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SQL Anywhere 17 » SQL Anywhere Server - Database Administration » Performance improvements, diagnostics, and monitoring » Performance » Tips for improving performance

Tip: Use keys to improve query performance

Primary keys and foreign keys can also improve database performance.


The following example illustrates how primary keys can make queries execute more quickly.

FROM Employees
WHERE EmployeeID = 390;

The simplest way for the database server to execute this query would be to look at all 75 rows in the Employees table and check the employee ID number in each row to see if it is 390. This does not take very long since there are only 75 employees, but for tables with many thousands of entries a sequential search can take a long time.

The referential integrity constraints embodied by each primary or foreign key are enforced by the database server through the help of an index, implicitly created with each primary or foreign key declaration. The EmployeeID column is the primary key for the Employees table. The corresponding primary key index permits the retrieval of employee number 390 quickly. This quick search takes almost the same amount of time whether there are 100 rows or 1000000 rows in the Employees table.

Separate indexes are created automatically for primary and foreign keys. This arrangement allows the database server to perform many operations more efficiently.