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  • Writer's pictureYevheniia Minaieva

Salesforce Indexes: Detailed Overview

In today's article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Salesforce indexes, addressing key questions you may have about them.

What are Salesforce Indexes?

Salesforce indexes are data structures that enhance the efficiency of database queries by enabling faster data retrieval. They were introduced to the Salesforce tech stack to optimize query performance and improve overall system responsiveness. By creating indexes on specific fields, Salesforce organizes and sorts the data, allowing for quicker access and reducing the time required for query execution.

When to Use Salesforce Indexing?

Salesforce indexes offer several advantages that make them valuable in various scenarios. Here are three key use cases:

  • Accelerating Search Operations: By indexing fields commonly used in search queries, such as contact names or account numbers, Salesforce can quickly locate relevant records, providing faster search results and improving user experience.

  • Optimizing Report and Dashboard Performance: Indexing fields frequently used for report filtering, grouping, or sorting, such as date fields or custom picklist values, helps speed up report generation and enhances dashboard performance, enabling users to obtain real-time insights swiftly.

  • Enhancing SOQL and SOSL Queries: Indexing fields referenced in SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language) and SOSL (Salesforce Object Search Language) queries significantly improves query execution speed. It allows for quicker data retrieval and enhances the overall performance of custom-developed applications on the Salesforce platform.

How Does Salesforce Indexing Work?

Salesforce indexing follows a principle known as B-tree indexing. When a field is indexed, Salesforce creates a tree-like structure that organizes the data based on the indexed field's values. This structure enables efficient searching and retrieval operations by traversing the tree hierarchy.

When a query is executed, Salesforce utilizes the index to locate the specific subset of data that matches the search criteria, resulting in faster query performance. It's important to note that indexes incur additional storage.

Working with Indexed Fields in Salesforce

What is an Indexed Field in Salesforce?

In Salesforce, an indexed field is a specific data field that has been designated for indexing. Indexed fields enhance query performance by allowing faster data retrieval. There are two types of indexed fields: Standard Indexed Fields (automatically indexed by Salesforce) and Custom Indexed Fields (manually indexed by administrators or developers).

Standard indexed fields include frequently used fields like record IDs, names, email addresses, and unique identifiers. Custom-indexed fields are those created by users to address their specific business requirements, typically fields that are frequently queried or used for sorting.

For example, a custom-indexed field could be a "Lead Source" picklist field that allows sales teams to analyze lead generation channels efficiently.

What is a Custom Index in Salesforce?

A custom index in Salesforce refers to an index created by administrators or developers on a specific custom field. Custom indexes are necessary when a custom field is frequently used in queries or when performance improvements are required for specific operations. Salesforce administrators can create custom indexes to optimize query performance based on their organization's specific needs.

FAQ about Salesforce Indexes

Which Fields are Automatically Indexed in Salesforce?

Salesforce automatically indexes several standard fields, including record IDs, Name fields, email addresses, and unique identifier fields like the Account ID. These indexes are created by Salesforce to optimize system performance and provide efficient query results.

Can Salesforce-Indexed Fields Have Duplicate Values?

Yes, Salesforce-indexed fields can have duplicate values. Indexing in Salesforce enhances query performance but doesn't enforce uniqueness on the indexed field's values. It's important to design data models and define appropriate validation rules to maintain data integrity and handle duplicate values, if necessary.

Where to Learn Using Salesforce Indexes?

To learn more about using Salesforce indexes effectively, you can refer to the Salesforce Trailhead platform. Trailhead offers comprehensive online training modules and resources that cover various Salesforce topics, including database optimization, indexing best practices, and performance tuning.

Oleg Minko, CTO at Sparkybit
Oleg Minko, CTO at Sparkybit

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