Friday, January 29, 2010


How Indexing For Optimized Searches Works | Windows Active Directory

The directory data store can be indexed to improve the efficiency of searches. Indexing is specified as part of the schema definition of an attribute (such as Description or given- Name). When an attribute is indexed, all occurrences of that attribute will be included in the index.

Some attributes are indexed by default, and the administrator can configure additional attributes to be indexed. Multiple types of indexing are available, depending on how the attribute will be used in searches:
  • Basic indexing The value(s) of the attribute is indexed so that queries requesting objects with a specific value for that attribute will run quickly.
  • Containerized indexes Similar to basic indexing, but also indexes the objects by container. This enables a query to quickly evaluate all the child objects in a container to determine if any match the requested attribute value.
  • Tuple indexes Used on string attributes so that substring searches specifying that attribute will run quickly. For example, applying a tuple index to the Description attribute would allow queries such as “return all objects whose Description attribute contains the string ‘Fabrikam’ anywhere in it” to execute efficiently. Maintaining tuple indexes can consume a large amount of resources, so they should be enabled sparingly.
  • Subtree indexes Enables a special type of Active Directory search, known as virtual list view, to execute quickly. These are similar to containerized indexes but include not only the immediate children of the container but also all the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. Like tuple indexes, subtree indexes can be expensive to maintain.

Administrators can enable indexing on attributes that aren’t indexed by default, based on the needs of their organization. Basic and containerized indexes can be enabled using the Active Directory Schema snap-in. However, tuple and subtree indexes require you to manually set the value of the searchFlags attribute on the attributeSchema objects defining the attributes you want to index.


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