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    Ongoing observations by End Point Dev people

    Hidden inefficiencies in Interchange searching

    By Jeff Boes
    August 13, 2012

    A very common, somewhat primitive approach to Interchange searching uses an approach like this:

    The search profile contains something along the lines of

      mv_search_type=db
      mv_search_file=products
      mv_column_op=rm
      mv_numeric=0
      mv_search_field=category
    
    [search-region]
      [item-list]
        [item-field description]
      [/item-list]
    [/search-region]
    

    In other words, we search the products table for rows whose column “category” matches an expression (with a single query), and we list all the matches (description only). However, this can be inefficient depending on your database implementation: the item-field tag issues a query every time it’s encountered, which you can see if you “tail” your database log. If your item-list contains many different columns from the search result, you’ll end up issuing many such queries:

    [item-list]
        [item-field description], [item-field weight], [item-field color],
        [item-field size], [item field ...]
      ...
    

    resulting in:

    SELECT description FROM products WHERE sku='ABC123'
    SELECT weight FROM products WHERE sku='ABC123'
    SELECT color FROM products WHERE sku='ABC123'
    SELECT size FROM products WHERE sku='ABC123'
    ...
    

    (Now, some databases are smart enough to cache query results, but some aren’t, so avoiding this extra work is probably worth your trouble even on a “smart” database, in case your Interchange application gets moved to a “dumb” database sometime in the future.)

    Fortunately, it’s easy to correct:

    mv_return_fields=*
    

    and then

    ...
        [item-param description]
    ...
    

    in place of “item-field”.

    interchange


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