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MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual
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MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual  /  The InnoDB Storage Engine  /  InnoDB and Online DDL

14.11 InnoDB and Online DDL

The online DDL feature builds on the InnoDB Fast Index Creation feature that is available in MySQL 5.1 and MySQL 5.5. The InnoDB Fast Index Creation feature optimized CREATE INDEX and DROP INDEX to avoid table-copying behavior. The online DDL feature, introduced in MySQL 5.6, enhances many other types of ALTER TABLE operations to avoid table copying, blocking DML operations while DDL is in progress, or both.

The online DDL feature has the following benefits:

  • It improves responsiveness and availability in busy production environments, where making a table unavailable for minutes or hours whenever you modify its indexes or column definitions is not practical.

  • It lets you adjust the balance between performance and concurrency during the DDL operation, by choosing whether to block access to the table entirely (LOCK=EXCLUSIVE clause), allow queries but not DML (LOCK=SHARED clause), or allow full query and DML access to the table (LOCK=NONE clause). When you omit the LOCK clause or specify LOCK=DEFAULT, MySQL allows as much concurrency as possible depending on the type of operation.

  • Performing changes in-place where possible, rather than creating a new copy of the table, avoids temporary increases in disk space usage and I/O overhead associated with copying the table and reconstructing secondary indexes.

The MySQL Cluster NDB storage engine also supports online table schema changes, but uses its own syntax that is not compatible with the syntax used for InnoDB online operations. For more information, see Section, “ALTER TABLE Online Operations in MySQL Cluster”.

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