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Understanding Indexes

The best way to understand indexes is to envision the index at the back of a book (this book, for example).

Suppose that you wanted to find all occurrences of the word “datatype” in this book. The simple way to do this would be to turn to page one and scan every line of every page looking for matches. Although that would work, it is obviously not a workable solution. Scanning a few pages of text might be doable, but scanning an entire book is not. As the amount of text to be searched increases, so does the time it takes to pinpoint the desired data.


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