IBM® Informix® 11.70

Forest of trees indexes

A forest of trees index is like a B-tree index, but it has multiple root nodes and potentially fewer levels. Multiple root nodes can alleviate root node contention, because more concurrent users can access the index. A forest of trees index can also improve the performance of a query by reducing the number of levels involved in buffer read operations.

You can create a forest of trees index as an alternative to a B-Tree index, but not as an alternative to an R-Tree index or other types of indexes.

Unlike a traditional B-tree index, which contains one root node, a forest of trees index is a large B-Tree index that is divided into smaller subtrees (which you can think of as buckets). These subtrees contain multiple root nodes and leaves. The following figure shows the structure of a forest of trees index.

Figure 1. Structure of a forest of trees index
This figure is described in the preceding text.

Informix® stores and retrieves an item from a subtree by:

  1. Computing a hash value from the columns that you selected when creating the index.
  2. Mapping the hash value to a subtree for storage or retrieval of the row.

Forest of trees indexes are detached indexes. The server does not support forest of trees attached indexes.

You create a forest of trees index with the CREATE INDEX statement of SQL and the HASH ON clause.

You enable or disable forest of trees indexes with the SET INDEXES statement of SQL.

You can identify a forest of trees index by the FOT indicator in the Index Name field in SET EXPLAIN output.

You can look up the number of hashed columns and subtrees in a forest of trees index by viewing information in the sysindices table for the database containing tables that have forest of trees indexes.

The server treats a forest of trees index the same way it treats a B-tree index. Therefore, in a logged database, you can control how the B-tree scanner threads remove deletions from both forest of trees and B-tree indexes.

Restrictions: You cannot:


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To find the PDF, see Publications for the IBM Informix 11.70 family of products.
For the release notes, documentation notes, and/or machine notes, see the Release Notes topic.
timestamp Release date: January 2014