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I believe older versions of Magento (e.g. 1.5) would drop the flat table and then rebuild it. It seems that in 1.7+, the flat table is not even dropped, just updated.

In either case, why does the frontend need to be disabled?

With 1.5, couldn't the system build the new flat index, then drop the old one and rename the new one to the required name? The only point where the frontend might need to be disabled would be during the relatively brief renaming process.

In 1.7, why disable the frontend at all? I manually changed "working" to "pending" for the catalog_product_flat index process. The frontend worked fine until the indexer got to a point where it expected to see "working" and instead saw "pending" and the website hanged. But that is a technicality. The point is that the frontend can keep working while the indexer is working.

So why disabled the frontend?

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Check these link you might get some idea

magento-reindexing-data-risks

solution-problem-with-reindexing-process-for-product-flat-data-indexes

permanent-solution-for-the-common-indexing-issue

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  • None of those explain why the frontend user access should be blocked at all. – Buttle Butkus Jan 13 '15 at 6:17
  • Wht is size of your catalog – sunel Jan 13 '15 at 6:18
  • about 130,000 active items. flat catalog reindex takes about 15 minutes. But there is no real reason I can see that the frontend should be completely blocked. – Buttle Butkus Jan 13 '15 at 6:19
  • have to tried indexing using shell – sunel Jan 13 '15 at 6:20
  • You don't seem to understand my question at all. Yes, we reindex using shell but that still triggers "site down for maintenance" message on the frontend. – Buttle Butkus Jan 13 '15 at 6:21

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