Oracle Vs MySQL

Oracle and MySQL lead to an interesting discussion. Even though the latter is open source, still 97% of Fortune 100 companies use Oracle because of its easy deployment and database management. In the past decade, Oracle has acquired about 100 companies, and in 2013 it surpassed IBM as the second largest software vendor.

The table below shows the differences between Oracle and its open source competition, MySQL (Sethia, 2016).


Oracle MySQL
Cost prohibitive, ~$40K/license Open source
Considered more stable than MSSQL as there are minimal deadlocks under load Deadlocks are a serious problem under load
Oracle is multi-platform and can run on multiple operating systems (OS X, Linux, Solaris, Windows, etc.) MySQL is multi-platform and can run multiple operating systems (Oracle, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows, OS X, FreeBSD, HP)
Supported programming languages: 20+ Supported programming languages: 8


Open source has been trending, despite that Oracle was 2015’s fastest-growing database. It is surprising as past few years have seen an increase in newer databases that do not follow the traditional approach of structuring data. The NoSQL databases have topped the lists of growing technologies and are open source. Open source database management systems are usually virtually 0 as for up-front licensing costs. The database software is issued under an open source licensing model that frequently differs in limitations according to product and vendor. Open source in comparison to the licensed databases was traditionally considered as offerings with limited features, functionality and customer support. Resultantly, companies repeatedly avoided using an open source that was not commercially supported. There was no steady and established network that they could trust for vendor support and advancements. They felt difficult employing critical or mission-critical applications that were “crowd supported.” Though Oracle has dominated the rankings always. And for now, commercial databases are the winner. With the passage of time, open source databases have swiftly developed the features, admin tools and the readiness of skilled DBAs. Due to this, they are now touted as practical substitutes for licensed products. Open source does not refer to a free product always. Many open source DBMS support basic functions for free, but advanced level of features in these versions have up-front acquisition charges or need to be paid support in the form of subscriptions. The major difference is that the up-front licensing and continuing maintenance costs are considerably lesser than their licensed competitors.

“As of December 2016, the top commercial databases in web popularity were: Oracle (1), Microsoft SQL Server (3), DB2 (6) and Microsoft Access (7). The top open source products included MySQL (2), PostgreSQL(4), MongoDB(5), Cassandra(7), Redis (9) and SQL Lite (10) (Foot, 2016).”



Foot, C. (2016) Who Will Win the Database Wars? Open Source Vs Commercial Database Systems. Available at: https://blog.rdx.com/who-will-win-the-database-wars-open-source-vs-commercial-database-systems/ (Accessed: 3 October 2017)


Sethia, A. (2016) Companies that use Oracle – Why 97% of Fortune 100 Companies use it? Available at: https://www.salesinsideinc.com/blog/companies-that-use-oracle-why-97-of-fortune-100-companies-use-it (Accessed: 3 October 2017)


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