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Monitoring Functional Indexes

The concept of a functional index was added to Oracle8i. A functional index uses a function or collection of functions to operate on its column, thus allowing the same function or collection of functions to be applied in the WHERE clause of a SELECT that uses the index. A simple example would be a functional index using UPPER on a name field. This would allow selects of the form:

See Code Depot 

The new functionality will simplify table and application design tremendously in applications that retrieve data based on UPPER, LOWER, SOUNDEX, and other function-based queries.      

The Remote DBA will want to know about, and track, the use of function-based indexes in his or her database. The Remote DBA_INDEXES view has a new column that makes this easier, the FUNCIDX_STATUS column. The FUNCIDX_STATUS column contains NULL if the index is not a function-based index, ENABLED if it is a function-based index and is ready for use, and DISABLED if it is a function-based index that is disabled and can’t be used. If the value in FUNCIDX_STATUS is not NULL, a join to the Remote DBA_IND_EXPRESSIONS view will provide the information on the expression used to create the function-based column in the index.

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