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how does mysql handle NULLs in indexes

Posted on 2014-01-10
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Last Modified: 2014-01-10
Hello

I'm a little unsure about how mysql handles nulls in indexes.

Can I have an index on a column that contains Nulls?

If I have an index based on a text field which can contain Nulls will mysql add the nulls to the index? Will they be added at the top or bottom if they are added (not that that matters 0 I'm just curious).

thanks
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Question by:andieje
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Kevin Cross earned 250 total points
ID: 39771114
Hi.

Yes, you can have an index on a column that contains NULLs.  According to the manual, MySQL can leverage an index on column with NULLs to optimize IS NULL condition in WHERE clause.  Therefore, the answer is yes to your questions.

MySQL orders NULLs first if I remember correctly.
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by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3] earned 250 total points
ID: 39771156
from what I know, NULL values are NOT indexed.

however, indeed some optimizations are done for NULL values vs NOT NULL query:
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/is-null-optimization.html
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