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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


    [item-field description]

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-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:


and then

    [item-param description]

in place of “item-field”.



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