Narrowing the best DBMS: PostgreSQL vs MySQL

Narrowing the best DBMS: PostgreSQL vs MySQL
Narrowing the best DBMS: PostgreSQL vs MySQL

Are you searching for the best Relational Database Management System for your project? Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a subset of DBMS that stores data in a structured format. It is relational because it contains rows and columns of data and the elements in the table are related to one another. MySQL and PostgreSQL are examples of RDBMS.

Did you know DBMS topics are frequently asked questions in Infosys exams InfyTQ

Let get to know PostgreSQL

It is an open-source RDBMS with SQL compliance and extensibility. PostgreSQL is the primary data warehouse for any type of web, analytics, mobile applications. It is still top-rated because of its architecture, data integrity, feature set, and the community behind the software to come up with innovative solutions. It runs on all major OS(Operating Systems).

You don’t need to recompile your database while using code from different programming languages. It features transactions with ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Duration)  properties. PostgreSQL provides a snapshotof the transaction done, managing concurrency through Multiversion Concurrency Control (MVCC). Pick your project you want to develop, use PostgreSQL to store your data.

Say hello to MySQL

MySQL? Why is Structured Query Language prefixed with ‘My’? ‘My’ is the name of MySQL’s co-founder’s daughter.

MySQL is also an open-source Relational Database Management System that uses Structured Query Language (SQL). Managing, adding, and accessing content can be done with it in a database. It is a database system that runs on a server that is reliable, very fast, and easy to use. Oracle Corporation supports, develops, and distributes MySQL. It is not dependent on the size of the application. Both small and large applications can use MySQL. Same as PostgreSQL, MySQL also uses tables to store data in rows and columns and each data is interconnected with one another.

Features available in MySQL include Cross-platform support, triggers, Query caching, nested SELECTs, Unicode support. It can be built and installed from source code manually. Listed are a few pros and cons in PostgreSQL and MySQL, Check them out and use the one your application needs.

How does the installation and extensibility work?

MySQL has some bizarre default settings for character encoding and other features which makes PostgreSQL’s default Installation a bit better.

PostgreSQL is very extensible. It supports most of the advanced data types which are not available in MySQL. Native UUID,  network address types, geometric are the data types available and you can even add your data type and operators. 

Comparing MySQL and PostgreSQL open-source Policy, PostgreSQL is truly open-source whereas MySQL has both free and paid versions. Original MySQL has several open-source forks like MariaDB, Percona and some more. This is not a big disadvantage but still, some are paid sources in MySQL.

Nuts and Bolts used in MySQL and PostgreSQL

MySQL supports:

  • C, C++
  • Java
  • Pearl
  • PHP
  • Lisp
  • React.js
  • Node.js
  • Erlang
  • Go
  • Delphi

On the other hand, PostgreSQL supports a wider range of programming languages.

  • C,C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • List
  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • Javascript
  • Tcl
  • Erlang
  • Go
  • Delphi

How is the data query?

Here, Let’s have a look at how the system’s cache and process user requests, how developers can manage it and the various approaches they use in storing data.

MySQL offers a scalable buffer pool to pull cache, however, the terminology of buffer pool maybe, it’s goal is to summarise the algorithm which system’s use and maintain connections. If the developer’s goal is to save CPU and storage space then they can put benchmarks on their buffer pool. Moreover, MySQL allows dividing cache by segments to store different data types maximising the isolation.

PostgreSQL isolates processes by treating them as a separate OS process if you prefer organisation and long-term order, PostgreSQL with its isolated approach would be a better fit, but if you prioritize saving computing resources, and storage, the choice will be MySQL.

Let’s talk about the operating system compatibility for MySQL and PostgreSQL

Both PostgreSQL and MySQL offer cloud-based support.

PostgreSQL is compatible with different Operating Systems including

  • Mac OS
  • BSD
  • Windows
  • Solaris
  • Linux

MySQL runs on several Operating Systems which includes

  • FreeBSD
  • Fedora
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Oracle Solaris

Performance of the two DBMS

PostgreSQL is suited best when the speed for reading/writing is necessary and large data storage is required. Complex queries are executed with PostgreSQL. It holds a memory of the most recent access data. Once the data fits inside the memory, it analyses nearly 10 million rows per second. Table inheritance and function overloading features are comparatively better. Read-write sets, complex queries are handled faster in PostgreSQL.

MySQL is faster for read-only commands. Each query in MySQL will run on a single thread, crossing over CPUs is not applicable and faster CPUs result in faster performance. If you need to improve the performance of MySQL, do not use them as a query. Workloads get episodic which restricts tasks from being done in parallel while using MySQL as a query. You need not configure everything in MySQL and by default, it is set with one-size-fits-none.

How does the defragmentation work in both?     

Analysing their defragmentation capabilities, which means unifying the updated database by assigning indexes, revisiting the structure, and creating new pages.

MySQL offers much more defragmentation methods compared to PostgreSQL such as giving out several options for table maintenance saving a lot of time for developers which includes approaches to defragmentation during backup, index creation. They provide more flexible settings and consume less CPU.

PostgreSQL allows scanning all the tables of the data layer to find vague rows and enables deletion of the unnecessary elements, which helps the system free up the disk. But, this method requires a lot of CPU and can also play a part in the application’s performance.

Memory optimised table

The memory table is stored in the active memory and it is on the disc space which is easy to access in a simplified way. PostgreSQL doesn’t support database memory creation.

MySQL supports memory-optimised tables but it doesn’t participate in transactions. Security in MySQL is highly vulnerable. Memory-optimised tables are the best set-up in MySQL as it is their native approach. We cannot define it as an essential database structure, yet it could help to improve performance.

Understand Indexes

The way a database handles indexes is important as they are used to locate data without searching for a particular row. Indexes include references to multiple rows and columns. It helps you to assign the same index to files, located in different places in the database, and collect all the pieces with a single search.

MySQL organized indexes in tables and clusters, it allows developers to automatically locate and update indexes in their databases. The search is not highly flexible as you can’t search for multiple indexes in a single query. MySQL supports multi-column indexes, allowing adding up to 16 columns.

PostgreSQL offers a flexible search, unlike MySQL. It supports index-based table organisation, however, the early versions don’t include automated index updates. The solution also allows looking up many indexes in a single search. The multi-column settings are flexible and can include up to 32 columns.

Temporary tables

In this, they allow storing intermediate results from complex procedures to improve database performance and organisation by separating intermediary data from the essential information. Temporary tables are also essential for applications with complicated business logic.

MySQL provides limited functionality for temporary tables such as not allowing the developers to create global templates or set variables. The software even limits the number of times a temporary table can be referred to, which is not more than once.

PostgreSQL offers much more functionality, you can divide temporary tables into local and global, and configure them with flexible variables if we develop software that runs a lot of complex processes PostgreSQL should do it.

Who’s more popular among the bunch?

The statistics by Statista shows that MySQL is ranked second whereas Oracle tops, which is the most popular DBMS today. PostgreSQL is a lot less recognized compared to MySQL.

MySQL is the most demanded database on the market which means finding competent teams, learning resources, reusable libraries and ready add-ons will be easy. Some of the companies which use MySQL include

  • Netflix
  • Google
  • Amazon

My SQL is widely used by major corporations and governments of the world. It has built a reputation for trustworthy database management, perhaps it is capable of supporting long-running projects.

PostgreSQL is renowned for its intuitive functionality and security settings. That’s why mainly it is used in government platforms and e-commerce platforms. Some of the companies which use PostgreSQL include

  • Apple
  • Esty
  • Skype

So, if you are choosing between MySQL vs PostgreSQL in terms of market trends, MySQL would be the one to go for.


The choice between the two most well-known databases ultimately boils down to a comparison of the functionality and use cases. As a conclusion when we prioritize flexibility, innovation and cost-efficiency we choose open-source solutions like these two. As they can be integrated with multiple free add-ons, and are continuously updated.

MYSQL is considered to be the most popular database and PostgreSQL is the most advanced database, so both have perks of its own. If you are just concerned with the programming and don’t want to get deep with the concepts, you can go for PostgreSQL. But if you want to understand the concepts and basics of databases designing then you can go for MYSQL. Though MySQL has kept itself relevant with great improvement, PostgreSQL edges it, as you don’t even need licensing and there’s much more to it.

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