MySQL Strengths and Weaknesses

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This article contains some information about the strengths and weaknesses of MySQL.

Strength: Great Market Penetration

MySQL has the biggest market share of any open source database. Almost any web-hosting company can provide MySQL access, and books and articles about MySQL and PHP are abundant.

Strength: Easy to Get Started

After your database is set up and you have access to it, managing the database is straightforward. Initial access needs to be configured by a database administrator (if that person is not you). Tools such as MySQL Administrator or phpMyAdmin let you manage your database.

Strength: Open-Source License for Most Users

MySQL comes with a dual license—either GPL or a commercial license. You can use MySQL under the GPL as long as you are not commercially redistributing it.

Strength: Fast

MySQL has always been relatively fast, much due to its simplicity. In the last few years, MySQL has gained foothold in the enterprise market due to new “enterprise class” features and general maturity without compromising performance for simple usage.

Weakness: Commercial License for Commercial Redistribution

I f you bundle MySQL (server or client) with a commercial closed-source product, you need to purchase a license. MySQL AB have published a FOSS (Free or Open-Source Software) exception to MySQL’s license that grants all free or open-source products an exception from this restriction.

Strength: Reasonable Scalability

MySQL used to be a lightweight database that did not have to drag around most of the expensive reliability features (such as transactions) of systems such as Oracle or IBM DB2. This was, and still is, one of the most important reasons for MySQL’s high performance.

Today, MySQL has evolved to almost match its commercial seniors in scalability and reliability, but you can still configure it for lightweight use.


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