Reversing Sort Order

Michael Swart shows how reversing index sort order can expose invalid assumptions in code:

Remember that this is an application problem and is not a SQL problem. We only get into trouble when applications (or people) expect results to be sorted when they’re not. So unless you have a tiny application, or a huge amount of discipline, it’s likely that there is some part of your application that assumes sorted results when it shouldn’t.

Here’s a method I used that attempts to identify such areas, exposing those assumptions. It involves reversing indexes.

It’s an interesting idea to try out in a dev environment.

Related Posts

Unused Indexes Might Not Be

Tara Kizer has a warning for people eager to drop “unused” indexes: About 10 years ago, I decided to drop an unused index on a table that had 2 billion rows. The database was around 7TB in size. We were having storage and performance issues. I thought I could help the system out if I […]

Read More

Hybrid Columnstore And B+ Tree Designs

Adrian Colyer reviews a Microsoft paper on the combination of columnstore and B+ tree indexes on a single table: The authors conducted a series of microbenchmarks as follows: scans with single predicates with varying selectivity to study the trade-off between the range scan of a B+ tree vs a columnstore scan sort and group-by queries […]

Read More


February 2016
« Jan Mar »