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Using a Flat Catalog

Magento typically stores catalog data in multiple tables, based on the Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) model. Because product 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. A flat catalog is updated automatically—either every minute, or according to your cron job. Flat catalog indexing can also speed up the processing of catalog and cart price rules. A catalog with as many as 500,000 SKUs can be indexed quickly as a flat catalog.

Before you enable a flat catalog for a live store, make sure to test the configuration in a development environment.

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