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Do Number fields work faster that Text fields for searching and in relationships

Question asked by AlanStirling on Dec 5, 2012
Latest reply on Jan 24, 2014 by oldal41

Hi all 38,000 Technetters!


Question: Do you expect fields set as number, when used in searches and/or relationships to perform faster than fields set as text?


Does anyone have any accurate practical test results to support this supposition?


From my point of view, based on theory, I believe that there is no difference in the size of the full index of a text field or a number field with the same number of characters entered into each. FileMaker stores numbers as characters, in exactly the same form that they were entered by the user (hence: 'Display as entered'), so if one indexed text field holds 'ABC' and another indexed number field holds '123', why should any searches or other operations be faster when using the number field? If you view the index of each of these fields, you will see a list of the characters entered, whether letters or numbers. Why should there be a speed difference in searching text or number fields?


Perhaps someone can clarify the principles involved and others may be able to show practical results, demonstrating the speed benefit of using number fields (that has already been championed again earlier today in another thread).


Best wishes - Alan Stirling, London UK.