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From Thomas Stets <>
Subject Managing index tables
Date Mon, 04 Nov 2013 11:20:48 GMT
What is the best way to manage index tables on update/deletion of the
indexed data?

I have a table containing all kinds of data fora user, i.e. name, address,
contact data, company data etc. Key to this table is the user ID.

I also maintain about a dozen index tables matching my queries, like name,
email address, company D.U.N.S number, permissions the user has, etc. These
index tables contain the user IDs matching the search key as column names,
with the column values left empty.

Whenever a user is deleted or updated I have to make sure to update the
index tables, i.e. if the permissions of a user changes I have to remove
the user ID from the rows matching the permission he no longer has.

My problem is to find all matching entries, especially for data I no longer

My solution so far is to keep a separate table to keep track of all index
tables and keys the user can be found in. In the case mentioned I look up
the keys for the permissions table, remove the user ID from there, then
remove the entry in the keys table.

This works so far (in production for more than a year and a half), and it
also allows me to clean up after something has gone wrong.

But still, all this additional level of meta information adds a lot of
complexity. I was wondering wether there is some kind of pattern that
addresses my problem. I found lots of information saying that creating the
index tables is the way to go, but nobody ever mentions maintaining the
index tables.

tia, Thomas

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