MongoDB vs MySQL: A Comprehensive Comparison

SimpleBackups developer

Nour Sofanati

Developer, SimpleBackups

November 16, 2023

When it comes to choosing a database management system (DBMS), the decision can be challenging due to the wide variety of options available. Two popular choices are MongoDB and MySQL. This article will provide a comparative analysis of these two DBMSs, focusing on their key differences and use cases.

MongoDB vs MySQL


MongoDB and MySQL are two fundamentally different DBMs.

🍃 MongoDB is a cross-platform NoSQL database management system, often styled as a non-relational system. It represents data as a series of documents that are JSON-like (stored as binary JSON, or BSON), as opposed to the table and row format of traditional relational RDBMs, and uses MongoDB Query language (MQL) for querying data.

🐬 MySQL on the other hand is a popular, free, open-source relational database management system (RDBMs) developed by Oracle, As the case with other RDBMs, MySQL stores data using tables and rows, enforces referential integrity, and uses structured query language (SQL) for data access.

Data Storage

🍃 MongoDB stores data records, specifically BSON documents in “collections”, which are groupings of documents and are equivalent to tables in RDBMs. Collections are Schema-less in nature, they do not enforce a schema. This means that documents within a collection can have different fields.

🐬 MySQL stores related data in any number of separate tables. Querying and correlating data from those tables is facilitated by JOIN operations, which enable the creation of temporary tables and row sets using data from multiple tables.


🍃 MongoDB queries are based on Javascript, and are represented as a JSON-like structure, which might require more careful reading and understanding. It’s not as rich as SQL and has a few limitations such as a lack of JOIN operations.

🐬 MySQL structured query language is a standard for relational databases, it uses a more traditional query structure with SELECT,FROM, and WHERE clauses. SQL can perform advanced functions like filters, merge, joins, and aggregation. It’s often considered more readable and easier to use, especially for complex queries.


🍃 MongoDB is a NoSQL database that is able to handle large amounts of unstructured data faster than MySQL.

🐬 MySQL is a RDBMs based on SQL. It offers full-text indexes which gives MySQL a performances boost, a high-speed transactional system, and memory caches.

The performance can vary greatly depending on the specific use case, data volume, and system configuration.

Transaction Model

A transaction model in database systems is a set of rules and protocols that govern how transactions are executed and managed. It serves to ensure date consistency and integrity during concurrent access and failures.

🍃 MongoDB uses the BASE model, which stands for:

  • Basically Available: BaSE-modelled NoSQL databases ensure the availability of data by spreading and replicating it across the nodes of the cluster.
  • Soft State: Data values may change over time, due to the lack of immediate consistency.
  • Eventual Consistency: The system becomes consistent over time, if the system doesn’t receive input during that time.

🐬 MySQL on the other hand, uses the ACID model:

  • Atomicity: A transaction must be treated as an atomic unit, either all of it’s operations are executed or none. There must be no state that is left partially completed.
  • Consistency: The database must remain in a consistent state after any transaction. No transaction should have any adverse effect on the data residing in the database. If the database was in a consistent state before the execution of a transaction, then it must remain consistent after the execution.
  • Isolation: When more than one transaction is being executed simultaneously and in parallel, each one of the transactions is going to be administered and executed as if it’s the only transaction.
  • Durability: The database should be durable enough to hold all of it’s latest updates even if the system fails or restarts.

The choice between ACID and BASE depends on the specific requirements of your system. ACID provides a high level of consistency and is suitable for systems where data accuracy is critical, such as financial systems. On the other hand, BASE provides high availability and is suitable for systems where the ability to quickly store and retrieve large amounts of data is more important than immediate consistency, such as social media platforms.


Both MongoDB and Mysql have security features, but they approach it in different ways.

🍃 MongoDB leverages the popular role-based access control model with a flexible set of permissions. Users are assigned to a role, and that role grants them specific permissions over datasets and operations.

🐬 MySQL is considered significantly more secure due to its comparatively rigid structures. However, MySQL databases are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks, which are common and quite effective.

It’s important to note that the security of a database also heavily depends on how it’s configured and managed. Proper configuration, regular updates, and following best practices for security can greatly enhance the security of both MongoDB and MySQL.


When it comes to choosing between MongoDB and MySQL, it ultimately depends on the specific needs and requirements of your project. If you are working with unstructured data and require high scalability and flexibility, MongoDB may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you are working with structured data and require strong data consistency and integrity, MySQL may be the more suitable option. It’s also important to note that many enterprises use them side by side. It is important to carefully evaluate the features, performance, and security of both databases before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some popular use cases for MongoDB?
MongoDB is commonly used in applications that require flexible and scalable data storage, such as content management systems, real-time analytics, and social media platforms.

What are some popular use cases for MySQL?
MySQL is often used in applications that require structured data storage and strong data consistency, such as e-commerce websites, financial systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Can MongoDB and MySQL be used together in the same project?
Yes, it is possible to use MongoDB and MySQL together in a project. This is known as a polyglot persistence approach, where different databases are used for different parts of the application based on their specific requirements.

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