How to create fast database queries

Archive for April 23rd, 2009

Making an index UNIQUE

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From Stack Overflow:

In SQL Server, if I know an index will have unique values, how will it affect performance on INSERT's or SELECT's if I declare it as such?

If the optimiser knows the index is UNIQUE, how will that affect the query plan?

I understand that specifying uniqueness can serve to preserve integrity, but leaving that discussion aside for the moment, what are the perfomance consequences?

Let's see how does a UNIQUE index perform compared to a non-UNIQUE one.

Indexes mentioned hereafter are considered to be built on a same intrinsically unique dataset. I will leave consistency issues aside, focusing only on performance details.

A UNIQUE index, contrary to popular opinion, does not have any performance drawbacks on DML compared to a plain, non-UNIQUE index.

When the engine tries to insert a new row into the indexed table, being the index UNIQUE or not, it performs the following steps:
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Written by Quassnoi

April 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Posted in SQL Server