Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

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tipo test
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Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby tipo test » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

Well obviously they're different, my actual question is: I'm new at databases and MySQL is the system I have to learn for college. Quite a few times when I had a problem I discovered a new limitation from MySQL. For example minus/except/intersect. In addition the console returns pretty obscure error messages, compared to a programming language debugging features.

Are Oracle and SQL Server much better in terms of SQL standard proximity + retrieving proper errors? Also, feel free to add any other thought.

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Re: Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby thoughtfully » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:40 pm UTC


tl;dr is Oracle and Postgresql rules, MySQL sucks, but version 5 might be better. Can't say anything to your particular question. I use Postgresql whenever I need something beefy and sqlite when I don't. Except when I'm using some app that requires MySQL, but I haven't dived into to debugging any odd database behavior with those.
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Re: Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:40 pm UTC

I don't think you read the thread, if you are summarizing it with Oracle on top. Oracle hate is a popular way to pass the time. Postgres is still awesome and MySQL 5 is an improvement, but hasn't gained places. In the long term, MySQL 5 is going to be much worse than 4, as Oracle took down the older versions from their site, and they reintroduce bugs that are years old and have known good patches (in their own bug tracker!).
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tipo test
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Re: Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby tipo test » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:06 am UTC

thoughtfully wrote:

awesome thread, learned a couple of interesting facts.

thoughtfully wrote:tl;dr.

oh boy
although a plain -and subjective- comparaison of DBs is ok I asked a couple of more specific questions.



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Re: Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby Thesh » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:36 am UTC

The big three DBMSs are Oracle, IBM DB2, and SQL Server

Oracle is generally considered top of the line for a very high transaction database, or very large data warehouses.

IBM DB2 is also good for a very high transaction database and large data warehouses. More expensive than SQL Server, cheaper than Oracle. Not very common for websites, and I'm not sure on features.

SQL Server is probably the best database for a high traffic websites, IMO. It's feature rich, high quality, and not nearly as expensive as Oracle. Very few websites would see a benefit from moving to SQL Server to Oracle (the ones that do would be large SaaS websites like SalesForce). SQL Server can also handle large data warehouses, although arguably not as large as Oracle. Also, SQL Server sacrifices tweakability for ease of use, so you can't get the performance you could possibly get with Oracle or DB2 for very high transaction applications (think banks).

As for the errors, I have a ton of experience in SQL Server and never had a problem with the error messages. I did get annoyed with some of the errors in MySQL when I was first learning, though. For example I had a table with a 16 bit auto-increment column as the primary key. When it maxed out, it gave me an error about "cannot insert duplicate key." SQL Server will give you a much more obvious error about an overflow. This is one of the things I hate about MySQL. If strings and numbers are too long or large, then MySQL will just truncate them to fit instead of throwing an error and rolling back the transaction like a good DBMS should.

MySQL is fine for your personal website, but pales in comparison to the big three. You can get good performance with MyISAM, but data integrity is deplorable.
I have no experience with PostgreSQL, but I hear it's comparable to or better than MySQL.

The big three have free editions of their DBMSs, you should give them a try (you sacrifice on many features that a business might notice, but not for someone who is fucking around with writing SQL). PostgreSQL and MySQL are, of course, also free.
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Re: Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby tipo test » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm UTC

Hey thanks for your answer - it actually adds interesting aspects that I didn't know.

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Re: Are the other DBMSs like MySQL?

Postby Pesto » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:44 pm UTC

Not sure whether this is relevant, but so far people have only touched on relational databases. Relational databases are going to be what you run across most often, and they are all very similar in their basic features. An identical simple select statement will likely run on just about any of the systems mentioned without a problem. So, much of what you learn using MySQL will transfer to Oracle, MS SQL, Postgres, etc., etc. Each of those systems will have its own quirks, though.

There are a number of other types of databases that vary in their popularity. Some of these are BigTable, Apache Cassandra, MongoDB, CouchDB and others. They tend to not use SQL, and can be attractive for certain applications due to some things they may do better than a relational database, such as scalability, performance and flexible data schemas. It's worth knowing these other options exist, and they're worth looking into if you're curious, but relational databases will get you a long way.

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