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6 minutes read

MongoDB Vs. MySQL: Choosing the Right Database 

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

The MongoDB vs. MySQL debate is valuable for organizations trying to determine which database management system is best for their applications. Data storage and retrieval are the foundation of our modern digital world. As a result, it is critical to choose the right database management system. 

MongoDB and MySQL are two of the most popular database management systems. As a result, your organization will likely use one of these options for database management. This post will examine MongoDB vs. MySQL in greater detail so that your business can choose the option that is the best fit. 

MongoDB Vs. MySQL: Understanding the Options 

Before you can choose between these database management systems, you have to understand a little more about their respective histories and backgrounds. Therefore, before we compare the specific features of these two options, we will explain what each one is.

What Is MySQL?

MySQL was developed in the mid-90s and has become one of the most commonly used database structures globally. MySQL is open-source, and SQL, or structured query language, has been the most widely used model for relational database design for over 20 years. 

Today, MySQL is owned and maintained by ORACLE. However, competitors have used the structured query language to create their own relational database products, including MS SQL and PostgreSQL. 

What Is MongoDB?

MongoDB was created in 2007 to offer an alternative to the SQL relational database design. MongoDB was developed to flexibly store the large amount of data generated from growing web services and websites. It is a non-relational database that relies on documents instead of tables to store data. 

MongoDB is also open-source. It is a highly scalable and flexible database management system, which has made it popular in eCommerce and content-based settings. 

MongoDB Vs. MySQL: Comparing Features 

To understand how MongoDB and MySQL differ, you need to see a direct comparison between similar features. Let’s take a closer look at how MongoDB and MySQL compare on common database features, such as: 

  • Data type
  • Schema 
  • Scalability 
  • Foreign keys 
  • Language 
  • Security 
  • Community support 
  • Usability 

Data Type 

In MySQL, data is stored as a table with rows and columns. MongoDB data is stored as JSON files, which are essentially documents. MongoDB is more flexible than MySQL due to the way data is stored. However, just because MongoDB offers more flexibility doesn’t mean it is necessarily the most effective way to design a database. The relational structure of a MySQL database might be the best fit for your data. 

Schema

A MySQL database requires a schema definition. MongoDB databases do not. As a result, MongoDB is a great option for organizations with unstructured data. However, MySQL is convenient for businesses that have highly structured data. A MySQL database rejects inputs that do not adhere to the predefined schema. This facet of MySQL can help your organization weed out bad, unstructured data points from its database. 

Scalability 

MongoDB databases can scale vertically and horizontally, while MySQL databases only scale vertically. Vertical scaling adds more power to your existing machines, and horizontal scaling adds more machines, or nodes, to your database infrastructure. Therefore, MongoDB is more scalable than MySQL since it can scale horizontally and vertically. 

Foreign Keys 

MySQL supports the use of foreign keys, while MongoDB does not. Data scientists use foreign keys to link one table with another. If you want to link database entries, foreign keys make this possible. MySQL is a relational database. Therefore, establishing relationships between tables and data entries is critical. Since MongoDB is non-relational, foreign keys are less important to it than MySQL. 

Language

MySQL uses the structured query language (SQL). MongoDB uses MongoDB query language (MQL). MQL was designed to be simple for developers to use. Most would agree that MQL is easier to learn than SQL, but SQL is by far more ubiquitous in the development industry. Since SQL has been the standard database language for over 20 years, many resources and guides are available to help interested developers learn the language. 

Security 

MongoDB is more secure than MySQL. MongoDB is more secure because it doesn’t use a schema design. However, MySQL databases are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks, which are common and quite effective. Data security should be a major concern for every business. If you want to use a MySQL database, there are ways to protect your database from SQL injection attacks. If you don’t need the structure of a MySQL database, MongoDB is easier to secure and more difficult to attack. 

Community Support 

Don’t underestimate the importance of community support. For one, community support will help your team troubleshoot issues and offer guides and additional support resources to help your business get the most out of its chosen database. MySQL has a larger user base and support community than MongoDB

MySQL has been in active use for over twice as long as MongoDB. As a result, there is a large support community. However, while MySQL has a significantly larger community, MongoDB also has a large community of developers and users compared to many other open-source technologies. 

Usability 

User-friendliness is an important facet of technology to consider. MongoDB is easier to use than MySQL. MySQL is more difficult to use because it uses strict schemas and foreign keys. However, these aspects of MySQL might be beneficial for your business’s needs. MongoDB is easier to learn, but that doesn’t mean that it will have the right features for your organization’s database needs. 

Final Thoughts 

MongoDB and MySQL are two of the most popular database options available to businesses. The database best suited for your business will depend on the type of data you want to store. If you have a lot of structured data, MySQL will likely be the best choice for your business. However, if your organization collects a lot of unstructured data and needs to scale quickly, MongoDB might be the best choice.

Determining which database is right for your business can be difficult. If you want to learn more about MongoDB vs. MySQL and which option best suits your needs, reach out to an experienced app development partner.

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