Database Indexing


IBM Notes has 3 different types of indexes, View indexes, Database full text indexes, and Domain indexes.

View indexes are used to display the list of documents in a database, for example, the Inbox of a mail file. They are created automatically, and are kept up to date by the system UPDATE task. This means that if you create a new document, it will not appear on the index until the UPDATE task runs, or you run an update manually. If you want to know if your View is current, go to the Files tab in the Domino Administrator client, right-click on the database you want to see andthen select Manage Views

Full-text indexes are used to speed up document searches. The full text index may only contain words found within a document or may optionally include text within numerous supported attachment types. Full-text Indexes are created manually, and are also maintained automatically by UPDATE, or by manually forcing an update. Indexes are not replicated across servers, so each replicated copy of a database needs a full-text index defined.
The disadvantage of a full text index is that creating and maintaining a full text index uses up system resources. However, if a database is not full text indexed and a user needs to perform a search, a temporary index is created and then destroyed. If this is done many times, it would be more efficient to have a permanent full text index.

If you want to update a specific database full-text index, Select Files tab for the required database, then
Tools - Database - Full Text Index - Update - OK
Indexes are updated automatically by the UPDATE task. You set the frequency of update in the same panel. Options are

  • Daily
  • Hourly
  • Immediate
  • Scheduled (by UPDALL server task)

To create a full-text index, select the files tab, then select Tools - Database - Full-text Index and follow the instructions on the screen.
If you index an encrypted field, other users may be able to read the encrypted text without the encryption key.

Full-text indexes are stored in a subdirectory, which is in the same directory as the main database. The subdirectory will be called databasename.ft If an index becomes corrupt then do not delete the subdirectory manually, but use the Index tool described above to delete it.

A domain index is a full-text index over multiple Domino applications or databases. The domidx task is responsible for building and maintaining a domain index. A domain index can be especially helpful in legal situation where auditors may need to be able to search your entire organization for specific data.

You can also search multiple databases using a Multiple database index for example srchsite.ntf, define the search scope by specifying which databases to include then
Select Files - Tools - Database - Multi-database Index
Follow the instructions shown to create a full-text index for the Search-Site database


UPDATE is usually scheduled to run continuously on the server, UPDALL will be scheduled to run overnight, and can also be run on demand. The main differences between them are

  • UPDALL will refresh the full-text indexes on all databases, UPDATE only refreshes those which are set to immediate or hourly
  • UPDALL will purge deletion stubs
  • UPDALL can be run manually with options
  • UPDALL will delete unused view indexes

To run UPDALL (maybe to fix a corrupt index), enter the command


from the server console. PATH is the pathname to the database or databases you want refreshed. Options include

  • -F only update full-text indexes
  • -V only update views
  • -X only rebuild views
  • -R rebuild both full-text indexes and view indexes. Use carefully, it will use loads of resource

There are loads of other options, which restrict the actions depending on database refresh settings. If you don't like using a command line, then you can also use the Domino Administrator GUI, take options Task > Start tool