Use of literals in queries can improve the speed of individual queries because the database optimizer can make use of the histograms and distribution statistics. The optimizer is expected to generate an optimal execution plan. However, literals should be used only when at least one of the following conditions is satisfied:
- The field being queried on has a very low number of distinct values
- There are only a few distinct values used in the search criteria
- A small number of search criteria are used in a relatively large proportion of the searches.
If none of these conditions are satisfied, then using literals could have an impact on database scalability because the database server is required to parse the query each time the value used in the search specification is changed.
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