Difference Between SQL and MySQL

The world of technology is ever-changing and ever-evolving, but the need for data is constant. With the steep rise of online applications and websites, the need to manage this enormous data keeps increasing.


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This is where Database Management Systems play their role by helping us to manage a huge amount of data using simple queries. A database is a collection of data that is closely bound to the real world.

It allows the storage, management, and retrieval of data while ensuring security and privacy.

Every other website requires a database to deal with the traffic of data and operate on it. A Relational Database Management System allows one to interact with and administer the database.

A relational database saves data in the basic format of columns and rows. This format makes the data easily accessible and traversable as they are related to each other.

A couple of the most famous and used RDMS systems are SQL Server and MySQL. Their ease of accessibility and simplicity makes the users choose them over the other existing systems.

There is a predefined query language known as SQL to operate on these systems.

SQL is a language used for storing and operating the data in the database using simple queries. It allows the implementation of programs for handling structured and related data.

It has a set of commands used to make the operations and interact with the existing records.

Key Takeaways

  1. SQL (Structured Query Language) is a programming language that manages and manipulates relational databases.
  2. MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system that uses SQL.
  3. SQL is a standard language that can be used with multiple database management systems, while MySQL is a specific system that uses SQL.


The difference between SQL and MySQL is that SQL is a language, whereas MySQL is software. DBMS (DataBase Management System) of SQL is a profit-making affiliate. Contrarily, DBMS of MySQL is an open-source affiliate. The former is obtainable in multi-languages, and the latter is convenient only in English. Microsoft Corporation created ‘SQL’, and Oracle corporation invented ‘MySQL.’


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Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonSQLMySQL
DefinitionSQL is basically a Structured Query Language. This language can be utilized used to manage relational databases.MySQL is an open-source RDBMS based on SQL language. It is used to work on the data stored in the database.
TypeIt is a query language.It is used to build database queries as it as database software.
UseIt can handle the database.It is used to modify, delete, and store data in the database.
FlexibilityIn SQL, you can use user-defined functions along with XML.Unlike SQL, MySQL doesn’t support either.
ComplexityOne needs to practice the language well to be able to use it.One needs to download and install the software to work on it.
UpdatesThere aren’t any updates in SQL since it is a language. The commands and syntax are fixed and cannot be updated.There are regular updates in MySQL as it is software. The latest version of MySQL is version 8.0.


What is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a Domain Specific Language as it is specific to interacting with relational databases.

As per ANSI (American National Standards Institute), the standard language will be SQL if you want to work on data in the database.

It allows one to handle structured data in the form of related entities and variables. SQL provides the functions to add, update, access, remove or delete data stored in that particular database.

SQL does not require specifications on how to get to a record in the database. This makes it a natural database language.

It was released in 1986 and had the reputation of being the most widely used database language. Being a 4th generation programming language, SQL is also multi-paradigm in nature.

SQL code is not entirely portable among some database systems in the original format. It follows the ISO/IES 9075 standards but still requires little adjustments according to the database systems.

SQL code comprises many statements which are classified as sublanguages:

  1. DQL: Data Query Language
  2. DDL: Data Definition Language
  3. DML: Data Manipulation Language
  4. DCL: Data Control Language

DDL allows one to create and modify tasks. DML consists of commands used for inserting, updating, and deleting data.

Lastly, DCL contains access control commands.


What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source RDBMS that was built to run queries and process data. MySQL AB launched it in 1995, which Oracle Corporation later acquired.

MySQL is available in two editions, open-source and proprietary enterprise servers.

It is a cross-platform software that has stored procedures, cursors and data definition language, triggers, partitioning, indexing ACID compliance, views updatable, SSL support, and commit grouping-like features.

MySQL is a free and open-source software under GPLv2 and other proprietary licenses. The software is written in C and C++ languages and supports Linux, Solaris, macOS, Windows, and FreeBSD operating systems.

It is used in conjunction with PHP and Apache Web Server with a Linux Distribution. MySQL is highly efficient in handling projects with small and immense scopes.

It provides multiple databases on a single server.


Main Differences Between SQL and MySQL

  1. SQL is a standard language used for accessing, manipulating, and retrieving data from database systems. However, MySQL is an open-source software based on the SQL language.
  2. SQL is a domain-specific query language, while MySQL is the database software that allows the queries to perform operations.
  3. SQL is a predefined language and does not get timely updates. However, MySQL is software and thus gets frequent updates to improve the services.
  4. To be able to implement SQL, the user requires prior experience and knowledge about the commands. At the same time, MySQL software requires one to download and install it.
  5. While SQL provides commands to manipulate data, MySQL provides space to apply SQL and process the data.
Difference Between SQL and MySQL
  1. https://www.w3schools.com/sql/sql_intro.asp
  2. https://www.mysql.com/
  3. https://confluence.oceanobservatories.org/download/attachments/16418744/mysql-cluster-technical-whitepaper.pdf
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