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SQL 7.0 Full-Text Indexing 

Added: 08/01/2000, Hits: 2,239, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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By Brian Talbert

One of the great new features of SQL 7 is that it now has the ability to do full-text indexing, thanks to integration with Microsoft Index Server technologies. To make use of this feature, you must install the MS Search Service, an optional component during setup of SQL Server 7.

Full-text indexes are considerable different than regular table indexes. For one, they are not stored within the database. Rather, they are stored within the file system of the NT. They also depend on a service, so they only are available when SQL7 is installed on NT. They are not an option desktop version of SQL7, even if running on NT. They are not supported in a clustered environment.

Each table that you wish to enable for full-text indexing must already have some other unique index created. Only one full-text index may exist per table. The easiest way to create your full-text index is by using a wizard. Using Enterprise Manager, select the table in question, then select "Full Text Indexing" from the tools menu.

Once the wizard starts you'll select the unique index (the smaller the better) that allows the full-text engine to locate each row, then you'll specify the columns to be included in the index. Next, you can specify a catalog (essentially an OS file that holds one or more full-text indexes for a database) to which this index will be assigned, or create a new one. You'll then specify scheduling options for maintenance.

This is an important point, and another difference between regular indexes. Full-text indexes are not self-maintaining. You must actually populate the indexes and update them from time to time. The schedule sets up jobs to automate this for your. If you need to manually populate the index, after creation, you will see, within EM, a Full-Text Catalogs folder under your database. If you click on the catalog that contains your index you will then have an option in the right pane called "Start Population."

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