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Re: index on different types

From: Michael Fuhr <mike(at)fuhr(dot)org>
To: postgresql performance list <pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: index on different types
Date: 2005-04-29 03:28:34
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Lists: pgsql-performance
On Fri, Apr 29, 2005 at 04:35:13AM +0200, Enrico Weigelt wrote:
> there's often some talk about indices cannot be used if datatypes
> dont match. 

PostgreSQL 8.0 is smarter than previous versions in this respect.
It'll use an index if possible even when the types don't match.

> On a larger (and long time growed) application I tend to use OID 
> for references on new tables while old stuff is using integer.

If you're using OIDs as primary keys then you might wish to reconsider.
See the caveats in the documentation and in the FAQ:

> Is the planner smart enough to see both as compatible datatype
> or is manual casting required ?

You can use EXPLAIN to see what the planner will do, but be aware
that the planner won't always use an index even if it could: if it
thinks a sequential scan would be faster then it won't use an index.
To see if using an index is possible, you could set enable_seqscan
to off before executing EXPLAIN.  In any case, a foreign key column
probably ought to have the same type as the column it references --
is there a reason for making them different?

Michael Fuhr

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