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Creating an index on a custom field?

What is the best way to create an index on a custom field?

I believe the only way to do this yourself is by creating the custom field as an External Id, this ensures the field has an index.

Is that the best option? Is there any down side to doing this?

Hi Simmo,

Yes, you are right. Only way to do it by ourself, is throgh making the field as External Id. Otherwise you need to contact Salesforce Customer Support.
Only downfall is you can make only these field type as external id:
  1. Auto Number
  2. Email
  3. Number
  4. Text
Hope this helps!