There are too many excellent Database management systems (DBMS) Out there, and this is precisely why making a choice is so difficult at times. Some relational database systems such as MySQL, MS SQL and PostgreSQL have remained popular for years. At the same time, you have the highly capable MongoDB, the most popular and robust non-relational database systems as of now.

As the two leading and most popular options we bring down the available choices to MySQL and MongoDB, the comparison is obvious. Well, both have their respective pros and cons and specific reasons to be popular among the app developers. Here through the length of this post, we will explain their respective merits, starting from their definition.

mongodb vs mysql

What is MySQL?

MySQL is an open-source relational DBMS that has remained to be the most popular among all database management systems. Originally built by the MySQL AB and owned and maintained at present by the Oracle Corporation it allows the user to define the scheme of the database schema and structure beforehand and to determine the relationship among several fields in the database tables.

MySQL just like any other relational databases such as PostgreSQL and MS SQL relies on the SQL or Structured Query Language which is utilized for accessing the database and storing the data in the structural format of the tables. One of the positive aspects of the database is that it allows transferring the database to the offline mode. But since for incorporating any change in the schema it requires going through migration, it severely interferes with the performance of the database and the corresponding application.

What is MongoDB?

MongoDBInc built MongoDB database system, which is non-relational in character and was first conceived to address the performance shortcomings of the major relational databases in the market. This DBMS stores the data in BSON format, which basically uses a binary representation of the data.

The big difference offered by MongoDB is the unmatched level of control over the data. The best thing is, for creating a new field or for incorporating a new element in the document, MongoDB doesn’t need simultaneously incorporating changes in the documents of the collection.

MongoDB offers a document data model that allows mapping the objects in the application more quickly. This helps developers mastering and using the data for the projects more appropriately.

Key Differences

Now, we need to understand the critical differences between these two database systems with respect to the various practical aspects. From the end-user experience to the app performance to the ease of development, the following differences are likely to cover all aspects.

  • The flexibility of the Database Schema

There is a significant difference between these two database management systems in terms of schema handling. MongoDB enjoys a tremendous upperand in this respect as it offers no restrictions and constraints for designing the schema. Even without establishing any relationship between the documents, you just can incorporate documents in a collection. But for storing anything with MySQL, you need to establish relationships by defining the tables and columns. So, as a storage option, MongoDB clearly offers a more flexible choice.

  • Query Language

As for the use of query language, both the database systems have several differences. With MongoDB, you can use an unstructured query language. On the other hand, MySQL uses Structured Query Language (SQL) for querying language.

  • Relationship Handling in MongoDB and MySQL

In MongoDB, you don’t have either any equivalent of the JOIN nit has any support. But in spite of this shortcoming, MongoDB fully supports multifaceted data types. It allows the process of embedding or placing one document inside another.

On the other hand, a key strength of MySQL is its support for the JOIN operations. JOIN which allows linking data from multiple tables with just a single command actually helps to turn the database relational.

  • Performance and Speed

MongoDB, among its many advantages over MySQL, offers the great capability to handle a large volume of unstructured data. MongoDB is also much faster in performance and speed of response as it uses a query in a way that can deal with the workload better.

MySQL in that respect offers quite slow and sluggish performance, especially for handling large databases.MySQL s fully unequipped to handle large and unstructured turned quantity of data.

  • Security Model

As for data security, MongoDB and MySQL almost stand at the neck to neck comparison. MongoDB prefers an access control system based on user role. This model also allows customizing accessibility with different privileges for different users. Some of the key security features offered by MongoDB include authentication, auditing, and authorization. For encryption of data MongoDB also supports

  • TLS/SSL Protocols

MySQL, on the other hand, uses a security model based on privileges. If a user is given authentication, user privileges to CREATE, SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, etc. are assigned to him on the particular database.  It uses SSL certificates for encrypting connections between the servers and the clients.

Which Database Is Right For Your Business?

Now that you have seen the respective pros and cons of both types of database systems, it is time to ask which database is right for your business. One important thing that you need to remember is that being relational and non-relational in character; both database systems are significantly different and cannot be replaced by one another in many use scenarios.

  • MySQL

MySQL as a time-tested and widely used relational database system is appropriate for a variety of use cases. Any app that needs to handle data related to multiple rows invariably needs a relational database. Accounting systems are classic examples of relational databases.

  • MongoDB

MongoDB as a non-relational database is also well-suited and appropriate in many use scenarios and contexts. Any app that needs optimum flexibility with dynamic data handling will find MongoDB more appropriate for their purposes. For instance, real-time analytics, content management platforms, internet of things, and other dynamic apps will find MongoDB more suitable.


Both the MongoDB and MySQL, database management systems, have withstood the test of time by empowering a multitude of applications. Naturally, in spite of these differences, they will continue to stay relevant for different use cases and applications.