[From MySQL Developer Zone
It's amazing in an age where relational databases reign supreme when it comes to managing data that so much information still exists outside RDBMS engines in the form of flat files and other such constructs. In most enterprises, data is passed back and forth between disparate systems in a fashion and speed that would rival the busiest expressways in the world, with much of this data existing in common, delimited files. Target systems intercept these source files and then typically proceed to load them via ETL (extract, transform, load) processes into databases that then utilize the information for business intelligence, transactional functions, or other standard operations. ETL tasks and data movement jobs can consume quite a bit of time and resources, especially if large volumes of data are present that require loading into a database. This being the case, many DBAs welcome alternative means of accessing and managing data that exists in file format.
In MySQL 5.1, a new engine has been provided that assists with the management and use of delimited data found in common flat files. Let's take a quick look at this new engine, along with the features and benefits it provides users of MySQL.
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