13.7.4. InnoDB File Format Management

As InnoDB evolves, new on-disk data structures are sometimes required to support new features. Compressed tables (see Section 13.7.3, “InnoDB Data Compression”), and long variable-length columns stored off-page (see Section 13.7.5, “Storage of Variable-Length Columns”) are new features requiring data file formats that are not compatible with prior versions of InnoDB. The other new InnoDB features do not require the use of the new file format.

Named File Formats

InnoDB 1.1 has the idea of a named file format and a configuration parameter to enable the use of features that require use of that format. The new file format is the “Barracuda” format, and the original InnoDB file format is called “Antelope”. Compressed tables and the new row format that stores long columns “off-page” require the use of the “Barracuda” file format or newer. Future versions of InnoDB may introduce a series of file formats, identified with the names of animals, in ascending alphabetic order.

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