Data ScienceSQL

MS SQL vs MySQL: Performance, Security, Syntax, Use Cases

Published: 29th May, 2024

Arunav Goswami

Data Science Consultant at almaBetter

Discover the differences between MySQL and MS SQL, including performance, security, syntax and use cases, to choose the right database between MS SQL vs MySQL

When it comes to relational database management systems (RDBMS), MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server (MS SQL) are two of the most popular options. Both have their unique features and use cases, making it essential for businesses and developers to understand their differences. This article delves into the key difference between MySQL and MS SQL, covering aspects such as performance, security, licensing, and use cases.



MySQL is an open-source RDBMS developed by Oracle Corporation. It is widely used in web applications due to its simplicity, reliability, and robust community support and is a central component of the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python). MySQL supports various storage engines, including InnoDB and MyISAM, which provide flexibility in terms of storage and data handling.


Microsoft SQL Server, commonly known as MS SQL, is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. It is designed for enterprise environments and offers a comprehensive suite of tools and features for managing large-scale databases. MS SQL Server is known for its strong integration with other Microsoft products, such as Azure, and its support for complex queries and transactions.




  • MySQL excels in read-heavy operations and is well-suited for web applications where quick read access is essential.
  • It supports multiple storage engines, allowing users to choose the best engine for their specific use case.
  • MySQL's replication features are beneficial for scaling read operations across multiple servers.


  • MS SQL is designed for high performance in both read and write operations, making it ideal for transaction-heavy applications.
  • It offers advanced indexing and partitioning features that enhance query performance.
  • MS SQL integrates well with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) for data warehousing and analytics.



  • MySQL provides basic security features, including user authentication and SSL encryption.
  • It supports data encryption at rest and in transit, though these features may require additional configuration and third-party tools.


  • MS SQL offers comprehensive security features, including Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Always Encrypted, which protect data at rest and in use.
  • It includes advanced auditing and compliance tools, making it suitable for environments with stringent security requirements.
  • MS SQL's integration with Active Directory provides robust user authentication and access control.



  • MySQL is open-source and available under the GNU General Public License (GPL), making it free to use for most applications.
  • For enterprise-level features and support, Oracle offers a commercial version of MySQL with additional capabilities.


  • MS SQL is a proprietary product with various licensing options, including per-core and server/CAL (client access license) models.
  • While more expensive than MySQL, the licensing cost includes comprehensive support and access to advanced features.

Use Cases


  • Ideal for web applications, content management systems (CMS), and small to medium-sized businesses that require a reliable, cost-effective database solution.
  • Commonly used with popular web development stacks such as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl).


  • Best suited for enterprise environments, financial institutions, and applications that require high availability, robust security, and advanced data analytics.
  • Integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products, making it a preferred choice for businesses that already use Microsoft technologies.

Difference Between MS SQL Server and MySQL Syntax


Uses Transact-SQL (T-SQL), an extension of SQL. T-SQL includes procedural programming constructs, error handling, and transaction control, which provide more flexibility and control over the database operations.


Uses standard SQL with some proprietary extensions. While it supports stored procedures, triggers, and views, its procedural capabilities are not as advanced as those of T-SQL.

Support for JSON and NoSQL Features:


Supports JSON data types and has some capabilities for NoSQL-style document storage, which can be advantageous in applications needing flexibility in data representation.

Microsoft SQL Server:

Also supports JSON and XML data formats, with more advanced querying capabilities and the integration of NoSQL-like structures through its PolyBase feature.

Backup and Recovery


Provides robust backup and recovery options, including point-in-time recovery, full, differential, and transaction log backups. These features ensure data integrity and availability in case of failures.


Offers basic backup options such as mysqldump and binary logs. While sufficient for smaller applications, it may not offer the same level of granularity and control as MS SQL for large enterprise systems.

Community and Support


As a commercial product, MS SQL comes with professional support from Microsoft. Additionally, it has a strong community and numerous online resources for troubleshooting and development.


Benefits from a large open-source community, offering extensive documentation, forums, and third-party tools. Oracle provides paid support for the enterprise edition, ensuring reliability for critical applications.

Check out our SQL tutorial and Online SQL compiler to elevate your coding skills and knowledge.

Difference Between MSSQL And MySQL in Tabular Format

FeatureMySQLMicrosoft SQL Server
OwnershipOwned by Oracle Corporation.Developed by Microsoft.
LicensingOpen-source with a free community version and a paid enterprise edition.Proprietary with a paid license, offers a free "Express" edition.
Platform CompatibilityRuns on Linux, UNIX, Windows, and macOS.Primarily for Windows, but recent versions support Linux.
Programming LanguageUses standard SQL, with procedural extensions via UDFs in languages like C/C++.Uses Transact-SQL (T-SQL), which includes additional procedural features.
Performance and ScalabilityFaster for read-heavy operations, suited for web applications and smaller databases.Optimized for large enterprise environments with robust support for transaction-heavy operations.
SecurityBasic security features with encrypted connections and storage.Advanced security features including row-level security, data masking, and encryption.
Tooling and IntegrationMySQL Workbench for management. Less integrated with third-party tools without plugins.SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and tight integration with other Microsoft products.
JSON and NoSQL SupportSupports JSON and has some NoSQL capabilities.Supports JSON and XML; advanced querying of JSON and NoSQL-like features via PolyBase.
Storage EnginesSupports multiple storage engines like InnoDB (default), MyISAM, etc.Only one main storage type, but supports multiple file types
ReplicationMaster-slave replication primarilyBoth master-slave and peer-to-peer replication
ClusteringLimited native clustering supportComprehensive clustering support including Always On SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances and Availability Groups
Community and SupportLarge open-source community with third-party support. Paid support available from Oracle.Extensive support from Microsoft, large developer community, and integrated support services.


Both MySQL and MS SQL have their strengths and are suitable for different types of applications. MySQL is an excellent choice for web applications and smaller businesses due to its open-source nature and ease of use. On the other hand, MS SQL offers advanced features, superior security, and better integration with Microsoft products, making it ideal for large enterprises and mission-critical applications.

Choosing between MS SQL Server vs MySQL depends on the specific needs of your project, including performance requirements, security concerns, budget constraints, and the existing technology stack. By understanding the key differences highlighted in this article, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and technical requirements.

If you found this article helpful and want to delve deeper into SQL and databases, check out our comprehensive courses, including Data Science Training and Masters in Data Science.

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