due to integrated security features such as Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Always Encrypted, as well as auditing and fine-grained access control. MySQL, by comparison, has fewer security features and often relies on third-party tools to provide encryption and other security measures.
  • Development tools
    A variety of development tools are available for both MySQL and MSSQL, however, they differ in their approach. MySQL uses a command-line interface and a web-based administration tool called phpMyAdmin. MSSQL has a graphical user interface (GUI) called SQL Server Management Studio, which provides a more visual approach to managing your database.


While choosing the right DBMS can be challenging, understanding the key differences between MySQL and MSSQL can help you make an informed decision. Overall, MySQL is a scalable, flexible and cost-effective DBMS that is ideal for web-based applications and is a key component when building CMS websites with platforms like WordPress. In contrast, MSSQL is a robust and secure DBMS that is ideal for enterprise applications. Ultimately, the choice between MySQL and MSSQL will depend on your specific needs and requirements. For a wide choice of managed Windows and Linux hosting solutions that offer MySQL and MSSQL, visit our homepage.


  • Niraj Chhajed

    I'm a SEO and SMM Specialist with a passion for sharing insights on website hosting, development, and technology to help businesses thrive online.

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