How to Create Indexes In MySQL?

10 minutes read

An index in MySQL is a data structure that improves the speed of data retrieval operations on a database table. It allows the database engine to quickly locate the specific rows associated with a given column or set of columns. Creating indexes in MySQL is essential for optimizing query performance.


To create an index in MySQL, you use the CREATE INDEX statement. Here's the syntax:

1
2
CREATE [UNIQUE] INDEX index_name 
ON table_name (column1 [, column2, ...]);


Let's break down the different parts of the statement:

  • UNIQUE (optional): Specifies that the index values must be unique, meaning no two rows can have the same index value.
  • index_name: The name of the index you want to create. It should be unique within the table.
  • table_name: The name of the table on which you want to create the index.
  • column1 [, column2, ...]: The name(s) of the column(s) on which you want to create the index. You can specify multiple columns, separated by commas.


Here's an example that demonstrates how to create an index named "idx_email" on the "users" table for the "email" column:

1
2
CREATE INDEX idx_email
ON users (email);


This creates a non-unique index on the "email" column, which can improve the performance of queries that involve searching or sorting by email.


In addition to single-column indexes, you can also create composite indexes by specifying multiple columns within the parentheses, like this:

1
2
CREATE INDEX idx_name_age
ON users (name, age);


This creates an index on both the "name" and "age" columns. Composite indexes can improve performance for queries that involve filtering or sorting based on multiple columns.


Remember, creating indexes can speed up data retrieval but can also affect the performance of data insertion, deletion, and updates. So, it's important to carefully choose the columns to index, considering the types of queries performed on the table.


Lastly, you can use the ALTER TABLE statement to add indexes to an existing table, and the DROP INDEX statement to remove an index from a table.


That's the basic concept of creating indexes in MySQL. It's a crucial aspect of database optimization that can greatly enhance the speed and efficiency of your queries.

Best MySQL Books to Read in 2024

1
Murach's MySQL (3rd Edition)

Rating is 5 out of 5

Murach's MySQL (3rd Edition)

2
Learning MySQL: Get a Handle on Your Data

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Learning MySQL: Get a Handle on Your Data

3
MySQL Crash Course: A Hands-on Introduction to Database Development

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

MySQL Crash Course: A Hands-on Introduction to Database Development

4
PHP & MySQL: Server-side Web Development

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

PHP & MySQL: Server-side Web Development

5
MySQL Cookbook: Solutions for Database Developers and Administrators

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

MySQL Cookbook: Solutions for Database Developers and Administrators

6
Murach's PHP and MySQL (4th Edition)

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Murach's PHP and MySQL (4th Edition)

7
Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites (Learning PHP, MYSQL, Javascript, CSS & HTML5)

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites (Learning PHP, MYSQL, Javascript, CSS & HTML5)

8
MySQL 8 Cookbook: Over 150 recipes for high-performance database querying and administration

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

MySQL 8 Cookbook: Over 150 recipes for high-performance database querying and administration


What is the maximum number of indexes allowed per table in MySQL?

In MySQL, the maximum number of indexes allowed per table can vary depending on the storage engine being used.


For the MyISAM storage engine, the maximum number of indexes is 64.


For the InnoDB storage engine, the maximum number of indexes is 64 for general tables and 32 for partitioned tables (until MySQL 5.7.16), but it can be increased by setting the innodb_file_per_table configuration option.


It's important to note that having a large number of indexes on a table can impact the performance of write operations, so it's generally recommended to only create indexes that are necessary for query optimization.


How to create an index in MySQL?

To create an index in MySQL, you can use the CREATE INDEX statement. Here is the syntax:

1
2
CREATE INDEX index_name
ON table_name (column_name);


  • index_name is the name of the index you want to create.
  • table_name is the name of the table where you want to create the index.
  • column_name is the name of the column(s) on which you want to create the index.


You can also specify multiple columns to create a composite index:

1
2
CREATE INDEX index_name
ON table_name (column_name1, column_name2);


By default, MySQL creates a B-tree index. However, you can also specify the index type using the USING keyword. Here are some examples:

  • Create a B-tree index: CREATE INDEX index_name ON table_name (column_name) USING BTREE;
  • Create a hash index: CREATE INDEX index_name ON table_name (column_name) USING HASH;


After creating an index, MySQL will automatically use it to optimize queries that involve the indexed column(s).


How to drop an index in MySQL?

To drop an index in MySQL, you can use the DROP INDEX statement. Here's the syntax:

1
ALTER TABLE table_name DROP INDEX index_name;


Replace table_name with the name of the table containing the index, and index_name with the name of the index you want to drop.


Make sure you have the necessary privileges to perform this operation.


What is the importance of indexing foreign key columns in MySQL?

Indexing foreign key columns in MySQL is essential for several reasons:

  1. Improved query performance: Foreign key columns are often used in join operations to retrieve data from related tables. By creating an index on foreign key columns, the database can locate the necessary data more quickly, resulting in faster and more efficient query execution.
  2. Constraint enforcement: Foreign keys establish relationships between tables and ensure data integrity. Indexing foreign key columns helps enforce referential integrity by preventing the insertion of invalid values. Without an index, the database would need to scan the entire related table to validate the foreign key constraint, resulting in slower performance.
  3. Optimization of cascading operations: Foreign keys can have cascading actions such as cascading deletes or updates. Indexing foreign key columns can significantly speed up these operations because the index allows the database to locate the related rows quickly and perform the necessary cascading actions efficiently.
  4. Reduction of locking and contention: Indexing foreign key columns can reduce the likelihood of locking and contention issues. When multiple transactions are modifying rows with foreign keys, an index allows the database to lock only the necessary rows, reducing the lock contention and improving overall concurrency.
  5. Enhanced query planning and optimization: Indexes on foreign key columns provide the query optimizer with valuable statistics to better estimate the cardinality and selectivity of the join operations. This information helps the optimizer choose the most efficient query execution plan, resulting in improved overall query performance.


In summary, indexing foreign key columns in MySQL plays a crucial role in optimizing query performance, enforcing referential integrity, improving cascading operations, minimizing locking issues, and assisting the query optimizer in making better execution plan decisions.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Telegram Whatsapp

Related Posts:

To create a new database in MySQL, you can follow these steps:Launch the MySQL command-line client by opening a terminal or command prompt window. Enter your MySQL username and password to connect to the MySQL server. The command usually looks like this: mysql...
To optimize MySQL queries, there are various techniques and best practices you can follow. Here are some key points to consider:Proper Indexing: Utilize indexes efficiently by identifying columns frequently used in search conditions or join statements. Appropr...
Resetting the MySQL root password can be done using the following steps:Stop the MySQL server. This can be done through the command line by typing: For Linux: sudo service mysql stop For Windows: Use the Services window to stop the MySQL service. Start the MyS...