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Oracle® Database Administrator's Guide
11g Release 1 (11.1)

B28310-04
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Altering Indexes

To alter an index, your schema must contain the index or you must have the ALTER ANY INDEX system privilege. With the ALTER INDEX statement, you can:

You cannot alter index column structure.

More detailed discussions of some of these operations are contained in the following sections:

See Also:

Altering Storage Characteristics of an Index

Alter the storage parameters of any index, including those created by the database to enforce primary and unique key integrity constraints, using the ALTER INDEX statement. For example, the following statement alters the emp_ename index:

ALTER INDEX emp_ename
     STORAGE (PCTINCREASE 50);

The storage parameters INITIAL and MINEXTENTS cannot be altered. All new settings for the other storage parameters affect only extents subsequently allocated for the index.

For indexes that implement integrity constraints, you can adjust storage parameters by issuing an ALTER TABLE statement that includes the USING INDEX subclause of the ENABLE clause. For example, the following statement changes the storage options of the index created on table emp to enforce the primary key constraint:

ALTER TABLE emp
     ENABLE PRIMARY KEY USING INDEX;

See Also:

Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for syntax and restrictions on the use of the ALTER INDEX statement

Rebuilding an Existing Index

Before rebuilding an existing index, compare the costs and benefits associated with rebuilding to those associated with coalescing indexes as described in Table 19-1.

When you rebuild an index, you use an existing index as the data source. Creating an index in this manner enables you to change storage characteristics or move to a new tablespace. Rebuilding an index based on an existing data source removes intra-block fragmentation. Compared to dropping the index and using the CREATE INDEX statement, re-creating an existing index offers better performance.

The following statement rebuilds the existing index emp_name:

ALTER INDEX emp_name REBUILD;

The REBUILD clause must immediately follow the index name, and precede any other options. It cannot be used in conjunction with the DEALLOCATE UNUSED clause.

You have the option of rebuilding the index online. Rebuilding online enables you to update base tables at the same time that you are rebuilding. The following statement rebuilds the emp_name index online:

ALTER INDEX emp_name REBUILD ONLINE;

Note:

Online index rebuilding has stricter limitations on the maximum key length that can be handled, compared to other methods of rebuilding an index. If an ORA-1450 (maximum key length exceeded) error occurs when rebuilding online, try rebuilding offline, coalescing, or dropping and recreating the index.

If you do not have the space required to rebuild an index, you can choose instead to coalesce the index. Coalescing an index is an online operation.

Making an Index Invisible

To make a visible index invisible, issue this statement:

ALTER INDEX index INVISIBLE;

To make an invisible index visible, issue this statement:

ALTER INDEX index VISIBLE;

To find out whether an index is visible or invisible, query the dictionary views USER_INDEXES, ALL_INDEXES, or DBA_INDEXES. For example, to determine if the index IND1 is invisible, issue the following query:

SELECT INDEX_NAME, VISIBILITY FROM USER_INDEXES
   WHERE INDEX_NAME = 'IND1';

INDEX_NAME   VISIBILITY
----------   ----------
IND1         VISIBLE

See Also:

"Creating an Invisible Index" for a definition of invisible indexes.

Renaming an Index

To rename an index, issue this statement:

ALTER INDEX index_name RENAME TO new_name;

Monitoring Index Usage

Oracle Database provides a means of monitoring indexes to determine whether they are being used. If an index is not being used, then it can be dropped, eliminating unnecessary statement overhead.

To start monitoring the usage of an index, issue this statement:

ALTER INDEX index MONITORING USAGE;

Later, issue the following statement to stop the monitoring:

ALTER INDEX index NOMONITORING USAGE;

The view V$OBJECT_USAGE can be queried for the index being monitored to see if the index has been used. The view contains a USED column whose value is YES or NO, depending upon if the index has been used within the time period being monitored. The view also contains the start and stop times of the monitoring period, and a MONITORING column (YES/NO) to indicate if usage monitoring is currently active.

Each time that you specify MONITORING USAGE, the V$OBJECT_USAGE view is reset for the specified index. The previous usage information is cleared or reset, and a new start time is recorded. When you specify NOMONITORING USAGE, no further monitoring is performed, and the end time is recorded for the monitoring period. Until the next ALTER INDEX...MONITORING USAGE statement is issued, the view information is left unchanged.