INDEX

Same as KEY.

Implied by UNIQUE.

Make MySQL create an index for the given tables.

INDEX does not imply neither UNIQUE nor NOT NULL.

CREATE TABLE t (
    id INT,
    val VARCHAR(16),
    INDEX (id)
);
INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 'one');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 'one2');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (2, 'two');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (NULL, 'null');
# Faster because of the index.
SELECT * FROM t WHERE id = 1;
DROP TABLE t;

Output:

1     one
1     one2

Note that there were no errors.

It is also common to make the key NOT NULL, which helps MySQL do certain optimizations.

Multi-column index

TODO check all of this section.

An index can span multiple columns c0 and c1, in which case it will be very efficiently used for WHERE c0 AND c1 queries, but not on WHERE c0 queries alone:

CREATE TABLE t (
    id INT,
    val VARCHAR(16),
    INDEX (id, val)
);
INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 'one');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 'one2');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (2, 'two');
# Faster because of the index.
SELECT * FROM t WHERE id = 1 AND val = 'one2';
EXPLAIN EXTENDED SELECT * FROM t WHERE id = 1 AND val = 'one2';
EXPLAIN EXTENDED SELECT * FROM t WHERE val = 'one2' AND id = 1;
DROP TABLE t;

Output (selection):

1     one2

+-------------+------+---------------+------+---------+-------------+----------+--------------------------+
| select_type | type | possible_keys | key  | key_len | ref         | filtered | Extra                    |
+-------------+------+---------------+------+---------+-------------+----------+--------------------------+
| SIMPLE      | ref  | id            | id   | 24      | const,const |   100.00 | Using where; Using index |
+-------------+------+---------------+------+---------+-------------+----------+--------------------------+

+-------------+------+---------------+------+---------+-------------+----------+--------------------------+
| select_type | type | possible_keys | key  | key_len | ref         | filtered | Extra                    |
+-------------+------+---------------+------+---------+-------------+----------+--------------------------+
| SIMPLE      | ref  | id            | id   | 24      | const,const |   100.00 | Using where; Using index |
+-------------+------+---------------+------+---------+-------------+----------+--------------------------+

TODO: understand EXPLAIN output in relation to indexes.

Two separate indexes on individual columns c0 and c1 can be both used to speed up a WHERE c0 c1 query by the MySQL optimizer, but this is a complex optimization (think in terms of the B-tree) and a multi-column INDEX is generally faster.

http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/24489/how-are-multiple-indexes-used-in-a-query-by-mysql

CREATE TABLE t (
    id INT,
    val VARCHAR(16),
    INDEX (id),
    INDEX (val)
);
INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 'one');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (1, 'one2');
INSERT INTO t VALUES (2, 'two');
# Faster because of the index.
SELECT * FROM t WHERE id = 1 AND val = 'one2';
EXPLAIN SELECT * FROM t WHERE id = 1 AND val = 'one2';
EXPLAIN SELECT * FROM t WHERE val = 'one2' AND id = 1;
DROP TABLE t;

KEY

Same as INDEX.

Add index after table is created

Either of:

ALTER TABLE tbl ADD INDEX col (index_name);
CREATE INDEX index_name ON your_table_name(column_name) USING HASH;

CREATE INDEX seems to be the most portable.

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