What are MySQL database engines

Here are some commonly used MySQL database engines:


  • ACID Compliance: InnoDB is ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliant, making it suitable for applications that require strong data consistency and integrity.
  • Transaction Support: It supports transactions, allowing you to group multiple SQL statements into a single unit of work that is executed atomically.
  • Foreign Key Constraints: InnoDB supports foreign key constraints, ensuring referential integrity between tables.


  • Table-level Locking: MyISAM uses table-level locking, which means that when a write operation is being performed on a table, the entire table is locked, preventing other write operations until the lock is released.
  • No Transactions: MyISAM does not support transactions, which may impact data integrity in certain situations.
  • Full-Text Search: MyISAM has built-in support for full-text search indexes.


  • In-Memory Storage: The MEMORY engine stores all its data in memory, which can lead to fast read and write operations.
  • No Disk Persistence: Data is not persisted to disk, so it's suitable for temporary or cache-like data.
  • Table-level Locking: Similar to MyISAM, MEMORY also uses table-level locking.


  • Compression: The Archive engine is designed for storing and retrieving large amounts of data with a focus on compression.
  • Write-Once: It supports only INSERT and SELECT operations, making it suitable for write-once, read-many scenarios.
  • No Indexes: It does not support indexes other than a primary key.


  • CSV Storage: The CSV engine stores data in CSV (Comma-Separated Values) format, making it easy to import and export data using standard CSV tools.
  • No Indexes: Similar to the Archive engine, CSV does not support indexes other than a primary key.

NDB (Cluster):

  • Distributed Storage: The NDB engine is designed for MySQL Cluster, providing distributed storage and high availability.
  • Partitioning: It supports horizontal partitioning of data across multiple nodes.

The choice of a database engine depends on factors such as the nature of your data, performance requirements, and desired features. InnoDB is often the default choice for general-purpose use due to its support for transactions and foreign key constraints. However, specific use cases may benefit from other engines, such as MyISAM for read-heavy scenarios or MEMORY for in-memory storage.

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