With the rise of data usage in the business world, the need for managing databases has also grown significantly. These databases have grown to become an integral part of every business, regardless of the size and structure.

But data is of no use unless analyzed. For this very purpose, companies use an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). RDBMS helps database administrators and organizations develop relations between distinct sets of data with management tools. In this article, you will look at the two widely popular and efficient management tools and learn the difference between SQL and MySQL. But before delving deep into the difference between SQL and MySQL, it is essential to understand them individually.

What is a Database?

A database is a collection of organized data that is stored electronically in a computer system. It is designed to manage and manipulate large amounts of data in a structured framework. It helps users to easily store, retrieve, and update information. A database typically consists of tables, which contain columns and rows. Each column represents a specific type of data, such as names or numbers, while each row represents a single record or instance of that data. 

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What are the Different Types of Database?

  1. Relational databases: Use tables to store data and SQL to manage and manipulate that data.
  2. NoSQL databases: Use a non-tabular approach to store and manage data and are not limited by fixed schema structures.
  3. Object-oriented databases: Store data in objects and support object-oriented programming languages.
  4. Graph databases: Use graph structures to store and manage data, particularly useful for complex relationships.
  5. In-memory databases: Store data in computer memory rather than on disk, resulting in faster access times.
  6. Distributed databases: Store data across multiple machines or nodes, improving scalability and reliability.
  7. Time-series databases: Designed to handle time-stamped data, making them ideal for storing and analyzing data from IoT devices, sensors, and financial transactions.
  8. Cloud databases: Hosted on cloud platforms, provide scalability, flexibility, and ease of access.

What is a Relational Database?

It is a type of database management system (DBMS) that stores data in tables or relations. Each table represents a specific type of data, and the relationships between tables are defined by the relationships between the data they contain. The data can be queried and manipulated using Structured Query Language (SQL). Relational databases are widely used in business and organizations, as they offer a flexible and scalable way to store and manage large amounts of data, while ensuring data integrity and consistency.

What is SQL?

SQL is short for Structured Query Language. As per the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) guidelines, SQL is the standard language to maintain and manage a database. Thus, besides a few minor syntax changes, most of the databases’ queries for retrieving, adding, or manipulating data are based on the standard SQL syntax.

SQL was first developed at IBM. With SQL, you can easily query a database to add, alter, update, or delete data in a plain English-like language. You can use SQL to manage multiple relational database management systems, such as MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and MS Access. By writing codes and queries in SQL, you can create and modify any database along with the creation of schemas.

What is SQL Server?

SQL Server is a powerful relational database management system developed by Microsoft. It provides a platform for storing, managing, and retrieving data for various applications and services. SQL Server supports SQL, a programming language used to communicate with databases. It allows users to create, modify and delete databases, tables, and views, as well as perform various operations such as querying, sorting, filtering, and joining data. SQL Server also provides advanced features such as high availability, security, and scalability, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. It is commonly used in web applications, business intelligence, and data analysis.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a relational database management system developed and released back in 1995. It was developed and sponsored by MySQL AB, which was then acquired by Sun Microsystems, which you know today as Oracle Corporation. MySQL is a combination of ‘My’ (co-founder’s daughter) and ‘SQL.’

MySQL was one of the earliest open-source RDBMS to be ever developed and launched. Currently, there are many variants of MySQL. However, the basic syntax of all the variations remains the same. Designed and written in C and C++ programming languages, MySQL is compatible with all primary OS (operating systems). It is a core component of a widely popular open-source web application software stack called LAMP, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python.

How Do You Use SQL with MySQL?

SQL is the standard language used to manage and manipulate data in relational databases. MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system that supports SQL. To use SQL with MySQL, you need to have the MySQL software installed on your system and a client application that supports SQL.

To interact with MySQL using SQL, you can use the MySQL command-line client or a graphical user interface (GUI) tool like MySQL Workbench. You can use SQL statements like SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE to retrieve, add, modify, and delete data in MySQL databases.

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What is the Difference Between SQL and MySQL?

Now, since you know the basic overview and concept, let’s look at the core differences between SQL and MySQL.



SQL is a query programming language that manages RDBMS.

MySQL is a relational database management system that uses SQL.

SQL is primarily used to query and operate database systems.

MySQL allows you to handle, store, modify and delete data and store data in an organized way.

SQL does not support any connector.

MySQL comes with an in-built tool known as MySQL Workbench that facilitates creating, designing, and building databases.

SQL follows a simple standard format without many or regular updates.

MySQL has numerous variants and gets frequent updates.

SQL supports only a single storage engine.

MySQL offers support for multiple storage engines along with plug-in storage, making it more flexible.

SQL does not allow other processors or even its own binaries to manipulate data during execution.

MySQL is less secure than SQL, as it allows third-party processors to manipulate data files during execution.

Can You Use SQL with Other Databases?

SQL is a standard language used to communicate with relational databases. While it was originally developed for use with the widely popular RDBMS known as MySQL, it is now supported by a vast array of other database management systems as well. Some of them include Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and IBM DB2. Moreover, many NoSQL databases such as Apache Cassandra and MongoDB also provide support for SQL-like query languages. Therefore, it is possible to use SQL with a wide range of databases, both relational and non-relational

Do all Databases Use SQL?

No, not all databases use SQL. While it is a popular and widely used language for managing relational databases, there are other types of databases that use different languages and structures. For example, NoSQL databases like MongoDB and Cassandra use a document-based approach and have their own query languages. Additionally, there are other types of databases like graph databases (e.g. Neo4j) and key-value stores (e.g. Redis) that use their own specialized languages and structures. 

Other Database Technologies That Use SQL

Aside from relational databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL, there are other database technologies that use SQL as their query language. One such technology is SQLite, a lightweight database that can be embedded in applications. SQLite is used in a wide range of applications, from mobile apps to web browsers.

Microsoft SQL Server, which is a popular database management system for enterprise applications offers advanced features such as data warehousing, analysis services, and business intelligence.

There is also Oracle Database, another enterprise-level DBMS that supports SQL. It is used in large-scale applications such as banking and finance, government, and healthcare.

There are newer database technologies like Apache Cassandra and MongoDB that support SQL as an optional query language.

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What are SQL and MySQL Used For?

SQL is a standard programming language used to manage and manipulate relational databases. SQL is widely used in industries such as finance, healthcare, retail, and more.

MySQL, on the other hand, is a popular open-source relational database management system that uses SQL as its query language. It is widely used in web applications to store, manage, and retrieve data. MySQL is often used in conjunction with PHP and other programming languages to build dynamic websites and web applications.

What Jobs Use SQL and MySQL?

Data analysts, data scientists, and database administrators heavily rely on SQL and MySQL to manage and manipulate large datasets. Business intelligence analysts also use SQL and MySQL to extract insights from databases and create reports.

Developers use these technologies to build web applications that require complex database interactions, such as e-commerce sites, social media platforms, and content management systems.

Many other industries that rely on data, such as finance, healthcare, and marketing, also use SQL and MySQL for data analysis and management.

What are the Similarities Between SQL and MySQL?

SQL and MySQL are two important technologies in the field of data management. While SQL is a language used for managing relational databases, MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system that uses SQL as its query language. Despite being different in some aspects, there are several similarities between SQL and MySQL.

Firstly, both SQL and MySQL support a similar set of data types such as numeric, string, date/time, and Boolean data types. Secondly, both support basic data manipulation operations like SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. Finally, they both use similar syntax and share common keywords like SELECT, FROM, WHERE, and ORDER BY, making it easy to switch between the two technologies.

How to Choose What is Best to Use Between SQL and MySQL?

When it comes to choosing between SQL and MySQL, it's important to understand that MySQL is actually a specific implementation of SQL. SQL is a standardized language used for managing and manipulating data in relational databases. MySQL is a relational database management system that uses SQL as its query language.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific use case and the features and capabilities you need from your database. If you're working on a web application and need a fast, scalable database, MySQL is a good choice. If you need more advanced features or compatibility with other systems, you may want to consider other SQL-based databases.


In this article, you went through the key differences between SQL and MySQL. Despite the many differences, there’s no winning of one over the other. Both have their set of advantages and disadvantages. However, you can use them together to get the best of both worlds. The ultimate decision of picking one over the other depends on your specific requirements. Hence, you should not learn the difference between SQL and MySQL with a mindset of selecting one over the other. Instead, you should know the differences to get acquainted with the basic syntax and use of both database management tools. If you are into data management, you can opt for Post Graduate Program in Full Stack Web Development.

Have any questions for us regarding this article? Leave them in the comments section, and our experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy learning!


1. Is MySQL the same as SQL Server?

No, MySQL is not the same as SQL Server. Although both are relational database management systems, they differ in use cases, pricing, licensing, features, advantages, and more. While MySQL is offered through Oracle, SQL Server is through Microsoft corporation.

2. What Programs use SQL and MySQL?

Several popular web-based applications use MySQL, such as WordPress, Facebook, Youtube, and Joomla. SQL is preferred by common relational database management systems like Oracle, Sybase, Access, Microsoft SQL Server, and Ingres.

3. Is MySQL free to use?

MySQL is free, open-source software for businesses and individuals. It can be used as a standalone product for any purpose, commercial or not, on a web server. The MySQL Community Edition is free, while there are paid versions, too, like the Enterprise Edition, Cluster Carrier Grade Edition, and the MySQL Standard Edition.

4. Which SQL should I learn first?

SQLite is the easiest for beginners to learn. It is a powerful RDBMS with a light and easy design. It is the simplest database, perfect for practicing simple queries and joins. 

5. What is the major difference between MySQL and SQL?

SQL is a query programming language for managing RDBMS. In contrast, MySQL is an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) that employs SQL. So, the major difference between the two is that MySQL is software, but SQL is a database language.

6. Which is better, MySQL or SQL?

Both MySQL and SQL servers can execute high-performance workloads. They include feature-rich client applications and provide a seamless experience. But in terms of security, the SQL server is more secure than the MySQL server. 

7. Should I learn SQL or MySQL first?

Since SQL is a data query language, you must master the SQL language first to work on any database management system. Knowledge of SQL is a must for storing, manipulating and retrieving data in any RDBMS. Once you have learnt SQL, you can move on to learning the fundamentals of RDBMS, such as MySQL. 

8. Can I use MySQL without SQL?

No, SQL is a must for working on databases. Since SQL is a query language for programming and managing data in a relational database management system like MySQL, you will require SQL to work with a relational database.

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