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Displaying posts with tag: indexining (reset)
Full table scan vs full index scan performance

Earlier this week, Cédric blogged about how easy we can get confused between a covering index and a full index scan in the EXPLAIN output. While a covering index (seen with EXPLAIN as Extra: Using index) is a very interesting performance optimization, a full index scan (type: index) is according to the documentation the 2nd worst possible execution plan after a full table scan.
If it is obvious that a full table scan is not good for performance, how much can we expect if we can switch to a full index scan? In other terms, is a full table scan always the worst possible execution and should it be avoided at all costs?

Let’s take the employees database, and slightly modify the employees tables:

mysql> ALTER TABLE employees ADD INDEX idx_first (first_name),ENGINE=InnoDB;
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