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Does Salesforce add indexes to the data extensions in the backend? If so what is the criteria for a column to be indexed.

Lately we had a job error out due to timeout. As per SF there was no index on the subscriber_key field.So query was taking long due to large number of records.

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Indexing is loosely mentioned in the documentation, but I couldn't find anything concrete in terms of how it may function by default. From the sounds of it, there is no default indexing but you can request support to enable it for the Data Extensions you are querying. The exception being Data Views, which cannot be indexed. As per SFMC documentation:

Ask global support whether indexing has been or can be enabled on the data extensions used in the query activity. This is important when business-critical functions rely on data extensions used in the query activity.

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