MySQL vs PostgreSQL for Health Care dot Gov LAMP Solution

MySQL vs PostgreSQL for Health Care dot Gov LAMP Solution


The Washington Post created a few good articles on what went wrong:

If you follow me at all, I proposed doing the Health Care dot Gov website using LAMP (i.e Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). I’ve also proposed using commercial editions and support contracts where possible. An example is Ubuntu or Red Hat Linux and MySQL commercial editions. If they did use my solution, I could guarantee it would cost much less than 350 – 400 million to build it. And that’s not counting the additional cost to fix all the issues.

But which open source database would you use: MySQL or PostgreSQL? Let’s start with an article entitled MySQL vs PostgreSQL: Why MySQL Is Superior To PostgreSQL . The article raises a couple points to ponder:

  • “…but only one conforms to the standard set by the International Standards Organization (ISO). When it’s important that your code conforms with this standard, PostgreSQL is your best choice. This will allow you to easily transition from PostgreSQL to other database systems as your project develops.”
  • “When you’re creating a new project entirely on your own, from scratch, then you should choose to use PostgreSQL. This is because the database system is more dependable (see ACID Compliance) and built on international standards (see SQL Conformance).”

This is ridiculous. Why? Because Oracle brought Sun in 2009, and they own Java and MySQL. In a Forbes article entitled Why Oracle Won’t Kill MySQL, it says this: “Oracle Chief Larry Ellison Larry Ellison might become a friend of open source, after all, if it helps him get at his long-time enemy, Microsoft.”

OK, Oracle. You brought this product via a Sun acquisition in 2009. The first article I referenced us from 2013. Why haven’t you made MySQL conform to ISO and also SQL conformance? After all, you have an army of open source volunteers, in addition to the Oracle tech army.

But really?  How far away is Oracle really?  In a Wiki comparison of the two open source databases at MySQL Vs PostgreSQL, it said that, “the most commonly used storage engines in MySQL are InnoDB for almost full ACID support and high performance on large workloads with lots of concurrency.”  So how far away is “almost”?

German Sailing Grand Prix Kiel 2006. Team: BMW...

German Sailing Grand Prix Kiel 2006. Team: BMW Oracle Racing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, PostgreSQL is cool. You can read why in PostgreSQL Hits 9.3, New Levels Of Popularity With The Cool Kids at .

But seriously. This is a government project, that spreads though out many states, as well as the federal level.

Personally, I prefer to play with PostgreSQL. I like it more for it’s compliance standards. But Oracle does sell editions that they support. That’s more important for a project of the government size. And I still say that I could have developed their website with LAMP much cheaper and it would be more robust and reliable.

But if Oracle wants me to endorse MySQL 100%, they need to make it conform to SQL compliance and ISO standards. In an article entitled Bye-bye, Big Red? Escaping Oracle’s not that easy at Bye-bye, Big Red? Escaping the Oracle corporation, you can choose a MySQL fork entitled MariaDB. But I don’t free there website is as developed or informative as those from the other databases. You can also get an enterprise edition of PostgreSQL from the company enterpriseDB.

I used to work with both Oracle and Microsoft’s SQL server at Motorola. And I have played with both MySQL and PostgreSQL. If you are doing any dynamic web development, then you need MySQL or PostgreSQL. Any other database solution is overkill. What do I prefer.  Some Enterprise version of Ubuntu and PostgreSQL, with enterprise supported versions of Apache and PHP.  From my experience with Sun Unix servers and Apache, Apache almost never has problems.


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