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An expression index, also known as a function based index, is a database index that is built on a generic expression, rather than one or more columns. This allows indexes to be defined for common query conditions that depend on data in a table, but are not actually stored in that table.
A common use for an expression index is to support case-insensitive searching or constraints. For example, if a web site wants to make user names case-insensitive, but still preserve the case as originally entered by the user, an index can be created on the lower-case representation of the user name:
CREATE INDEX users__last_name_lower ON users( lower( last_name ) );
That will create a unique index on "lower(last_name)". Any queries that search on "lower(last_name)" could then make use of that index:
SELECT user_id FROM users WHERE lower( last_name ) = lower( 'Smith' );
- "What's new in DB2 10.5 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
- "Oracle Function Based Indexes". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
- "PostgreSQL - User's Guide - Chapter 7. Indices and Keys". Retrieved 2015-08-26.