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_WA indexes

Posted on 2003-03-11
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Hi experts,

My company sells software products.  One of the customers production DBAs has noticed that their prodn database has a lot of indexes in the sysindex table named '_WA%'
(select * from sysindexes where name like '_WA%')

I have been asked to investigate these indexes as the customer suggests that their presence indicates a lack of suitable 'real' indexes.

I have looked in BOL for details of _WA indexes and cant find anything.

Can any expert help me understand:-
1. What are these entries about?
2. How can I interpret the data?
3. Do they suggest that I am missing indexes or are they normal internal SQL server operations?
4. Any other useful info on these peculiar entries.

Thanks in advance
Meowsh
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Question by:meowsh
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TimCottee earned 600 total points
ID: 8110127
Hi meowsh,

I have to agree that there is very little information about these indexes. As it happens they are actually SQL server's own statistics data based on the table usage. This data is created automatically based on how much the data changes in the table(s). I think that answers 1, 3 and 4 of your questions, as for how to interpret; I am not sure that you can easily do so.

I would imagine that you have AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS set on for this database so SQL server will automatically build these statistics indexes when columns are used as a predicate in a query.

If you have already indexed columns/tables as are appropriate for your database then there is no harm in keeping these statistics indexes as they will certainly assist in less common query processing. If you wish to remove them then turn of auto_create_statistics.

Tim Cottee MCSD, MCDBA, CPIM
http://www.timcottee.tk 

Brainbench MVP for Visual Basic
http://www.brainbench.com
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Expert Comment

by:nigelrivett
ID: 8110284
These are statistics which give the distribution of values in columns.
They will indicate that queries have been performed without useful indexes but that doesn't mean that the indexes should be created.

Does the system perform adequately?
If so then there is no reason to be concerned.

A common mistake is to create indexes to support queries without looking at system as a whole and so cause the overall system performance to decline.
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