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Oracle Concepts - Special Non-Tree Indexes

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

Special Non-Tree Indexes

Oracle includes many new indexing algorithms that dramatically increase the speed with which Oracle queries are serviced. This section explores the internals of Oracle indexing; reviews the standard b-tree index, bitmap indexes, function-based indexes, and index-only tables (IOTs); and demonstrates how these indexes may dramatically increase the speed of Oracle SQL queries.

Oracle uses indexes to avoid the need for large-table, full-table scans and disk sorts, which are required when the SQL optimizer cannot find an efficient way to service the SQL query. I begin our look at Oracle indexing with a review of standard Oracle b-tree index methodologies.

While b-tree indexes are great for simple queries, they are not very good for the following situations:

* Low-cardinality columns?columns with less than 200 distinct values do not have the selectivity required in order to benefit from standard b-tree index structures.

* No support for SQL functions?B-tree indexes are not able to support SQL queries using Oracle's built-in functions.

Oracle provides a variety of built-in functions that allow SQL statements to query on a piece of an indexed column or on any one of a number of transformations against the indexed column.

Prior to Oracle9i, the Oracle SQL optimizer had to perform time-consuming long-table, full-table scans due to these shortcomings. Consequently, it was no surprise when Oracle introduced more robust types of indexing structures.

 

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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