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Documentation & User Guides | FotoWare

Optimization for very large search results

How to configure Index Manager to handle searches that produce very large search results.

Why this is important

When users perform searches that produce a very large number of matches, it can be difficult to scroll through the results. Another aspect of this is that Index Manager's search engine may block other users from searching when handling such large results. In a system where FotoWeb is connected to the Index Manager and hosts archives for a large number of users, this will almost certainly have a negative effect on the perceived performance of the system.

One way Index Manager can be configured to bypass this potential issue is to have a search threshold set. This will make the server abort the search when X number of files have been found and these will be returned to the requesting client.

The downside to this is that the search results may appear arbitrary - there is no guarantee that the user gets the latest and most relevant, hits.

Setting a search threshold

  1. In Index Manager Settings, open the Advanced tab for the relevant index.
  2. Select Abort search threshold and set the maximum number of hits a search can produce before the search is cancelled. 

Index search handling options

  1. Select Save.

Alternatives to using a search threshold

As explained above, using a search threshold may not always be ideal. There are other options that can assist in reducing the number of search hits. One alternative is to create smaller individual indexes that will create smaller search results. Another is to create individual indexes and configure search filtering sure search filtering to add some initial filtering that affects the actual content that is added to the index. For more information, see Controlling which files to index by creating filter. Filtering can be defined either by adding file filtering on the index itself or by setting a query that limits the content that is exposed in the index when users access it.

Finally, ensuring that users know how to use the system and how to produce precise searches is also very valuable. To this end, users of FotoStation can create complex queries and store them for later use to avoid lots of rephrasing. For more information, see Storing often used searches . In FotoWeb, you can use taxonomies to help users more easily navigate to the content they're likely to be interested in. For more information, see Creating metadata taxonomies.

Disabling leading search characters

If Index Manager logs show that users frequently search using leading wildcards in their queries, this usually produces very large search results and can cause the system to appear less responsive. You can configure Index Manager to ignore search queries that begin with a wildcard:

  1. In Index Manager Settings, open the Advanced tab for the relevant index.
  2. Select Disable leading search characters.
  3. Select Save.

Disable leading search characters.png

What this accomplishes

Search strings that begin with a wildcard (#, *, and?) often result in very long search times. These characters have special meaning when preceding a search word. Selecting  Disable leading search characters means any search that starts with a wildcard is ignored and returns zero matches.

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