On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 3:28 PM, Alvaro Herrera
<alvhe...@2ndquadrant.com> wrote:
> I propose we introduce the concept of "indirect indexes".  I have a toy
> implementation and before I go further with it, I'd like this assembly's
> input on the general direction.
> Indirect indexes are similar to regular indexes, except that instead of
> carrying a heap TID as payload, they carry the value of the table's
> primary key.  Because this is laid out on top of existing index support
> code, values indexed by the PK can only be six bytes long (the length of
> ItemPointerData); in other words, 281,474,976,710,656 rows are
> supported, which should be sufficient for most use cases.[1]

You don't need that limitation (and vacuum will be simpler) if you add
the PK as another key, akin to:

CREATE INDIRECT INDEX idx ON tab (a, b, c);

turns into

CREATE INDEX idx ON tab (a, b, c, pk);

And is queried appropriately (using an index-only scan, extracting the
PK from the index tuple, and then querying the PK index to get the

In fact, I believe that can work with all index ams supporting index-only scans.

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