Storing Data in Adobe Commerce

The Adobe Commerce platform records and organizes a wide variety of valuable commerce data across hundreds of tables. This topic describes:

  • how that data is generated
  • what causes a new row to be inserted into one of the Core Commerce Tables
  • how actions such as making a purchase or creating an account are recorded into the Adobe Commerce database

To discuss these concepts, refer to the following example:

Clothes4U is a clothing retailer with both an online and brick and mortar presences. It uses Magento Open Source behind its website to gather and organize data.


It is September 22, and Clothes4U is rolling out three new items to its Fall line: Throwback Bellbottoms, Straight Leg Jeans, and V-Neck T-Shirts. A Clothes4U employee opens their Commerce Admin, clicks Add Product, and enters all the information for Throwback Bellbottoms.

Satisfied with all the settings for Throwback Bellbottoms, the employee clicks Save, which inserts the first line below into the catalog_product_entity table. The employee repeats the process, creating another Commerce product for Straight Leg Jeans, and then a third for V-Neck T-Shirt, inserting the second and third lines below into the catalog_product_entity table:

2016/09/22 09:15:43
2016/09/22 09:18:17
2016/09/22 09:24:02
  • entity_id – This is the primary key of the catalog_product_entity table, meaning every row of the table must have a different entity_id. Each entity_id on this table can only be associated with one product, and each product can only be associated with one entity_id
    • The top line of the table above, entity_id = 205, is the new row created for “Throwback Bellbottoms.” Wherever entity_id = 205 appears in the Commerce platform, it is referring to the product “Throwback Bellbottoms”
  • entity_type_id – Commerce has multiple categories of objects (like customers, addresses, and products to name a few), and this column is used to denote the category into which this particular row falls.
    • This being the catalog_product_entity table, each row has the same entity type: product. In Adobe Commerce, the entity_type_id for product is 4, which is why all three of the new products created return 4 for this column.
  • attribute_set_id – Attribute sets are used to identify products that have the same of descriptors.
    • The top two rows of the table are the Throwback Bellbottoms and Straight Leg Jeans products, both of which are pants. These products would have the same descriptors (for example, name, inseam, waistline), and therefore have the same attribute_set_id. The third item, V-Neck T-Shirt has a different attribute_set_id because it would not have the same descriptors as the pants; shirts do not have waistlines or inseams.
  • sku - These are unique values assigned to each product by the user when creating a product in Adobe Commerce.
  • created_at - This column returns the timestamp of when each product was created


Shortly after the addition of the three new products, a new customer, Sammy Customer, visits Clothes4U’s website for the first time. Since Clothes4U does not allow guest orders, Sammy Customer must first create an account on the website. Customer enters required credentials and clicks submit, resulting in the following new entry on the customer\_entity table:

entity id
entity type id
created at
2016/09/23 15:27:12
  • entity_id - Just like the prior table, entity_id is the primary key of the customer_entity table.
    • When Sammy Customer created an account and the row above was written to the customer_entity table, customer was assigned entity_id = 214. Throughout all tables, the customer identified as entity_id = 214 always refers to the user Sammy Customer
  • entity_type_id – This column identifies which type of entity is being listed in this table, and functions the same way as it does in the catalog_product_entity table
    • Every row on the customer_entity table is a customer, and Commerce defines customers as entity_type_id 1 by default
  • email – this field is populated by the email that a new customer enters when making their account
  • created_at – This column returns the timestamp for when each user joined

sales\_flat\_order (or Sales\_order if you have Adobe Commerce 2.x

With the account creation finished, Sammy Customer is ready to start making a purchase. On the website, the customer adds two pairs of the Throwback Bellbottoms and one V-Neck T-Shirt to the cart. Satisfied with the selections, the customer moves to checkout and submits the order, creating the following entry on the sales flat order table:

entity id
**customer id**
created at
2016/09/23 15:41:39
  • entity_id – this is the primary key of the sales_flat_order table.
    • When Sammy Customer placed this order and the row above was written to the sales_flat_order table, the order was assigned entity_id = 227.
  • customer_id – This column is the unique identifier of the customer who placed this particular order
    • The customer_id associated with this order is 214, which is Sammy Customer’s entity_id on the customer_entity table.
  • subtotal – This column is the total amount charged to a customer for the order
    • The two pairs of “Throwback Bellbottoms” and the “V-Neck T-Shirt” cost $94.85 dollars in total
  • created_at – This column returns the timestamp for when each order was created

sales\_flat\_order\_item ( or Sales\_order\_item

(if you have Commerce 2.0 or later)

In addition to the single row on the Sales\_flat\_order table, when Sammy Customer submits the order, a row for each unique item in that order is inserted into the sales\_flat\_order\_item table:

Throwback Bellbottoms
V-Neck T-Shirt
  • item_id – This column is the primary key of the sales_flat_order_item table
    • Sammy Customer’s order has created two lines on this table because the order contained two distinct products
  • name – This column is the name of the product
  • product_id – This column is the unique identifier of the product to which this row is referring
    • The first row above has product_id = 205 because Throwback Bellbottoms have an entity_id of 205 on the catalog_product_entity table
  • order_id - This column is the entity_id of the order that contains these particular order items
    • Both rows above have order_id = 227 because they are both part of the order placed by Sammy Customer, which has entity_id = 227 on the sales_flat_order table
  • qty_ordered – This column is the number of units of the product that are included in this specific order
    • Sammy Customer’s order contained two pairs of Throwback Bellbottoms
  • price – This column is the price of a single unit of the order item
    • The subtotal from Sammy Customer’s order in the sales_flat_order table was 94.85, which is the sum of two pairs of Throwback Bellbottoms at $39.95 each and 1 V-Neck T-Shirt at $14.95.