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PostgreSQL vs MySQL: Performance and Features
February 10, 2022

We’ve recently conducted various test comparsion web servers such as nginx vs openlitespeed, or lscache vs wp rocket. In this article we will compare PostgreSQL vs MySQL, we will see what different features they offer and how they stand against each other in terms of performance.

SQL (structured query language) has been used since its standardization to develop many relational database management systems (RDBMS). In addition to their flexibility, RDBMSs continue to remain popular because they are among the easiest to learn.

In this article we will try to explain everything that you needs to know about PostgreSQL and MySQL. We will discuss their benefits, their performance, their use cases.

What is Database Management Systems?

The simplest definition of a database is a place where data is stored. A database management system (DBMS) is required to access the stored data. There are many types of DBMSs, including Hierarchical DBMSs, Network DBMSs, Object DBMSs, and Relational DBMSs. The latter has gained the most popularity.

Data management approaches vary between DBMSs. Relational databases manage data through tables, otherwise known as relations. Through queries, you can retrieve and process attributes of a datum. RDBMSs generally require you to query and process data using a special language called structured query language (SQL).

SQL is the basis for most RDBMSs, so if you are familiar with this language, there’s a high chance that you can easily adjust to different database systems. We will now examine the most popular RDBMSs and assess their benefits.

How PostgreSQL and MySQL was born?

One of the first relational databases, Ingres was developed at UC Berkeley in 1973 and became the platform for many commercial products.

In 1985, one of the original developers of Ingres went back to Berkeley (after founding a company to commercialize Ingres) to develop a successor to Ingres that he named Postgres. While PostgreSQL was officially changed to take advantage of the reference to Structured Query Language, the project still uses both names. PostgreSQL 6.0 was the first production release in 1997.

In contrast to PostgreSQL, MySQL has always been under corporate control. Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL AB in 2008, shortly before Oracle acquired Sun. After the announcement of Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL, Widenius created MariaDB Corp., an RDBMS that was not controlled by a commercial database company.

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an advanced, Free and OpenSource relational database system. PostgreSQL supports both SQL and JSON querying. So it works as relational and non-relational both. PostgreSQL is supported by the community for 20 years and with time it is proving itself as a highly stable database system.

PostgreSQL is not limited to web applications it is also used in mobile applications and other platforms. The PostgreSQL database contributed to the development of advanced database concepts, including updatable views, transactional integrity, and multi-version concurrency control. These features made it more popular and strong.

PostgreSQL’s Supported Data Types

PostgreSQL has a large list of supported Data Types from basics to advanced. With the basic types like integer, string, and date-time. PostgreSQL supports advanced types like geometric, network address, and JSON. Let’s discuss these types in the detail:

Numeric datatype:

PostgreSQL has a list of supported integer data types.

NameDescription
smallintA small-range integer that’s storage size is 2 bytes
integerA typical choice for an integer that’s storage size is 4 bytes
bigintA large-range integer that’s storage size is 8 bytes
decimalUser-specified precision
numericUser-specified precision, exact
realVariable-precision, inexact that’s storage size is 4 bytes
double precisionVariable-precision, inexact that’s storage size is 8 bytes
small serialA small autoincrementing integer that’s storage size is 2 bytes
serialAn auto-incrementing integer that’s storage size is 4 bytes
bigserialA large autoincrementing integer that’s storage size is 8 bytes

Monetary Types:

Money types store currency amounts with fixed fractional precision. Money can be converted from numeric, int, and bigint data types. To avoid rounding errors, it is not recommended to use floating-point numbers when handling money.

NameDescription
MoneyThe currency amount and its storage will be 8 bytes

Character datatype:

There are also various types of character data types in PostgreSQL.

NameDescription
character varying(n), varchar(n)Variable-length with limit
character(n), char(n)Fixed-length, Blank padded
textVariable unlimited length

Date/time datatype:

PostgreSQL supports many kinds of date/time data types. It has a list of date/ time data types listed below.

NameDescription
timestamp [ (p) ] [ without time zone ]Both date and time (no time zone) that’s storage size is 8 bytes and Resolution is 1 microsecond / 14 digits
timestamp [ (p) ] with time zoneBoth date and time, with the time zone that’s storage size, is 8 bytes and Resolution is 1 microsecond / 14 digits
dateDate (no time of day) that’s storage size is 4 bytes and Resolution is 1 microsecond / 14 digits
time [ (p) ] [ without time zone ]Time of day (no date) that’s storage size is 8 bytes and Resolution is 1 microsecond / 14 digits
time [ (p) ] with time zoneTimes of day only, with the time zone that’s storage size, is 12 bytes and Resolution is 1 microsecond / 14 digits
interval [ fields ] [ (p) ]The time interval that’s storage size is 12 bytes and Resolution is 1 microsecond / 14 digits

Binary data type:

Binary strings can be stored using the bytea data type.

NameDescription
Byteavariable-length binary string its storage size is 1 or 4 bytes plus the actual binary string

Boolean data type:

Boolean is one of the standard SQL types available in PostgreSQL. Boolean data types have three states: true, false, and unknown, which are represented by SQL null.

NameDescription
Booleanit specifies the state of true or false its storage size will be 1 byte

Enumerated data type:

Types with enumerated values are static, ordered data types. Similar to enum types, they are supported by a number of programming languages. For example.

CREATE TYPE mood AS ENUM ('cloudpages', 'makes','you', 'happy');

Geometric data type:

Two-dimensional spatial objects are represented by geometric data types. The point is the most fundamental type, and it forms the basis for all the other types.

NameDescription
pointThe point on a plane that’s storage size is 16 bytes represented as (x,y)
lineThe infinite line that’s storage size is 32 bytes represented as {A,B,C}
lsegFinite line segment that’s storage size is 32 bytes represented as ((x1,y1),(x2,y2))
boxRectangular box that’s storage size is 32 bytes represented as ((x1,y1),(x2,y2))
pathClosed path (similar to polygon) that’s storage size is 16+16n bytes represented as ((x1,y1),…)
pathThe open path that’s storage size is 16+16n bytes represented as [(x1,y1),…]
polygonPolygon (similar to the closed path) that’s storage size is 40+16n bytes represented as ((x1,y1),…)
circleCircle that’s storage size is24 bytes represented as <(x,y),r> (center point and radius)

Text search data type:

Using this type of search data type, you can locate documents that match your query by searching through a collection of documents in natural language. It is fther have two types.

Name Description
tsvectorThis is a sorted list of distinct words that have been normalized to merge different variants of the same word, called as “lexemes”.
tsqueryThis stores lexemes that are to be searched for, and combines them honoring the Boolean operators & (AND), | (OR), and ! (NOT). Parentheses can be used to enforce grouping of the operators.

UUID data type:

The UUID stands for Universally Unique Identifiers, an algorithm that creates a 128-bit number. This is the most suitable data type for the primary keys. In its simplest form, the UUID is composed of multiple sets of lower-case hexadecimal digits separated by hyphens. example:

a0eebc99-9c0b-4ef8-bb6d-6bb9bd380a11

Network address type:

Network address type is y=use for the IPs for Mac, networks and all. Like the IPV4, IPV6, and all.

NameDescription
inetIt stores the IPv4 and IPv6 hosts and networks. Its Storage Size is 7 or 19 bytes
cidrIt is used to store the IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Its Storage Size is 7 or 19 bytesc
macaddrIt stores the MAC addresses. Its Storage Size is 6 bytes

JSON data type:

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data can be stored in the json data type. The json data type has the advantage of verifying that each stored value is a valid JSON value.  PostgreSQL supports two types of it.

NameDescription
jsonStores an exact copy of a JSON data
jsonbA decomposed binary JSON data

Bit string type:

Strings of 1s and 0s are called bit strings. They are used for storing and visualizing bitmasks. SQL has two-bit types: bit(n) and bit varying(n), where n is a positive integer.

XML data type:

To store XML data in PostgreSQL, the XML data type is used. This data type checks the XML input for well-formedness and also has methods for performing type-safe operations on it. For example:

XMLPARSE (DOCUMENT '<?xml version="1.0"?><book><title>Manual</title><chapter>...</chapter></book>')

Range data type:

Displaying a range of values of some element types, known as the range’s subtype, is achieved by using these types. A single range value can also contain several elements of values.

types:

NameDescription
tsrangeRange of timestamp without time zone
tstzrangeRange of timestamp with time zone
daterangeRange of date
int4rangeRange of integer
int8rangeRange of bigint
numrangeRange of numeric

Arrays:

In PostgreSQL, a column of a table can be defined as a variable-length multidimensional array. It is possible to create arrays of any built-in or user-defined base type, enum type, or composite type.

Composite data type:

Composite types represent the structure of a row or record; they are essentially just a list of field names and the data types associated with them. Composite types can be used in many of the same ways as simple types in PostgreSQL. 

Pseudo data type:

Data types in PostgreSQL are pseudotypes, which contain many special-purpose entries. It is also used to declare a result type or the argument for a function, but it cannot be used as a column data type. 

NameDescription
anyIt shows that a function accepts any input data type.
anyelementIt accepts any data type.
anyarrayIt shows a function that accepts any array data type
anyenumIt accepts any enum data type
anyrangeIt accepts any range of data type
cstringIt is used to specify that a function accepts or returns a null-terminated C string.
language_handlerA procedural language call handler is declared to return language_handler.
fdw_handlerThe few (foreign-data wrapper) handler is declared to return fdw_handler.
recordIt is used to specify a function that is taking or returning an unspecified row type.
triggerIt is declared to return the trigger.
pg_ddl_commandIt is used to represent the DDL commands that are available to event triggers.
voidIt is used to specify that a function returns no value.

Advantages of PostgreSQL:

PostgreSQL is a professional database management system. That is reliable and easy to use. There are a lot of advantages of PostgreSQL. Below are some benefits of PostgreSQL.

Open Source: PostgreSQL is freely available for its users under an open-source license. You can use, modify and implement PostgreSQL as per your needs.

Comunity Support: The best thing about PostgreSQL is community support. If you search anything about PostgreSQL you will find hundreds and thousands of solutions and tutorials for that. It is in the business for 25 years and the community is making it stronger day by day.

Security: PostgreSQL has a lot of features to enhanced and improve security. The security features of this database system make it preferable to others. We can say this is one of the best selling points.

Scalability: PostgreSQL database system is scalable it grow with your growth. You can scale it as you want. There are multiple technical options for operating PostgreSQL at scale.

Disadvantages of PostgreSQL:

Less Papular: PostgreSQL is not much popular as compared the other MySQL systems.

Compatibility-focused: PostgreSQL is more compatible-focused but needs more changes for speed improvement.

What is PostgreSQL Good For?

The best use of PostgreSQL is for the systems that use data analytics and things like these. Postgre is best for the Business Intelligence (BI) systems like these systems have to perform different types of data analytics. The platform and developments where you need data integrity and build fault-tolerant environments are also good to use Postgre.

What Shouldn’t PostgreSQL Be Used For?

Postgre is good for large-scale applications and systems. But using it for a system that has a small database is not good to go with Postgre. Also, the system which does not need concurrency is also not good for Postgre. So the main thing is even the Postgre is on large scale still we don’t need it in alot of places.

MySQL:

MySQL is the most popular Open Source database management system. MySQL is based on Structured Query Language commonly known as SQL. MySQL is also the most used database management system of all. It has all features that a developer needs to use during the development. MySQL is known as a fast and reliable database engine.

Anyone can run MYSQL virtually on Linux, Unix, Windows, etc. MySQL is one of the main components of the LAMP stack. The best way to use MySQL is as a client-server system. MySQL is used in all types of applications. There are a lot of popular applications which are using MySQL like Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, Pinterest, Shopify, etc.

MySQL’s Supported Data Types:

MySQL supports a lot of SQL standard data types. It supports numeric, date and time, string types, spatial types, and JSON data types. The details for all data types are listed below.

Numeric Data Type:

Numeric supports different types of data types.

NameDescription
TINYINTIt is a very small integer that can be signed (rang 128 to 127) or unsigned (rang 0 to 255). its have a width of up to 4 digits and take 1 byte for storage.
SMALLINTIt is a small integer that can be signed (rang -32768 ) or unsigned (rang 0 to 65535). its have a width of up to 5 digits. It requires 2 bytes for storage.
MEDIUMINTIt is a medium-sized integer that can be signed (rang -8388608 to 8388607) or unsigned (rang 0 to 16777215). its have a width of up to 9 digits and take 3 bytes for storage.
INTIt is a normal-sized integer that can be signed (rang -2147483648 to 2147483647) or unsigned (rang 0 to 4294967295). its have a width of up to 11 digits and takes 4 bytes for storage.
BIGINTIt is a large integer that can be signed (rang -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807) or unsigned (rang 0 to 18446744073709551615). its have a width of up to 20 digits and takes 8 bytes for storage.
FLOAT(m,d)It is a floating-point number that cannot be unsigned. You can define the display length (m) and the number of decimals (d).
DOUBLE(m,d)It is a double-precision floating-point number that cannot be unsigned. You can define the display length (m) and the number of decimals (d).
DECIMAL(m,d)An unpacked floating-point number that cannot be unsigned. In unpacked decimals, each decimal corresponds to one byte. Defining the display length (m) and the number of decimals (d) is required. Numeric is a synonym for decimal.
BIT(m)It is used for storing bit values into the table column. Here, M determines the number of bits per value that has a range of 1 to 64.
BOOLIt is used only for the true and false conditions. It considered numeric value 1 as true and 0 as false.
BOOLEANIt is Similar to the BOOL.

Date and Time Data Type::

MySQL also supported these different types of date and time data types.

NameDescription
YEAR[(2|4)]The default is 4 digits. It takes 1 byte for storage.
DATEDisplayed as ‘yyyy-mm-dd’. It takes 3 bytes for storage.
TIMEDisplayed as ‘HH:MM:SS’. It takes 3 bytes plus fractional seconds for storage.
DATETIMEDisplayed as ‘yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss’. It takes 5 bytes plus fractional seconds for storage.
TIMESTAMP(m)Displayed as ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS’. It takes 4 bytes plus fractional seconds for storage.

String Data Types:

MySQL

NameDescription
CHAR(size)Here size is the number of characters to store. Fixed-length strings. Space padded on the right to equal size characters.
VARCHAR(size)Here size is the number of characters to store. Variable-length string.
TINYTEXT(size)Here size is the number of characters to store.
TEXT(size)Here size is the number of characters to store.
MEDIUMTEXT(size)Here size is the number of characters to store.
LONGTEXT(size)Here size is the number of characters to store.
BINARY(size)Here size is the number of binary characters to store. Fixed-length strings. Space padded on the right to equal size characters.
(introduced in MySQL 4.1.2)
VARBINARY(size)Here size is the number of characters to store. Variable-length string.
(introduced in MySQL 4.1.2)
ENUMIt is short for enumeration, which means that each column may have one of the specified possible values. It uses numeric indexes (1, 2, 3…) to represent string values.
SETIt can hold zero or more, or any number of string values. They must be chosen from a predefined list of values specified during table creation.

Binary Large Object Data Types (BLOB):

MySQL-supported Binary Large Object Data Types are listed below.

NameDescription
TINYBLOBIt can hold a maximum size of 255 bytes.
BLOB(size)It can hold a maximum size of 65,535 bytes.
MEDIUMBLOBIt can hold a maximum size of 16,777,215 bytes.
LONGBLOBIt can hold a maximum size of 4GB or 4,294,967,295 bytes.

Advantages of MySQL:

MySQL is a free and open-source database management system. It is one of the reliable, stable, and powerful database management systems along with all these things there are a lot more advantages of MySQL.

Open-source: Open Source software can be installed and used by anyone and the source code is also available to be modified and customized by third parties. In the case of MySQL, all the worries about an open-source product are not the same as others because of the round-the-clock support and enterprise indemnification.

Fast and reliable: Basically, MySQL is developed for speed. Furthermore, it is known for its reliability as a database administrator, backed by a large community of programmers that have rigorously tested the code.

High Availability: Online platforms and businesses must be able to cater to a global audience at all times. MySQL provides high availability as a core feature. Mysql provides clustering that enables you to remain live on the time and fails to provide your user 24/7 updates.

Security: MySQL is known as the most secure database management system. Due to its security and reliability, many popular applications and CMSs are using it. To ensure data integrity, MySQL uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, data masking, authentication plugins, and other security features. A firewall is also included in the MySQL Enterprise package to prevent cyberattacks. 

Disadvantages of MySQL:

Despite all these advantages, there are some disadvantages of MySQL also.

Poor Performance in High Loads: Even though MySQL is a great choice for many use cases, it is unsuitable for enterprise customers who have millions of records and transactions. MySQL doesn’t provide adequate support for reading and writing operations because of such high volumes.

Less Support: Now the MYSQL is acquired by the Ocearcle and after that community support becomes low than in the past. As it is community-driven for the past 25 years so now it becomes a black hole for it.

What is MySQL Good For?

MySQL is best suited for client-server setups in contrast to “serverless” databases. If you want to develop a system with distributed database then Mysql is the best option for you. Mysql is also good for commerce and planning systems.

If you are looking to migrate to MySQL from PostgreSQL you can use this guide.

What Shouldn’t MySQL Be Used For?

Systems that need to do the concurrent operations in those MySQL are not good options for that. As you can do a lot for the optimization and improvement of the MySQL to speed up and perform concurrent but it is not best to use the Mysql for systems that perform consecutive and concurrent operations.

What is the main difference between MySQL and PostgreSQL?

MySQL and PostgreSQL both are popular database management systems and are used by a lot of online audiences. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages but there are some core differences among these. Let’s discuss all the differences with the help of a comparison table.

FeatureMYSQLPOSTGRESQL
DBMS Haroricy MySQL is a relational database management system (DBMS).PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system.
DBMS License TypeMySQL source code is available under GUI licensePostgreSQL is open source and its source code is available under the PostgreSQL license.
Product OwnershipMySQL is the product of Oracle Corporation.PostgreSQL is the product of Global Development Group.
Supported Operating System MySQL is supported by all major Operating Systems like Windows, Unix, Linux, Symbian, AmigaOS, etc.Postgre is supported by Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and BSD but not by UNIX, z/OS, Symbian, AmigaOS.
Community SupportA large community of contributors is primarily focused on maintaining existing features and occasionally adding new ones.Have a large community of active and innovative community members one type focused on improvements and other are adding new features.
ExtensibleMySQL is not extensible.PostgreSQL is highly extensible.
InterfaceThe phpMyAdmin tool provides GUI.The pgAdmin tool provides GUI.
BackupTwo types of backups Mysqldump, and XtraBackupThe online backup system is available in Postgre
GitHub Rates
3.34k5.6k
Data Domain ObjectMySQL does not provide the Data Domain Object.PostgreSQL provides the Data Domain Object.
Papular companies Using Airbnb, Uber, TwitterNetflix, Instagram, Groupon
Supported Data TypesSupport all Standard data types.It supports advanced data types such as arrays, store, and user-defined types.

MySQL is very famous than PostgreSQL. MySQL is one of the most used database management systems in the world. there are many reasons for MySQL’s more popularity than PostgreSQL.

MySQL has the features according to need only that made it faster and leaner and make it more popular than Postgre.

MySQL GUI version of the PHPmyadmin one makes it easier to use than any other. As PHPMyadmin is very popular between devs and users.

MySQL relational database model makes it easier and more flexible for database administration.

Maintenance and clustering in MySQL is although not the best but the simplest one that makes it easier for users.

postgresql vs mysql

As you can see that PostgreSQL is clearly loosing traction over the past 12 months and if you are reading the article late you can check the latest trend here.

PostgreSQL vs MySQL Performance

MySQL and PostgreSQL are both regarded as some of the fastest DBMS solutions. The answer to which one is fastest is unclear, however.

The results of speed tests are contradictory, according to TechTarget. According to Windows Skills, MySQL is faster, and Benchw says PostgreSQL is faster. Ultimately, speed will be determined by the way you use the database. Large data sets, complicated queries, and read/write operations are all handled more quickly by PostgreSQL. For read-only operations, MySQL is faster.  

Habbi is the Lead Dev Engineer at CloudPages. He also loves to write about WordPress, SEO and Digital Marketing.

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  1. Eva

    Thank you for this

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