Magento 1.x Security Patch Notice
For Magento Open Source 1.5 to 1.9, Magento is providing software security patches through June 2020 to ensure those sites remain secure and compliant. Visit our information page for more details about our software maintenance policy and other considerations for your business.
Magento typically stores catalog data in multiple tables, based on the Entity-Attribute-Value (EAVEntity Attribute Value) model. Because attributes are stored in many tables, SQL queries are sometimes long and complex.
In contrast, a flat catalog creates new tables on the fly, where each row contains all the necessary data about a product or category. The flat catalog is updated automatically—either every minute, or according to your cron job. Flat catalog indexing also applies to catalog and shopping cart price rules. A catalog with as many as 500,000 SKUs can be indexed quickly as a flat catalog. To learn more, see: Setting Up a Flat Catalog.