When and why would you exclude property paths from indexing in Cosmos DB?

In Azure Cosmos DB, excluding property paths from indexing can be beneficial in certain scenarios where specific properties do not require indexing for query purposes or to optimize performance. Here are some cases where you might choose to exclude property paths from indexing:

  1. Large or Binary Data:
    • If you have properties that contain large or binary data, such as images, videos, or documents, and you do not need to perform queries or indexing on those properties, excluding them from indexing can help reduce storage overhead and improve write performance.
  2. Privacy or Compliance Requirements:
    • In situations where certain properties contain sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII), you may want to exclude those properties from indexing to minimize the risk of unauthorized access or potential compliance violations. This helps to limit the exposure of sensitive data during querying.
  3. Irrelevant or Unused Properties:
    • If you have properties that are not relevant to query operations or are rarely used for filtering or sorting purposes, excluding them from indexing can reduce storage costs and indexing overhead. This can be beneficial when working with a large number of properties or complex data models.
  4. Performance Optimization:
    • By excluding properties that are not frequently accessed or queried, you can improve the performance of write operations, as Cosmos DB does not need to update the index for those properties. This can be particularly useful in scenarios with high write throughput or time-sensitive data updates.
  5. Custom Indexing Solutions:
    • If you have alternative methods or external systems for indexing and querying specific properties, you might choose to exclude those properties from Cosmos DB indexing. This allows you to rely on your custom indexing solution while still leveraging Cosmos DB for storage and retrieval.

It’s important to carefully consider the impact of excluding property paths from indexing, as it restricts the ability to perform queries or use those properties for filtering or sorting. Be sure to thoroughly evaluate your application’s requirements, access patterns, and performance considerations before excluding property paths from indexing in Azure Cosmos DB.

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