MySQL Vs. SQL: How are they different?

MySQL Vs. SQL: How are they different?

While SQL and MySQL may sound like brothers, the two technologies are more like distant cousins with some similarities but more differences.

MySQL is a Database Management System that runs on SQL, which is a standardized language for managing and manipulating relational databases.

But that's just a surface-level differentiation. As an SQL developer, you'd need a much deeper understanding of the two technologies.

And in this blog, we'll cover the two and see just how different they are.

What is SQL?

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a standardized language used for managing and manipulating relational databases.

Since it is a standard for relational databases, SQL has a common set of syntax and commands which are used across different database management systems (like MySQL, SQLite, etc.).

With SQL, users can create, modify, and delete databases, tables, and views, as well as perform operations like querying, sorting, filtering, and joining data.

We can use SQL in marketing, finance, and data analysis.

What is MySQL?

Developed in 1995, MySQL is a popular relational database management system.  Since it is open-source and compatible with multiple operating systems, developers like to use it for web development.

In fact, one of the most popular tech-stack for web development is LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Pearl/Python).

Aside from the wide application, MySQL also boasts performance, scalability, and ease of use, all of which make it the go-to DBMS for Web Apps, CMS (Content Management Systems), and data-driven projects.

Essentially, MySQL is like a specialized tool in a carpenter's workshop, while SQL is the universal language all carpenters speak.

SQL vs. MySQL: Key Differences

Here is a comparison table to highlight the key differences between MySQL and SQL



SQL is a query language for relational database management systems. 

MySQL is a relational database management system that uses SQL. 

SQL has a standard set of syntax used across different DBMSs. 

MySQL has a specific and unique syntax.

SQL can be used with various database management systems

MySQL is compatible with multiple operating systems.

Used in diverse applications such as web development, data analysis, and business intelligence

Widely used in web applications, content management systems, data-driven projects

Commercial support is available for specific database management systems implementing SQL.

Offers commercial support through MySQL Enterprise Edition

SQL vs. MySQL: Applications

MySQL is used in web applications as it offers robust database management capabilities. We can use the language to handle large volumes of data efficiently.

On the other hand, SQL is employed in web development as a standard language to interact with databases.

Similarly, MySQL is a popular choice for CMS platforms, while SQL is used in CMS applications to perform database operations.

Since MySQL is a DBMS, it is also used to empower data warehouses and analytics platforms, whereas SQL plays a vital role in data analysis and aggregation.

When it comes to business intelligence, MySQL serves as a reliable backend for BI Systems as it can store and manage data for generating reports, dashboards, and visualizations.

SQL vs. MySQL: Career Opportunities

SQL and MySQL are drastically different technologies. So you need to learn both SQL and MySQL if you want to become a SQL developer.

These technologies are also critical for landing a backend development job.

With SQL and MySQL, you can work as a:

  • Database administrator
  • Database developer:
  • Data analyst
  • Business intelligence developer
  • Data warehouse architect:

The average yearly salaries for these positions typically range from $70K to $146K.


Comparing SQL and MySQL is like comparing cocoa with a chocolate bar. Although Cocoa is used to make a chocolate bar, we cannot say they are the same.

Similarly, SQL is the standard for all relational DBMS systems, but these systems, like MySQL, have added functionality akin to the packaging and branding of a chocolate bar.

So, when it comes to SQL and MySQL, remember that while they may seem similar, they each have a unique position in the software industry.

Frequently Asked Question

Do MySQL and SQL have any similarities?

No, MySQL and SQL do not have similarities other than that SQL is a common denominator between the two technologies.

Does every Database Management System use SQL?

No, SQL is the standard for only relational database management systems. Database management systems such as MongoDB use a language called NoSQL, which is a non-relational database management system.

To know more, check out our blog about the difference between SQL and NoSQL.

Can you use SQL with MySQL?

Yes, you can definitely use SQL with MySQL. You could use MySQL as a DBMS for your application and SQL as the query language to handle the database.