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A Comparison of Oracle and MySQL

March 25, 2005

Article Review

A Comparison of Oracle and MySQL
By Gregg Petri
IOUG SELECT Journal, First quarter 2005 (

This is an excellent overview for the Oracle DBA who wants to understand how the ubiquitous MySQL database compares to Oracle databases.  Petri outlines the basic differences between Oracle’s and the MySQL implementation of the relational model, including table, index, data types, tables, triggers, and many, many more.  In this comprehensive comparison we see many interesting conclusions: 

  • Data Types

    – MySQL only supports primitive data types, DATE, NUMBER and STRING and TIME.
  • Tables

    – MySQL supports more types of tables than Oracle, including MyISAM, MERGE, ISAM, innoDB, BDB and HEAP.
  • Indexes

    – MySQL only supports one index type, but implements different access paths using the various table types.
  • View and Inline Views

    – MySQL is planning to offer these features soon in a new release of MySQL.
  • Sequences

    – MySQL uses an AUTO-INCREMENT attribute assigned to a column when creating a table. . . The ability to start and increment sequence numbers values at the initial value within a group is a useful feature provided by MySQL that is not available in Oracle 9i database.
  • SQL Inserts

    – Unlike Oracle 9i database, MySQL allows INSERT statements with a VALUES clause to specify multiple sets of data to insert.
  • Procedural code

    – MySQL does not have a language such as PL/SQL, but instead allows C++ to be used for functions, stored procedures and triggers.

Overall, this is a good high-level comparison of MySQL and Oracle.


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