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Some Pros & Cons of Selecting MySQL as your Database Platform


Databases are the engines of most business IT systems. They house critical business intelligence, help support important business decisions, and carrying out hundreds of thousands of transactions each day.

Database applications vary in price, cost of ownership, performance, functionality, and ease of use. There is a huge choice of database management systems (DBMS). One of the major database platforms is MySQL.

In considering MySQL for your organization, here are some of the Pros and Cons you should consider

PROS

Growing Usage

MySQL, the open-source database has more than 10+ million active installations worldwide. Some researchers predict that developers will continue to choose MySQL in increasing numbers, over other open-source and proprietary databases. This makes it an increasingly better choice for the enterprise, as it grows a solid track record. MySQL is a standard component of the LAMP stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Perl or PHP. Overall adoption of the LAMP stack is growing quickly, and is facilitating the broader acceptance of MySQL

Simplicity

MySQL is easier to learn and to use, compared to other databases. You don't have to spend as much time and money on training existing staff, and this helps reduce or eliminate the need for outside IT vendors. Simplicity also means that it runs fast. Although many IT professionals note the lighter list of MySQL features, some say that that a scaled-down feature set means you only have to deploy, configure and maintain what you need.

Total Cost of Ownership

MySQL software is open source. It does not take an expert to get MySQL set up and configured on commodity hardware at very low cost. Additionally, MySQL's simple hardware requirement is considered one of its strengths. If your organization is a start up, a low-or-no cost database means that more capital is available for other business needs.

CONS

Dual Licensing

One of the areas to navigate of the business of open source has been the dual-licensing business model. The terminology can be somewhat confusing since there is (usually) only one open source license used, with the second being a proprietary license or contract exempting the customer from some of the terms of the open source license. This can be better described as selling exceptions to the open source license, and it is commonly done in conjunction with the GNU GPL, which has clauses some businesses regard as hard to accept. This is an area that many IT managers neglect to research, adequately, and can be the source of system operational issues that pop up in the future.

Pre-Existing Environment

If your organization has an IT environment with site licenses for Oracle and/or Microsoft SQL Server, then the introduction of MySQL (or any other database) is an unwise idea. In situations with pre-existing database environments, a popular goal is to reduce the management complexity by maintainin a common platform. Additionally, if the company already owns licenses to a proprietary system, one of MySQL's major strong points (low-or-no licensing cost) is negated.

Feature Set Maturity

Regarding platform features, what does matter is whether the feature set at the time of release matches your organization's requirements, or comes close. Historically, the lack of views, triggers and stored procedures has been a major criticism of MySQL. These features have all been supported, more or less, for a few years, now. However, when you review other popular RDBMS platforms, you find that these features have been available for 15 - 20+ years. If your organization's has a tendency to be hesitant about new technology, the systems that have a longer history of support can seem more likely to be reliable.

Certification and Support

If your organization places a priority on manufacturer support and certification of its IT personnell and its IT vendors, you may have some concern that MySQL does not have as widespread a training and certification footprint as other notable like Oracle or MS SQL Server. Generally, IT staff with MySQL certifications, training, and experience are relatively harder to find. For larger IT environments, the enterprise experience that accompanies the commercial database systems is also desirable, while some people with MySQL experience may have less depth. Another obstacle is the availability of experienced third-party support. While there can be support services directly from the vendor that is available, to some degree, the same issues apply if strong local on-site support is required from a third party.

Case Studies

Oracle DBA & IT Support Services for SFPM
Microsoft SQL Server Management & Development Services
MySQL Application Development
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