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MySQL vs ...

The issue of "MySQL vs. {insert name of other database here}" tends to provoke flame and FUD wars comparable with some of the more emotional "Windows vs. Linux" debates.

As MySQL has become so popular, with a wide installed base particularly in the area of web applications, availability - both of applications and of MySQL installations at hosting providers - must be taken into account when implementing database driven projects, and this factor may even outweigh the technical advantages of other databases.

On the other hand there are plenty of viable alternatives (even for dynamic PHP-driven websites) to MySQL - both open source and commercial. And there are certainly circumstances where MySQL is simply not the tool for the job - even when it may seem up to it.