: I did look into updatable docValues, but my understanding is that the 
: field has to be non-indexed (indexed="false"). I need to be able to sort 
: on these values. External field fields are sortable.

YOu can absolutely sort on a field that is docValues="true" 
indexed="false" ... that is much more efficient then sorting on a field 
that is docValues="false" index="true" -- in the later case solr has to 
build a fieldcache (aka: run-time-mock-docvalues) from the indexed values 
the first time you try to sort on the field after a searcher is opened


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