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To speed up the import process we added the index: ALTER TABLE catalog_product_entity_varchar ADD INDEX IDX_CATALOG_PRODUCT_ENTITY_VARCHAR_VALUE (value ASC); After these changes the "search product" code executes less than 0.1sec And now we are importing 40 items/minute (10 times more)

Is this approach good or bad? Can they leave the index in the database permanently?

And if we do think it is OK, should we have them add it to the Dev\Test environment?

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Just to answer my question:

This improvement will increase performance in case of reading records, or validation during import. But if import contains a lot of new inserts, it will decrease performance.

This improvement will increase performance only for some specific cases, for other cases it will decrease performance. So it is not a general case and will be not applicable to all deployments.

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