Creates an index on one or more columns of a table.


CREATE [ UNIQUE ] INDEX index_name
ON table-name (
column-name [ ASC | DESC ]
[ , column-name [ ASC | DESC ] ] * ) [ -- GEMFIREXD-PROPERTIES caseSensitive = { false | true} ]


The CREATE INDEX statement creates an index on one or more columns of a table. Indexes can speed up queries that use those columns for filtering data, or can also enforce a unique constraint on the indexed columns.

The maximum number of columns for an index key in GemFire XD is 16. An index name cannot exceed 128 characters. A column must not be named more than once in a single CREATE INDEX statement. Different indexes can name the same column, however.

GemFire XD does not support creating an index on a column of datatype BLOB, CLOB, or LONG VARCHAR FOR BIT DATA. Indexes are supported for LONG VARCHAR columns.

GemFire XD can use indexes to improve the performance of data manipulation statements. In addition, UNIQUE indexes provide a form of data integrity checking. However, the UNIQUE constraint only applies to the local member's data and not globally in the whole table. To enforce a unique index globally for a partitioned table, use the CREATE GLOBAL HASH INDEX statement.

Index names are unique within a schema. Some database systems allow different tables in a single schema to have indexes of the same name, but GemFire XD does not. Both index and table are assumed to be in the same schema if a schema name is specified for one of the names, but not the other. If schema names are specified for both index and table, an exception will be thrown if the schema names are not the same. If no schema name is specified for either table or index, the current schema is used.

Note: GemFire XD implicitly creates an index on child table columns that define a foreign key reference. If you attempt to create an index on that same columns manually, you will receive a warning to indicate that the index is a duplicate of an existing index. See CONSTRAINT Clause.

By default, GemFire XD uses the ascending order of each column to create the index. Specifying ASC after the column name does not alter the default behavior. The DESC keyword after the column name causes GemFire XD to use descending order for the column to create the index. Using the descending order for a column can help improve the performance of queries that require the results in mixed sort order or descending order and for queries that select the minimum or maximum value of an indexed column.

Partial Index Lookups

When a query references a subset of columns in an index, GemFire XD only uses the index for those columns that form a prefix of the indexed columns. For example, consider the index:
CREATE INDEX idx ON mytable (col1, col2, col3);
GemFire XD can use the above index only for search conditions on:
  • col1 only, or
  • col1 and col2, or
  • col1, col2, and col3.

If a query includes search conditions only for col1 and col3, then the index is used only for the col1 search condition, because col1 is a prefix of the indexed columns. The search condition for col3 is treated as a separate, unindexed filter operation.

Create additional indexes when necessary to ensure that queries use a prefix of an index's columns.

Case Sensitivity for Indexes

By default all indexes are case-sensitive. GemFire XD supports case-insensitive indexes for CHAR and VARCHAR columns if you specify the caseSensitive=false hint at the end of the CREATE INDEX statement. A case insensitive index enables queries to look up column values while ignoring case differences.

GemFire XD performs case insensitive index lookups only for equality-based criteria that appear in queries. Case is not ignored when using the LIKE clause, or when using the >, >=, <, or <= operators.

Note: Use the EXPLAIN command and view the generated query plan to verify that case insensitive index searches are used where needed.

For columns that are not part of an index, GemFire XD observes case-sensitivity only if it is explicitly required (for example, if the query specifies UPPER(column-name='UPPERCASE_VALUE').

Queries that use the OR clause to perform comparisons on columns of a case-sensitive index must use the UPPER function on those columns to ensure correct results.


Create an index on two columns:

CREATE INDEX idx ON FLIGHTS (flight_id ASC, segment_number DESC);
Create a case-insensitive index:
CREATE INDEX idx ON FLIGHTS (flight_id ASC, segment_number DESC) -- GEMFIREXD-PROPERTIES caseSensitive=false <return>