The unique architecture of MySQL permits multiple storage engines with different capabilities to be accessed via the same SQL language and APIs. Starting with version 5.1, MySQL has promoted the idea of a “pluggable” storage engine architecture, which permits multiple storage engines to be added to MySQL. MySQL and the InnoDB storage engine have evolved side-by-side to take advantage of this innovative database architecture:
Since 2001, MySQL AB has distributed the InnoDB transactional storage engine with its releases (both source and binary). This is the storage engine that you can read about in a dedicated chapter in the MySQL documentation (in particular, the MySQL 5.1 manual and the MySQL 5.5 manual).
Beginning with MySQL version 5.1, it is possible for users to swap out one version of InnoDB and use another. The InnoDB storage engine packaged this way is the InnoDB Plugin. This manual is an addendum to the InnoDB information from the MySQL manual, with information about the very latest InnoDB features and performance improvements.
Beginning with MySQL version 5.4, the plugin form of InnoDB is the default, allowing greater flexibility in the timing of InnoDB bug fixes and new features.
Beginning with MySQL version 5.5, InnoDB is the default storage engine, rather than MyISAM, to promote greater data reliability and reducing the chance of corruption.
This is the User’s Guide for InnoDB storage engine 1.1 for MySQL 5.5, generated on 2010-04-13 (revision: 19994) .