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Oracle Database 19c Automatic Indexing: Index Compression Update (New Morning) January 27, 2021

Posted by Richard Foote in 19c, 19c New Features, Advanced Index Compression, Autonomous Database, Autonomous Transaction Processing, AUTO_INDEX_COMPRESSION, Exadata, Index Column Order, Index Compression, Oracle, Oracle Blog, Oracle General, Oracle Indexes, Oracle19c.
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I was reminded in a recent comment by Rajeshwaran Jeyabal that I hadn’t updated my post on Automatic Indexing with Advanced Compression that’s in need of a couple of amendments.

Initially when Automatic Indexing was released, the ability to set Advanced Compression was NOT included in the official documentation, although the EXEC DBMS_AUTO_INDEX.CONFIGURE( ‘AUTO_INDEX_COMPRESSION‘ , ‘ON’); option was readily accessible. This has now been fixed and the associated doco on setting Advanced Compression for Automatic Indexes can be found here.

The other significant change is that Advanced Compression Low is now the default behaviour when Automatic Indexes are created in the Oracle ATP Autonomous Database Cloud environment. This makes sense in that if you have access to the Advanced Compression option, setting all indexes to Advanced Compression Low is the no-brainer setting as I’ve discussed previously. So several of my more recent posts show how Automatic Indexes have been created with Advanced Compression Low set.

What hasn’t changed however is how Automatic Indexing does NOT consider the efficiency of an index in relation to Index Compression when deciding how to order the columns within the index.

The default order of columns within an index (when other SQL predicates are not a consideration) is simply the order by which the columns appear within the table. Even though an index could be significantly smaller thanks to Index Compression if columns with more repeated values are ordered first within an index, this is not something Automatic Indexing currently considers.

The demo in my original piece still works exactly the same in the current 19c database versions of the ATP Autonomous Cloud environments. Manually created indexes can be significantly smaller if index columns are reordered or dropped entirely if they don’t provide filtering benefits.

When reading my blog, please do take note of the date of blog piece, especially in relation to Automatic Indexing. Things are only accurate as at time of publication and may change subsequently.

I thank Rajeshwaran for getting me to pull my finger out and update my blog accordingly…