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Free or open source databases with commercial-quality features

Microsoft, Oracle offer impressive free versions of their commercial offerings, but MariaDB wins our test

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We tested six popular free or open source relational database management systems (RDBMS): Microsoft SQL Server Express, PostgreSQL, Oracle’s MySQL, MariaDB, Apache Derby, and Firebird SQL. We tested each product on ease of installation, documentation, features, management tools and performance using a log file containing more than one million records. Here are the individual results.


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MariaDB

When Oracle took over MySQL, there was concern about whether Oracle would continue to keep MySQL open source, so a group of developers created MariaDB, which is based on MySQL and published under the GNU public licence. MariaDB isn’t just a mirror image of MySQL, however. Developers are continually striving to build close-sourced features of the MySQL commercial edition into MariaDB, and to improve some of MySQL’s features. And, in our tests, MariaDB performed slightly faster than MySQL.


  • Microsoft SQL Server Express 2012
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • Apache Derby
  • Firebird SQL


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