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Difference between MyISAM and MyISAM?

The main differences between MyISAM and MyISAM ("with respect to designing a table or database" you asked about) are support for "referential integrity" and "transactions".

If you need the database to enforce foreign key constraints, or you need the database to support transactions (i.e. changes made by two or more DML operations handled as single unit of work, with all of the changes either applied, or all the changes reverted) then you would choose the MyISAM engine, since these features are absent from the MyISAM engine.

Those are the two biggest differences. Another big difference is concurrency. With MyISAM, a DML statement will obtain an exclusive lock on the table, and while that lock is held, no other session can perform a SELECT or a DML operation on the table.

Those two specific engines you asked about (MyISAM and MyISAM) have different design goals. MySQL also has other storage engines, with their own design goals.

So, in choosing between MyISAM and MyISAM, the first step is in determining if you need the features provided by MyISAM. If not, then MyISAM is up for consideration.

A more detailed discussion of differences is rather impractical (in this forum) absent a more detailed discussion of the problem space... how the application will use the database, how many tables, size of the tables, the transaction load, volumes of select, insert, updates, concurrency requirements, replication features, etc.


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