Both MySQL and MariaDB are being used by many large corporations and organizations today. MySQL was created by a Swedish company in 1995. It was evolved into an enterprise grade database and became the world’s most popular open source relational database software. In January 2008, Sun Microsystems bought MySQL. Then it was soon acquired by Oracle in late 2009. Out of distrust in Oracle stewardship of MySQL, a group of former MySQL developers had left and created MariaDB in 2009.
The goal for MariaDB is to be a binary drop-in replacement for MySQL which offers more features and better performance. The database structure and indexes of MariaDB are the same as MySQL. Users can switch from MySQL to MariaDB without having to alter their applications since the data and data structures do not need to change. To make sure MariaDB maintains drop-in compatibility, the MariaDB developers do a monthly merge of the MariaDB code with the MySQL code, along with some added bug fixes, additional storage engines, new features, and performance improvements. This means that for most cases, you can just uninstall MySQL and install MariaDB and you are good to go.
However, there are still some differences between MariaDB and MySQL that could cause some minor compatibility issues. For incompatibilities between MariaDB and MySQL, you can refer to https://mariadb.com/kb/en/library/mariadb-vs-mysql-compatibility/ for details.
People who advocate for MariaDB think that MariaDB development is more open and vibrant. All development decisions can be debated and reviewed via a public mailing list. People can also submit patches for MariaDB. This allows for more transparent and quicker security releases. MySQL, by contrast, is developed by Oracle and decisions are not open to public discussion. Starting from 2013, many web giants such as Wikipedia and Google are using MariaDB instead of MySQL. MariaDB has leapt in popularity since then. We expect to see more companies and organizations will choose MariaDB over MySQL in the future.
Comparison of MariaDB and MySQL
|Description||MySQL application compatible open source RDBMS, enhanced with high availability, security, interoperability and performance capabilities. With MariaDB ColumnStore a column-oriented storage engine is available too.||Widely used open source RDBMS|
|Primary database model||Relational DBMS||Relational DBMS|
|Secondary database models||Document store|
|Developer||MariaDB Corporation Ab (MariaDB Enterprise),|
MariaDB Foundation (community MariaDB Server)
|Current release||10.3.10, October 2018||8.0.12, July 2018|
|License||Open Source||Open Source|
|DBaaS offerings||Google Cloud SQL: A fully-managed database service for the Google Cloud Platform|
|Implementation language||C and C++||C and C++|
|Server operating systems||FreeBSD|
|APIs and other access methods||Proprietary native API|
|Proprietary native API |
|Supported programming languages||Ada|
|Partitioning methods||Horizontal partitioning, sharding with Spider storage engine or Galera cluster||horizontal partitioning, sharding with MySQL Cluster or MySQL Fabric|
|Replication methods||Master-master replication|
|Consistency concepts||Immediate Consistency||Immediate Consistency|
|User concepts||fine grained access rights according to SQL-standard||Users with fine-grained authorization concept|
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