You can use Firestore in Datastore mode (Datastore)
for storing data for your applications that run in the standard
environment. Datastore uses
for every query your application makes. These indexes are updated whenever an
entity changes, so the results can be returned quickly when the app makes a
query. To do this, Datastore needs to know in advance which
queries the application will make. You specify which indexes your app needs in a
index.yaml configuration file. You can use the Datastore
emulator to generate the file automatically as you test your app, or write the
file yourself. The
index.yaml file must be uploaded when you deploy your app.
Every Datastore query made by an application needs a
corresponding index. Indexes for simple queries, such as queries over a single
property, are created automatically. Indexes for complex queries must be defined
in a configuration file named
index.yaml. This file is uploaded with the
application to create indexes in Datastore.
The following is an example of an
indexes: - kind: Cat ancestor: no properties: - name: name - name: age direction: desc - kind: Cat properties: - name: name direction: asc - name: whiskers direction: desc - kind: Store ancestor: yes properties: - name: business direction: asc - name: owner direction: asc
The syntax of
index.yaml is the YAML format. For more information about this
syntax, see the YAML website for more information.
index.yaml has a single list element called
indexes. Each element in the
list represents an index for the application.
An index element can have the following elements:
- The kind of the entity for the query. This element is required.
A list of properties to include as columns of the index, in the order to be sorted: properties used in equality filters first, followed by the property used in inequality filters, then the sort orders and their directions.
Each element in this list has the following elements:
- The datastore name of the property.
- The direction to sort, either
ascfor ascending or
descfor descending. This is only required for properties used in sort orders of the query, and must match the direction used by the query. The default is
yesif the query has an ancestor clause (Query.setAncestor). The default is
Creating index files
You can create an index file manually, using a text editor and following the file layout described above. A more efficient approach is to automatically generate the file as you test your app locally. You can combine the two methods.
When you are testing in your local environment, you can use the gcloud emulator command to start a service that emulates Datastore before you run your app:
gcloud beta emulators datastore start --data-dir DATA-DIR
--data-dir flag to specify the directory where the auto-generated
index.yaml file will appear.
As you test your app, each time you generate a Datastore query,
the emulator adds a generated index definition to
index.yaml. All the
automatically generated index definitions will appear in the file below the
All index definitions above this line are considered to be under manual
control, and are not updated by the development web server. The web server
will only make changes below the line, and will only do so if the complete
index.yaml file does not describe an index that accounts for a query executed
by the application. To take control of an automatic index definition, move it
above this line.
The emulator may update existing definitions below this line as the application
makes queries. If the app generates every query it will make while you test it,
then the generated entries in
index.yaml will be complete. You might need to
edit the file manually to delete indexes that are not used in production, or to
define indexes that were not created while testing.
Deploying the index configuration file
index.yaml file can reside anywhere in your source code directory.
To deploy the file without otherwise altering the currently serving version, use one of the following commands in the directory containing your index file, depending on your environment:
gcloud app deploy index.yaml
mvn appengine:deployIndex index.yaml
gradle appengineDeployIndex index.yaml
If you use IntelliJ or Eclipse, you select the individual configuration files to be deployed using the deployment form.
Deleting unused indexes
When you change or remove an index from the index configuration, the original index is not deleted from App Engine automatically. This gives you the opportunity to leave an older version of the app running while new indexes are being built, or to revert to the older version immediately if a problem is discovered with a newer version.
When you are sure that old indexes are no longer needed, you can delete them from App Engine as follows:
gcloud datastore indexes cleanup index.yaml