When it comes to MongoDB vs. MySQL, choosing the right database for your application can be challenging. This article will compare two of the most popular databases: MySQL and MongoDB. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll explore. 

MySQL is a traditional SQL database that is widely used in web applications. It is reliable and has a large community of developers and users. However, MySQL is not as scalable as MongoDB.

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MongoDB is a document-oriented database that is designed for scalability. It stores data in JSON-like documents, making it easy to scale out to multiple nodes. MongoDB also has a powerful query language called MongoDB Query Language (MQL), which makes it easy to find data stored in documents.

So, which database is right for you? In the MongoDB vs. MySQL debate, it really depends on the type of data you’re managing.

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a relational database system, likely the most popular in the world. It’s a popular choice for web applications, and millions of websites use it. MySQL is built upon Structured Query Language (SQL).

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All the data forms certain relationships under a relational database system (SQL databases). MySQL supports database schemas built upon pre-defined key value pairs, with rigid data types that support structured data.

MySQL is probably the best-known database in the world, partly because it’s open source and partly because it’s been around for a very long time. Most programmers who work with databases know how to use at least a little MySQL.

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a document-oriented database system. It is also the world’s most popular NoSQL database. It stores data in JSON-like documents, which makes MongoDB an excellent choice for content management and data models. MongoDB is built to make it easier to access big data as it has a dynamic schema. It can be used for high-performance applications, even when those applications need to comb through disparate data types. However, it may not be the most efficient option for conventional data types.

In some ways, a comparison between MySQL and MongoDB can be seen as unwarranted. There are very few use cases that would lend themselves to either MySQL or MongoDB. Depending on the data you want to manage, one of them will be the apparent victor. If you have a lot of documents that you need to manage, it’s MongoDB. If you have almost spreadsheet-like data to manage, it’s going to be MySQL.

MySQL performs better on smaller sets

When it comes to performance, MySQL is the clear winner. It is a more mature product with a large user base. As such, it has been optimized for performance and features a wide range of storage engines.

MongoDB is designed for scalability and can handle large-scale data operations. However, it is not as efficient when it comes to traditional data operations. But again, a lot of this is because the type of data MongoDB is set up to manage is different.

MySQL has the broader, more involved community

MySQL enjoys a large community of developers and users. There is a wealth of online documentation and support available.

MongoDB also has a large community, but it’s not as well developed as MySQL’s. It can be difficult to find quality online resources for MongoDB. However, MongoDB is backed by some impressive companies, including 10gen (the company that created MongoDB).

MySQL’s internal language (SQL) is easier to use

MySQL uses SQL, whereas MongoDB uses MongoDB Query Language. But they’re more alike than it might seem. Both are declarative languages, which means that you define what you want, not how to get it. They are both focused on running queries against data sets.

In general, though, MongoDB will be a lot more complicated than MySQL because you have to run functions against the data you have. In SQL, you might write “SELECT * FROM TABLE.” But in MongoDB, you would write “db.table.find({}).”

MySQL is considered more user-friendly

MySQL is generally considered to be more user-friendly than MongoDB. It has a more traditional interface and is easier to learn for those coming from a SQL background.

On the other hand, MongoDB takes some time to get used to. But it offers more power and flexibility than MySQL. Once you learn how to use it, MongoDB can be extremely efficient.

MongoDB is used for more specific applications

MySQL is more popular for traditional web applications, whereas MongoDB is used more and more for big data operations. It’s worth noting that MongoDB is included in Gartner’s list of big data solutions.

MySQL is used by an extraordinary array of applications: Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and PHPBB are just a few. But, notably, these frameworks are usually used for smaller installations. While there may be millions upon millions of Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress sites out there, each of them is a discrete and small application.

The database you choose will really depend on your needs. If you need a traditional relational database system with excellent performance and support, MySQL is a clear choice. If you need a document-oriented database that can handle big data, MongoDB is the better option.

Both MongoDB and MySQL are free to use 

MySQL has two versions: a commercial product called the Enterprise Edition and a community product called the Community Edition. MySQL can have licensing fees if you use the Enterprise Edition ($2,000 to $10,000 as of March 2022), but both products can be free to use. MongoDB, like MySQL Enterprise Edition, does have consulting and support fees. Pricing for MongoDB is offered upon request.

Careers in MongoDB vs. MySQL

There is a great demand for MySQL experts, and it’s relatively easy to get started. There are a number of online courses available, and many companies are looking for MySQL professionals.

MongoDB is still a relatively young technology, so there is less demand for MongoDB experts at this point. However, that is likely to change in the future as MongoDB becomes more popular and big data management becomes more necessary.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average MySQL developer in 2022 makes $112,219 a year. Meanwhile, the average MongoDB developer makes $121,436 in 2022. There are fewer MongoDB roles, but they are higher paid because MongoDB is more difficult to learn, and fewer people are learning it.

There are some compelling reasons why someone should seek to learn MongoDB before MySQL. Because data is moving toward big data with increasing frequency and because salaries are higher, you can distinguish yourself by learning MongoDB. It has a greater barrier to enter, and fewer people know MongoDB, which can make you more competitive on the market.

MongoDB vs. MySQL: alternatives

What are some alternatives to MySQL and MongoDB?

For MySQL, some alternatives include MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle. MariaDB is a very popular alternative to MySQL that is actually a fork of MySQL.

For MongoDB, some alternatives include Cassandra, Couchbase, and HBase. These are all non-relational, dynamic schema databases that can be used for big data.

Each of these databases has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one for your needs is important. However, they are also very different databases. Note that a SQL database is better for relational data, whereas a non-relational database is better for big data.

How to learn MongoDB or MySQL

Learning MySQL generally begins with learning SQL, the structured query language that MySQL is built upon. Because MongoDB has its own language, you begin learning MongoDB directly.

Either way, the best way to learn is to go through MonGodB lessons, tutorials, and even certification processes. You can build applications that are structured around MySQL and MongoDB, and you can also take bootcamps in either one.

Should you use MongoDB or MySQL?

So, which database should you use? It really depends on your needs. If you need a traditional SQL database that is reliable and easy to use, MySQL is the right choice. If you need a scalable database that can handle large-scale data operations, MongoDB is the better option.

When it comes to careers, MySQL is a more popular choice. It’s used in a wide variety of applications and is backed by a large community of developers and users. MongoDB is also growing in popularity, but it’s not as well developed as MySQL. It’s used in a variety of industries, including big data, content management, and artificial intelligence.In the end, the choice is up to you — and the career path you desire. In the meantime, learn more about MySQL or check out another popular variant MariaDB.

Page Last Updated: April 2022

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