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11.12. Examining Index Usage

Although indexes in PostgreSQL do not need maintenance or tuning, it is still important to check which indexes are actually used by the real-life query workload. Examining index usage for an individual query is done with the EXPLAIN command; its application for this purpose is illustrated in Section 14.1. It is also possible to gather overall statistics about index usage in a running server, as described in Section 28.2.

It is difficult to formulate a general procedure for determining which indexes to create. There are a number of typical cases that have been shown in the examples throughout the previous sections. A good deal of experimentation is often necessary. The rest of this section gives some tips for that: