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Indexing opinions for search capabilities

From: William B Ferguson <>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 06:55:05 -0600
Message-ID: <>

Hi all,

I have about 30 data tables with a total of around 250 fields. I also have the requirement that the users should be able to search all fields for any kind of value.

So, I'm currently debating which would be the most effective way to implement this. At first I was debating between either a big index for each table with all of the columns vs. a seperate index for each column with the primary key.

Then I was reading on asktom the other day ( about context, so now I'm debating using that approach, but I know nothing about it other than what I've read.

My structure is such that most tables are strictly a parent-child relationship, so those won't be too difficult to combine into a large 'super-query' for context, but I do have 4 tables that reside in a parent-child-grandchild relationship as well. I have no CLOB's or BLOB's at this time, though they will be added in the future. I'll also have to add a few sdo_geometry fields in the future, but I don't think those really pertain to this issue.

I'm thinking that using the context approach would be far simpler to implement, as I can then simplify my search 'form' to a single textarea field, instead of a huge form with about 250 search fields, and then the programming and logic for multiple criteria per field, etc.

Does anybody have any experience with the two approaches and hopefully some pertinent examples of how context IS the preferred (and most efficient) solution?

My parent table has about 330,000 rows, and my largest child table only has 750,000 rows, if table rowcounts make any difference.


                               Bill Ferguson
            U.S. Geological Survey - Minerals Information Team
                           PO Box 25046, MS-750
                           Denver Federal Center
                          Denver, Colorado 80225
           Voice (303)236-8747 ext. 321     Fax   (303)236-4208
      ~ Think on a grand scale, start to implement on a small scale ~
Received on Fri Sep 08 2006 - 07:55:05 CDT

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