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What is the difference between SQL and MySQL?

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  • 3 min read

Structured Query Language or SQL is a programming language used for designing and manipulating databases. MySQL is an open-source database management system that lets users store and retrieve data in those databases.

Both the ideas are easy to confuse and are often thought to be the same thing.

Similarities do exist as both the languages perform operations on or about relational databases as arithmetic, comparison and logical operators are used in both the entities.

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Sequential Query Language (SQL)

SQL is a domain-specific language that is used to retrieve or manage data in a relational database (RDBMS). It has two main advantages over its preceding Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

  • You could now access multiple records with a single command.
  • There was no need to specify a path to the record, (eg. with or without an index).


An open-source database management system, MYSQL comes in use to store data in different data tables which might have related data types.

MySQL comes in handy as relational databases help structure data in a seamless fashion.

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How are SQL AND MySQL different?

Comparing and stating each of the prominent tasks and uses of the two entities would make the difference between them as clear as a day.

The table below presents some of the more unnoticed differences which one won’t come across unless they’re a user.

TypeQuery language used for database management. Database Software.
Uses SQL to interact with databases.
Supported PlatformsWindows, Linux, MacOSWindows, MacOS, Solaris, Linux
Storage Engine Plug-ins (SEP)
Time taken to restore DataLess effort and time needed.Larger as multiple SQL statements are executed at once.
Terminating Query ExecutionTruncates queries without harming the process.A query can be cancelled at the time of execution.
Whole process is required to be cancelled.
UseSQL is applicable to various DBMS and RDBMS.Primarily an RDBMS that manages relational databases.
Support for XMAL and user-defined functions
Data Security High security as the framework doesn’t allow data manipulation.Less secure as data can be manipulated by users as well as its own binaries.
Connector SupportNo provision for connectors.MySQL Workbench tools are available for use.

SQL or MS SQL boasts an easy to use syntax. MySQL has a more traditionally used one. For example, if a length function is to be implemented, the following syntax will be used:

MS SQL: SELECT LEN(req_string) FROM <Table_name>
MySQL: SELECT CHARACTER_LENGTH(req_string) From <Table_name>

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Which one should you go for?

SQL and MySQL provide a developer with two different skill sets, albeit they’re both used to structure a relational database.

MySQL really focuses on handling and manipulating data. If you’re a developer and your sole focus is an implementation in a production or work environment, you may find this a better fit.

On the other hand, if you’re a programmer and are more willing to learn the building blocks of databases and database management, you’ll find SQL more useful.

SQL and MySQL chalk out different functionalities for users involved with data management. A skillset to conduct with either of the tools is important for someone taking their first steps in Data Science.

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Pooshan Singh

Pooshan Singh