Magento Indexing

What i don't understand is that the indexing is supposed to run as a 'background' process, but reindexing is also done when an individual change is made , why does it need to run in the background as well and how does it run unless on a cron job as php is not multi-threaded? (The docs claim it happens in the background automatically althouth that maybe we with Enterprise docs and the cron jobs run without being set up, maybe??)
Silas2Asked:
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Lucas BishopConnect With a Mentor Click TrackerCommented:
I'd add some SQL topics to this question to get the DBAs in here. Magento uses the EAV data model.

I believe the way it's structured, causes tables to be dropped and rebuilt when you make changes. If you have a huge store (ex. 10k items), the rebuild process can take hours to complete. These rebuilds are managed by MySQL triggers afaik.

Magento also recommends setting up the indexing to be handled via cron, if you have multiple admins changing the store data at the same time.
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