MySQL for Oracle Developers

1 minute read

Not MariaDB

I’ve been using Oracle DBMS for years, and sometimes it’s hard to differentiate what is an “Oracle built-in” and a standard SQL feature.

In teaching a Database Modeling course at RIT in MySQL I have found out that there are some differences between Oracle and MySQL:

  • MySQL comparisons are case-insensitive, so SELECT * FROM table WHERE name='ABC'; returns the same results as SELECT * FROM table WHERE name='abc';

  • MySQL table names are case-sensitive but only on Linux.

  • MySQL has a richer set of datatypes, especially for integer types: tinyint, smallint, mediumint, int, and bigint, but is missing BLOB/CLOB and native(-ish) XML.

  • Single and double-quotes are allowed for string literals (but cannot be mixed).

  • Executing queries in an Oracle database are done by specifying the database name in the connect string. MySQL supports the USE command to choose a database to run.

  • There are a lot fewer functions available than in Oracle (which someone could write a an-oracle-function-a-day series and have a year’s worth of material).

  • CHECK constraints are “supported” in DDL but before MySQL 8 are only verified to be syntatically correct.

  • MINUS is not supported, but can be simulated with NOT IN (<subquery>)

  • Concatenation operator || isn’t supported, must use CONCAT(). MySQL allows string literals to be concatenated without operators (SELECT 'foo' 'bar';).

  • tables can be aliased by backticks with or without the AS keyword because “ and ‘ are both allowed for string literals. Oracle lets you use a "quoted" value for a table alias without AS, for example SELECT 'foo' AS foo_col, 'bar' "bar_col" FROM dual;

  • nested queries must have a table alias in MySQL even if table name isn’t referenced. For instance, AS my_sales is mandatory in this statement: SELECT count(*) from (SELECT distinct * from sales) AS my_sales;

  • Joins inside nested queries need to have unique column names in MySQL. Oracle will rename the columns (generally by appending “_1” to the duplicate column name) but an error is returned. For instance, given tables STOCKTRADES(cusip, price, trade_date, commission) and BONDTRADES(cusip, price, trade_date, commission). In Oracle, SELECT count(*) FROM (SELECT * FROM stocktrades UNION SELECT * FROM bondtrades) AS all_trades;

  • NVL() is not supported, use COALESCE() instead

  • Good summary is at this SlideShare but it’s sometimes not clear what the original Oracle analog would be and it’s a little dated.