FileMaker Tips #2 — To Index or Not to Index?

Indexing Options

How does indexing improve FileMaker finds?

What do the three options do for indexing?

  1. None is pretty self-explanatory. No index will be created for the field, unless the Automatically create indexes as needed setting is enabled. I will touch on this setting a bit more later.
  2. Minimal means that only the value index will be created for the field. This only applies to the text fields since there can be a word or value index.
  3. All means that both the word index and value index will be created for the field.

What is “time spent indexing?”

  1. Grab a database that has a pretty heavy table of records.
  2. Take a field you already have indexed. If you look at the field definitions for a table it should say “indexed” under its options.
  3. Turn off the indexing to clear out the indexing for that field by setting it None.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Return to the field and enable Create indexes as needed.
  6. Save your changes.
  7. Perform a find on the field.
  8. Perform a second find on the field.

How do I optimize indexing of my solution?

Quick Finds

Quick Find
Quick Find option in Layout Setup
Quick Find setting in Inspector

Insert from Index (Ctrl + I)

Insert From Index dialog
Insert From Index with Individual Words enabled.

Final Words

  • Turn off indexing for fields that don’t need to be indexed.
  • Turn on Minimal indexing for text relationships and for most text fields that will not have multiple words entered in.
  • Adjust Quick Find settings to ensure that you or a user don’t unintentionally force a full indexing of an entire table.

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Jeffrey Henry

Jeffrey Henry

Software Developer and Code Ninja

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