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When I add an index in Sybase, is it built automatically or do I need to do something extra? Is there a way to tell?

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Check your objects with

sp_help table_name


sp_helpindex table_name 

Both will inform you about the status of an index.

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Any DBMS I know does not have any special mechanism to "commit" an index creation.

How to prove that it was created ? Well simply perform an heavy query before and after the index to have been added and see the incredible amount of time difference you have. We are talking of seconds and second, maybe minutes so you don't need any particular tool apart your eyes :)

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+1. Another way to observe how index creation actually happens is to create index on huge table. It can take hours, and interactive SQL will not accept next statement until create index is complete or fails. – user34369 Feb 10 '10 at 13:17

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