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Always Verify Examples When Comparing DB Products (PostgreSQL and MySQL)

 | September 7, 2017 |  Posted In: MySQL


PostgreSQL and MySQLIn this blog post, I’ll look at a comparison of PostgreSQL and MySQL.

I came across a post from Hans-Juergen Schoenig, a Postgres consultant at Cybertec. In it, he dismissed MySQL and showed Postgres as better. While his post ignores most of the reasons why MySQL is better, I will focus on where his post is less than accurate. Testing for MySQL was done with Percona Server 5.7, defaults.

Mr. Schoenig complains that MySQL changes data types automatically. He claims inserting 1234.5678 into a numeric(4, 2) column on Postgres produces an error, and that MySQL just rounds the number to fit. In my testing I found this to be a false claim:

His next claim is that MySQL allows updating a key column to NULL and silently changes it to 0. This is also false:

In the original post, we never see the warnings and so don’t have the full details of his environment. Since he didn’t specify which version he was testing on, I will point out that MySQL 5.7 does a far better job out-of-the-box handling your data than 5.6 does, and SQL Mode has existed in MySQL for ages. Any user could set it to STRICT_ALL|TRANS_TABLES and get the behavior that is now default in 5.7.

The author is also focusing on a narrow issue, using it to say Postgres is better. I feel this is misleading. I could point out factors in MySQL that are better than in Postgres as well.

This is another case of “don’t necessarily take our word for it”. A simple test of what you see on a blog can help you understand how things work in your environment and why.

Manjot Singh

Manjot Singh is an Architect with Percona in California. He loves to learn about new technologies and apply them to real world problems. Manjot is a veteran of startup and Fortune 50 enterprise companies alike with a few years spent in government, education, and hospital IT.


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