Stability, ease of use,

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-01-11 Print this article Print

etc."> There are other grounds on which to compare the two open-source databases, including ease of use, stability, existing skills and licensing. As with the other categories I went into above, much of the feedback youll get on ease of use and stability is subjective. Opinions on stability vary according to particular users applications and environments. Opinions on ease of use depend on what other database(s) a given user is familiar with. Those whove worked with Oracle, for example, report that they feel at home and comfortable with PostgreSQL. Users of smaller, desktop or dedicated Web server databases such as Foxpro tend to be more comfortable with MySQL. Thats a generalization, but its based on a good amount of confirmation gleaned from users and from forums. When it comes to existing skills, chances are better that youll find MySQL skills in your organization than that youll find familiarity with PostgreSQL. MySQL wins, again, by sheer numbers.
MySQL is licensed under the GNU GPL (General Public License) but offers an alternative commercial license for those who dont want to be restricted by that license. PostgreSQL uses the BSD license, which stipulates that the credits have to be maintained but beyond that you can use it pretty much as you see fit.
And in summary, not to be lazy, but I just cant think of a better way to close the topic than by reprinting a blog entry written by Zawodny: "[MySQL] does many things [other databases] do not and doesnt do things they do," Zawodny writes. "It satisfies different needs. … I care about how MySQL fits the needs of people I work with. Often it does. Sometimes it doesnt. And I have little problem figuring out the difference. But, hey, if you feel like bitching MySQL, I wont try to stop you. ... But the recovering Catholic in me knows that youll probably go to hell for it." Again I say, hallelujah and amen. On that note, Ill say best of luck in scoping out open-source databases, and I hope to see you at LinuxWorld. Let me know why you love or hate MySQL or PostgreSQL. Write me at Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas has written about enterprise applications since 1997.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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