Databases - WAS Re: acronym LAMP

CLIFFORD ILKAY clifford_ilkay at
Mon Jun 22 22:10:15 UTC 2009

On 22/06/09 04:53 AM, scott wrote:
> Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Karl F. Larsen wrote:
>>> The MySQL database is used a lot on Web Pages you buy things from. It
>>> is the Data Base (DB) of choice for that purpose. You can get MySQL from
>>> the Ubuntu repositories.
>>> Oracle is a big SQL DB which is very expensive and used by Banks and
>>> big business.
>> Fairly accurate - except that I question Oracle as being used by "Banks" 
>> which have a horrible tendency to be monolithic IBM shops (thus, DB2 if they 
>> want a relational database, otherwise IMS).  
>> But you missed commenting on Postgres, which is, indeed, a viable 
>> replacement for Oracle for many users.  It probably can't handle the load 
>> that a big Oracle database can, but it can do pretty well everything Oracle 
>> can - making it easier to switch databases between the two than between 
>> either and MySQL.  All accounts suggest that as a web back-end, nothing 
>> beats MySQL.

"All accounts".... that's like "they" say. It's nonsense. Plenty of web
apps use PostgreSQL. It's true MySQL is more widely-used but that has
nothing to do with any inherent superiority. At one time it *was* faster
than PostgreSQL but that was a decade ago. MySQL concentrated on speed
over data integrity and features while PostgreSQL concentrated on data
integrity and features and left performance for later. PG has long since
surpassed MySQL in speed and scalability while MySQL languishes in terms
of features and data integrity. It's easier to optimize performance than
it is to retrofit good design so MySQL has its work cut out. Try running
MySQL under heavy load on a multi-core CPU and see how well it responds
to the additional CPU cores and try that same thing with PostgreSQL.
You'll see that PG will scale fairly linearly with additional cores
while MySQL will not.

> When it comes to SQL, it depends on what you're good at. Oracle,
> PostGre, DB2, MSSQL, MySQL all have their pluses and minuses.
> Oracle is supposed to be more secure, DB2 more scalable for large
> datacenters and MYSQL is faster.

MySQL is faster than what? Certainly not faster than Oracle, DB2, or
PostgreSQL. I have extensive experience with MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle,
and DB2. There is *nothing* that MySQL has to offer over any of them
save for being able to find it in on $5/month hosting accounts, which
would make you "lucky customer #1001" on a box with 1000 other accounts.

Clifford Ilkay
1419-3266 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326
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