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Recordset ORDER BY using specific Index

Posted on 2008-10-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I have an Access mdb with a table called CITY.
The PrimaryKey is a CityID, but there is also a field CITY that
is text and is Indexed with an Index called CITY.

When opening a recordset with a query like this:

    sql$="Select top 50 * from CITY WHERE (Foreign=0) ORDER BY CITY"
    Set rs = dat.OpenRecordset( sql$, dbOpenSnapshot, dbReadOnly)

It takes a long time (3-4 seconds) to return. If the ORDER BY
is left out the recordset opens immediately, but of course is
not ordered alphabetically by City name. Table is really big
(800K records).

I would have thought that the ORDER BY CITY would make the
JET Engine realize that it already has an Index CITY that could
be used to walk through these records in this order, but the
only explanation I have for the time delay is that it must be
sorting this table instead of using the built-in index.

Is there a way to force the query to use the Index we already
have so that it is much faster?
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Question by:timfisher
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Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 250 total points
ID: 22741015
It's not so much the Order By or the Index as it is the SELECT * statement. Assuming you're using the Jet database engine (the default engine for Access), you're using a file-server type database. In order to parse your query the workstation must pull the entire CITY table across the wire, order it, then strip off the top 50 records.

If ALL of your columns are indexed ... well then you still basically pull the entire table across the wire for the workstation to parse.

If you have multiple columns in that table, and you don't need those columns, then just request the needed ones and see if things improve.

You might also try different indexes on different columns, if that's appropriate for your table schema.
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Expert Comment

by:jmoss111
ID: 22741574
Is there no Index on Foreign?
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:jmoss111
jmoss111 earned 250 total points
ID: 22742314
A covering Index of City and Foreign might prevent a table scan and if the index was order by City then you should be able to lose the order by in the query
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LVL 84
ID: 22743878
I missed the Foreign field ...
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