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Bitmap Indexes

Data Warehouse Design: To Index, or Not to Index, that is the question

This post is part of a series that discusses some common issues in data warehouses.

When you query a star schema, you essentially have two choices;

  • bitmap index and star transformation 
  • full scan, bloom filter, and hash join

Star Transformation 

Star transformation was introduced in Oracle 8(see also Oracle Optimizer Blog: Optimizer Transformations: Star Transformation).   A star transformation requires:

Index Advanced Compression vs. Bitmap Indexes (Candidate)

A good question from Robert Thorneycroft I thought warranted its own post. He asked: “I have a question regarding bitmapped indexes verses index compression. In your previous blog titled ‘So What Is A Good Cardinality Estimate For A Bitmap Index Column ? (Song 2)’ you came to the conclusion that ‘500,000 distinct values in a 1 […]

Indexing Foreign Key Constraints With Bitmap Indexes (Locked Out)

Franck Pachot made a very valid comment in my previous entry on Indexing Foreign Keys (FK) that the use of a Bitmap Index on the FK columns does not avoid the table locks associated with deleting rows from the parent table. Thought I might discuss why this is the case and why only a B-Tree index does […]

Bitmap Indexes & Minimize Records_Per_Block (Little Wonder)

As mentioned in my first post regarding the use of Bitmap Indexes to service Not Equal predicates, an index entry in a Bitmap Index consists of the indexed value and a pair of rowids that determine the range of potential rows spanned by the corresponding bitmap sequence. However, Oracle has no way of determining how many [...]

Bitmap Indexes and Not Equal Part II (Sheep)

An excellent comment/question by mdinh made me realise my demos in Part I might be a little extreme in returning 0 rows and perhaps give the false impression that Not Equal conditions are only considered or applicable if no rows are returned. This is not the case and with the bitmap index now considered with Not [...]

Bitmap Indexes and Not Equal (Holy Holy)

Way back, I previously discussed how the CBO will simply ignore any possible indexes when determining the best execution plan involving a NOT EQUAL(<>) condition, even if an index might in theory provide the most efficient access path. Oracle just assumes that the vast majority of rows are likely to be returned and so doesn’t even [...]

Oracle11g Bitmap-Join IOTs (Us and Them)

With each new database release, nice little improvements and enhanced options continually get added. Since 11g R1, two index related features can finally be used in combination with each other.   To demonstrate, I’m first going to create and populate a so-called “large” Data Warehouse table.      I’ll next create a standard bitmap index [...]

Bitmap Index Degradation Since 10g (Fix You)

As discussed in my earlier post on Bitmap Index Degradation After DML Prior To 10g, Oracle wasn’t particularly efficient in the manner it maintained Bitmap Indexes after DML operations. During insert operations, if an existing Bitmap index entry didn’t cover the rowid range of a new row to be inserted, Oracle would create a new Bitmap index entry with a [...]

Bitmap Index Degradation After DML Prior To 10g (Beauty and the Beast)

Bitmap Indexes have a bad reputation with regard to being problematic and suffering from severe degradation following heavy DML operations, especially larger amounts of insert activity. Bitmap indexes have been known to grow substantially and require periodic rebuilds following such insert activity. While this was certainly the case in previous versions of Oracle, things have dramatically improved since version 10g. [...]

Concatenated Bitmap Indexes Part II (Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime)

A basic little post to conclude this discussion. The issues regarding whether to go for single column indexes vs. concatenated indexes are similar for Bitmap indexes as they are for B-Tree indexes.   It’s generally more efficient to access a concatenated index as it’s only the one index with less processing and less throwaway rowids/rows [...]