Automatic Index Management in SharePoint 2016

5,000 is a familiar number for anyone who had more than 5,000 records in a SharePoint list. List View threshold is something that many of us have faced and wanted to get rid of it by expanding. But then again we think about the best practices and the good it does in relation to index management. So, we often end up not increasing it, but creating some indexes on the columns. The problem is many of us did not know this can be done. Even I did not in the beginning. I am sure many of us still do not know.


Microsoft has figured out there are many among us who do not do it and have introduced something that will make the job easy. The good thing is SharePoint can make note of every query we make and find the columns that need to be indexed.

This new feature is called Automatic Index Management. Here are some characteristics on it and how it functions.


What is Automatic Index Management?

It is a setting that is by default enabled for SharePoint lists from SharePoint 2016. It creates automatic indexes for the SharePoint lists by evaluating the queries and other concerns that matter most for improving the performances.


Where to find?

You can review this setting available as Automatic Index Management, under the Advanced Settings Section of the list settings. Even though this is enabled from the settings here, it actually starts it process when the list item count get higher than 2500.


There is a new timer job associated with SharePoint 2016 that is named “Large list column index management Timer Job”. This job is by default set to run daily and automatically creates indexes on the views for the lists that have more than 2500 items.

This will ensure you will have a higher performances when the items are queries and rendered as views or accessed through the code.


So, Is Threshold values gone?

NO! This does not mean the threshold values are gone. They exists as it is and configurable per each web application if you go to Resource Throttling under the Web Application General Settings section of the Central Administration.  The numbers remain same and you can specify a “happy hour”, a time window for running larger queries on lists under a particular web application.


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