MongoDB vs. MySQL

February 18,2021 - 5 min read
MongoDB vs. MySQL

MongoDB and MySQL are two most popular databases in the world of computer science and especially data. Major companies are relying either on MongoDB or MySQL for their company’s data as well as that of their customers.

As beginners, it is very important to learn the concept of database and learn the practical implementation and execution of one of the popular databases out there. In this blog, we discuss the characteristics, core concepts of MongoDB as well as MySQL. We would also talk about the differences between the two databases. Let’s get started with MongoDB vs MySQL.

In this blog, we would discuss both the databases separately under some broad headings. Let’s get started with understand the basic concepts of MongoDB and MySQL.

Understanding MongoDB

MongoDB is basically a document-oriented NoSQL database that came around the mid-2000s. It is used for high volume data storage. MongoDB uses dynamic schemas and hence you can create records without first defining the structure. Users do not have to define the fields or the types and even their values before using MongoDB. Also,MongoDB allows users to change the structure of records by adding new fields or deleting the existing ones.

Now that we have understood the basic concept of MongoDB, it’s time to comprehend MySQL as a database.

Understanding MySQL

MYSQL is a popular Relational Data Base Management System owned and maintained by Oracle Corporation and its source code is available the GNU GPL. The project is owned and maintained by Oracle Corporation. MySQL makes database administration easier, more flexible and more convenient to use.

Unlike in MongoDB, in MySQL one needs to define the database schema based on the requirements before. This includes setting up rules that would define the relationships between the different fields in your database.

Now that we have discussed the core concepts of both the databases, it’s time to discuss the key reasons of using each of the database.

Using MongoDB

In MongoDB, each document is different as they have varying number of field and hence the size and content of each document is different from each other. Users can easily represent hierarchical relationships to store arrays, and other more complex structures more easily un MongoDB.

The main reasons behind using MongoDB are that it is very flexible and adaptable. It is a perfect solution for all real business world situations and requirements. MongoDB is very popular as it is very easy to use and is very scalable also.

This database supports field, range-based query, regular expression including others that helps in searching the data from the data that is already stored. With MongoDB, it is easy to use internal memory for storing temporary datasets and hence the execution is much faster much faster. It also offers primary and secondary indexes on any field and also supports the replication of a database.

When it comes to perform aggregation, MongoDB offers various operations on the data like aggregation pipeline, map-reduce, single objective aggregation commands including others.

Another advantage of MongoDB is that you can store any type of file of any size without effecting the stack. MongoDB uses JavaScript objects instead of procedures. It also supports special collection type for data storage which expires at a certain time. We also mentioned above that there is no need to define the schema and it make uses of a dynamic database schema. The dynamic database scheme in MongoDB is called the JSON.

Another interesting feature of MongoDB is Indexes. These indexes improve the performance of searches within the database. Every field of a document in a MongoDB can be indexed. Apart from indexing, another feature of MongoDB is replication. MongoDB has the ability to run over multiple servers while balancing the load and duplicating the data to keep the system up and running even in case of hardware failure.

We discussed a couple of reasons and some interesting features of MongoDB. Here, are some more important features of MongoDB.

Using MySQL

One of the main reasons behind the popularity of MYSQL is that it supports features like Master-Slave Replication, Scale-Out, Offload Reporting, Geographic Data Distribution among others. It has the MyISAM storage engine which has a very low overhead when used for read-mostly applications. There is also a memory storage engine for frequently used tables and Query Cache in use of repeatedly used statements. MySQL also has a strong community in the form of blogs, research papers, books and video tutorials.

Apart from the most important features of MySQL discussed above, here are some more useful characteristics of MYSQL.

As mentioned above, this DBMS system is supported by a strong and a good community. MySQL is also compatible with various platforms, all major languages and middleware along with supporting Multi-version concurrency control.

Some of the most prominent features of MySQL is being compliant with the ANSI SQL2008 standard, allowing Log-based and trigger-based replication SSL, offering Built-in tools for query analysis and space analysis, availability of server in embedded DB or client-server model, handling huge amount of data and being able to run on UNIX and Linux. MySQL has a Multi-layered design with independent modules and use kernel threads and is fully multi-threaded.

Disadvantages of MongoDB and MySQL

We discussed a couple of important features and characteristics of both MySQL and MongoDB along with understanding the core concept of both the databases.

When it comes to the MongoDB, the main disadvantage is that it does not have strong ACID (Atomic, Consistency, Isolation & Durability) properties as compared to other RDBMS systems.

Another problem is that transactions using MongoDB are complex and there is no provision for Stored Procedure or functions and hence you can't implement any business logic in the database level.

When it comes to MySQL, there are a couple of problems too. For example, the transactions related to system catalogue are not ACID compliant and a few times, a server crash corrupts the system catalogue. In MySQL, there is provision for stored procedures but they are not cacheable.

Now that we have looked at the core concept of MySQL and MongoDB along with their prominent features, advantages and disadvantages, it’s time to get to the main point of our blog, i.e., MongoDB vs MySQL. In the next section, we have a brief look at a comparison between MySQL and MongoDB. In the next part of the blog, we will look at some of the striking differences between both the databases, MongoDB and MySQL, under defined headings. Let’s get started with MongoDB vs MySQL.

MongoDB vs MySQL

In this segment, we will discuss some of the basic points of difference between MongoDB and MySQL under a number of sub headings. These points will help you get a better idea of both the databases. Let’s get started.

  1. Representation of Data

    MongoDB represents data in the form of JSON documents whereas MySQL represents data in tables and rows.

  2. Schema Definition

    As mentioned above, there is no need to define a schema In MongoDB, however, it’s not the same with MySQL. If you are using MySQL, you need to define the tables and columns before storing any data

  3. Join Operations

    JOIN operation is only supported by MySQL and not MongoDB.

  4. Language

    MongoDB supports JavaScript as its query language while MySQL uses the Structured Query Language (SQL).

  5. Structure

    MongoDB has a pre-defined structure while MySQL doesn’t. The structure in MongoDB can be adhered to, but you can also have different structures if you need different documents in a collection. In MySQL, one can't change the schema.

  6. Languages

    The languages supported by MongoDB are C++, C while MySQL supports C++, C and JavaScript.

  7. Organisation

    The MongoDB database is developed and maintained by MongoDB Inc. While the constant development of MySQL is done by the Oracle Corporation.

  8. Security

    MySQL is better at ensuring security as compared to MySQL.

  9. Large Amount of Data

    MongoDB has the ability to handle large unstructured data while MySQL is quite slow while dealing with large amount of data.

  10. Schema

    MySQL has a structured data with a clear schema. MongoDB does not require a schema definition required and hence there is a lesser risk of attack because of design. While, SQL poses a risk of injection attacks

  11. Perfect Choice

    MongoDB is an ideal choice if there is unstructured and/or structured data that is set to grow rapidly. MySQL is a great choice if there is structured data and need a traditional relational database. Also, MongoDB is great for services that are cloud based, however, MySQL is best suited if your biggest concern.

This blog is a compilation of concepts and the basic differences between MongoDB and MySQL. We hope the concept is now clear in your mind, if you have some doubts, we are all ears.

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