The major differences between PostgreSQL and MySQL

Whether you are thinking about choosing a database management system for your company or you need to choose a DBMS for practising your database creating and managing skills, you have certainly come across PostgreSQL and MySQL, two of the major open-source DMBSs which are widely used by commercial organisations. The choice between these two options is not simple and definitely a lot depends on the needs of your company or your own needs of a database developer. In this article, you will be able to get a brief understanding of the differences between the two highly popular systems.

What are PostgreSQL and MySQL?

First of all, let’s check what these two DBMSs exactly are. Here you will find the description of both of them.


PostgreSQL has been on the market over thirty years offering users its open-source database management system which is now regarded to be the most compliant DBMS with the requirements of the SQL standards.

PostgreSQL is featured by a special technology which is making this DBMS a good choice for operations on high-volume data. At the same time, PostgreSQL is featured with a special control method based on multi-version concurrency which allows the users of this database management system to work with many concurrent transactions in a highly efficient way. The DBMS is compliant with ACID (stands for atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability).

Even though PostgreSQL is a completely open-source product many large businesses are relying on its service. For instance, Spotify, Netflix, Uber, Reddit and Instagram are using PostgreSQL for managing their data.

PostgreSQL Global Development Group is maintaining. The DBMS has a very large and active community of developers who support this product whereas a large number of tools and libraries created by third parties are also available for the users of PostgreSQL.


MySQL is a database management system backed by Oracle which is now is the leader among enterprise DBMSs. Yet, MySQL is also an open-source project, however, it has special plans for enterprise the price for which starts with 5000 USD per year.

MySQL is particularly favoured for its extra tools such as dvForge Studio or MySQL Workbench which are making the usage of this DBMS particularly simple. This is particularly great for users who have just started working with DBMSs and MySQL in particular since it has great GUI tools as well as a lot of educational materials to learn from.

MySQL is also compliant with ACID whereas it is also highly flexible and accessible. This DBMS is usually chosen for web applications.

Some of the famous companies using MySQL are FedEx, Facebook, Dell, Apple, 3M, Boeing and eBay.

PostgreSQL Vs MySQL – comparison

As you have just learnt, both of the DBMSs are open-source products. PostgreSQL is actually an ORDBMS which stands for object-relational programming since this database management system links the functionality of procedural or relational programming to object-oriented programming.

For MySQL, the implementation languages are C and C++ whereas for PostgreSQL it is C.

Both of these database management systems are compatible with the cloud technology and have cloud support.

As it has already been mentioned, there is a paid version of MySQL available for companies, whereas there is no such one for PostgreSQL. The latter product has PostgreSQL Licence which is similar to the licence of MIT-style, whereas MySQL is licensed with GNU General Public Licence. Depending on the exact version, there are different proprietary agreements available for this product.

When it comes to the compliancy with the SQL standards, PostgreSQL is exceptionally compliant with the standard of SQL. This cannot be said about MySQL in which there is no complete implementation of the Standard of SQL.

When it comes to the compatibility with platforms and operating systems, both of the DBMSs are compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux, BSD, Unix, Android and Solaris. MySQL is also compatible with AmigaOS whereas PostgreSQL is using an AmigaOS-like system known as MorphoOS. MySQL is also available for z/OS (a special operating system developed by IBM specifically for IBM Mainframes). PostgreSQL is compatible with HP-UX OS. None of these DBMSs can be used on iOS or OpenVMS.


Both of the products are open-source which makes them available free of charge. PostgreSQL is frequently chosen for its advanced functionality and high performance with a large amount of data. Many previous Oracle users who need to work with an open-source database management system switch to PostgreSQL as it is considered to be the most powerful open-source DBMS.

At the same time, MySQL has a lot of devotees due to its high speed of performance as well as simplicity.

If you check the current ranking for the modern DBMSs, you will find that MySQL is on the higher position than PostgreSQL.