What is "Use The Index, Luke"?

Use The Index, Luke is a guide to SQL performance for developers. The focus is correct index usage because is the (only?) part that developers need to care about.

What is "SQL Performance Explained"?

"SQL Performance Explained" is the print edition of "Use The Index, Luke". It is available in English and German language from SQL-Performance-Explained.com and SQL-Performance-Explained.de

In 2011, the title "SQL Performance Explained" was also offered as an ePUB pre-release and contained the first two chapters only. The ePUB is still available for free download.

Is it only about the Oracle® database?

The index concepts are very similar in all SQL databases—even though they might have different names. Some sections have a “compatibility” box that explains how the described feature differs in other databases such as MySQL, PostgeSQL, SQL Server and DB2.

The main body uses Oracle terms only for improved readability.

Is it only about B-tree indexes?

Yes — for now.

The B-tree index is the general purpose index type — it's the one created with a plain vanilla create index statement.

Other index types are not covered in detail because each of them is applicable to only a very specific problem domain:

Bitmap index
Used in data warehouse environments. Shortly discussed under "Index Merge: Combining Multiple Indexes".
Full-text index
Used for full-text searches only. Shortly discussed under Indexing LIKE Filters.
Spatial index
Used for geospatial queries (e.g., for finding nearby businesses).

How to get updates?

You can follow the RSS feed, one of my Twitter accounts @MarkusWinand, @SQLPerfTips, or Facebook.

Where is the download?

There is no download of the free web-edition, but the book can be bought as PDF for a very modest price: http://sql-performance-explained.com/.

Is there an ePub or Mobi available?

No. Just PDF. In 2011, I've done an ePub of the pre-release of the book and found that I does not give the required control over layout. The book shows many execution plans that cannot be read when not properly formated. ePub and similar formats don't provide enough control to make it readable on all devices. Back that it turned into a support nightmare pretty fast.

If you are unsure if the PDF will work find on your e-device, you can just download the preview (~30 pages) right now and give it a try. You can also buy the PDF edition and return it within 14 if you are not happy.

How can I help to promote your site?

Thanks for your help! Here are some ideas:

  • Tell your friends (as in face-to-face...it really helps!)
  • Link to us from your site or blog
  • Ask related questions on Ask.Use-The-Index-Luke.com
  • Bookmark us on social sites like Delicious, x-marks, Mr. Wong, etc.
  • Write to me with spelling, grammar or other mistakes you find

How can I tell you about spelling or grammar errors?

Please use the contact form.

How can I help financially?

If you want to support me financially, the best way is to contact me about performance consulting. Instant Coaching is just one of the services I offer. Just have a look at my web site winand.at for more information.

Of course you can also buy the print edition of the book.

If all of that isn't for you, but you still want to give, just flattr me. Never heard of it? Here is a YouTube video explaining how it works.

Who are you? Who wrote the tutorial?

My about me page has some useful information about me.

Can you help me with my indexing or performance problems?

Well, yes. There are two ways to get solutions. The first is to ask the community at Ask.Use-The-Index-Luke.com. The site is a community driven so you may or may not get your answer there. Give it a try! The second option is Instant-Coaching service. I can then try to help you via a desktop sharing session, working directly on your issue. With Instant Coaching, there is no need to post your problem for all to read.

Is it "a SQL" or "an SQL"

It depends on your pronounciation. I am saying S-Q-L, hence "an SQL". It seems to be backed by ANSI, as Wikipedia states.

What does "Use The Index, Luke" stand for?

The title refers to the sentence "Use the force, luke" from the Star Wars® movies.

A properly used index is a very powerful tool, just like The Force from the movies.

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About the Author

Photo of Markus Winand
Markus Winand tunes developers for high SQL performance. He also published the book SQL Performance Explained and offers in-house training as well as remote coaching at http://winand.at/