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Large Query Options - Coldfusion - Advanced Techniques

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  1. Moderated Post

    Default Large Query Options

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    DCS Admin Guest
    Moderated Post

  2. #2

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    Although I am not as advanced as you, if it was me, I would go for the session
    loading way. It seems as though it would be the most secure, and probobly the
    fastest way. Don't go for it on my advice alone, seeing as I'm just a 17 year
    old kid with only about a year of CF experiance. But from what I know, I would
    say it's the clear way to go. Good luck!

    kenji776 Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Large Query Options


    Thank you for the response. My initial inclination was to go with Session as
    well and only reload the data set when they access page 1.

    However, the downside is that Session variables are loaded into Server memory.
    If you have 200+ concurrent users logged in each with a Session variable
    containing 10,000+ records in a RecordSet object, you could potentially be
    looking at a LARGE amount of shared memory usage.

    Granted, it's a problem that can be solved by just throwing money at hardware
    (versus people and time thrown at re-coding) but I want to make sure we've
    explore all options first.

    Thanks again!

    DCS Admin Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    Is there a reason why you are not caching this query?
    Stressed_Simon Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    I never fully understood exactly how the query caching worked... How do I cache
    it? How do I force a reload of that cache?

    If the function call automatically queries the data, when the query is cached,
    how does it know not to re-query the database?

    This sounds like what I want, but not sure how to practically implement it.

    DCS Admin Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    OK when you do a select query you name it right?

    ie <cfquery name="qMyQuery"........

    Well when you add the following lines:-

    <cfquery name="qMyQuery" cachedwithin="#CreateTimeSpan(0, 0, 30, 0)#">

    That will now store the results of that query for 30 minutes. The four
    sections in the CreateTimeSpan() function are as follows:-

    CreateTimeSpan(Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds)

    So now I assume you are calling the same query on each page, or hopefully have
    it stored in a CFC. This means that the first journey to the database will be
    the big one and then for the next 30 minutes it will use the same results.

    To clear cache you can set the CreateTimeSpan() function to a variable, and
    then use cfif to pass CreateTimeSpan(0, 0, 0, 0) which will clear the query.

    I hope that helps.

    Stressed_Simon Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    Yeah, go with Simon, he knows whats up. Good though, don't know why I didn't think about caching the query.. duh!
    kenji776 Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    Query Caching would impose a memory hit (not to mention flushing any other
    cached queries) just as bad as Session variables. It also sounds like these
    queries will be different for each user, so each user's flavor would burn up
    another chunk of system cache (memory).

    Are the queries always sorted, even if dynamic, for example SortKey = "col1" &
    "col2" & "col3"?

    If so you could run something like a TOP N type query with a WHERE #SortKey# >
    '#LastKeyOnPage# ORDER BY #SortKey# DESC. If your DB doesn't support TOP N,
    you could at least use the key as a starting point, and loop through a
    WHERE #SortKey# > '#LoopKey# ORDER BY #SortKey# ASC, N times, starting with
    LoopKey = LastKeyOnPage, changing it to last retrieved key. You'd then run N
    single record queries. DB load will be worse in the second case which may not
    matter too much if you have good indexes. Either way, at least you'll only get
    N records back. Also to implement this you'll need to combine CF Formatting on
    the values along with DB Formatting of the columns to ensure string values of
    constant length (numbers=000001, dates = 20050505, etc.) for the WHERE and
    ORDER BY's.

    JMGibson3 Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Large Query Options


    You don't indicate what db your using. But I created a stored procedure for
    sql server 2000.
    The cf page passes an integer that indicates the starting (,000) and an
    integer that indicates how many records to return.

    So, lets assume you want to return, 1000 records at a time

    Thus the result set would be
    1 to 1000
    1001 to 2000

    You can then manage the amount of records being returned to the cf page.


    The ScareCrow Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    I've had experience dealing with this issue myself, and judging by the
    options you've outlined, you have quite a good understanding of whats
    available and the pitfalls for each technique.

    Forget the session idea completely - this is the least scalable, least
    efficient and most buggy solution - hitting your database time after
    time is much better and faster. Plus cflocking s. And when u
    overload the session other important session variables might be kicked

    Basically it comes down to 2 things - functionality and speed.

    If you want to search, sort and filter the entire recordset on the
    server side (there are javascripts and flash techniques for doing the
    same on the client side without hitting the server) your best choices
    are either to hit the DB each time or use VERITY SEARCH (made for large
    recordsets) One thing to consider if you decide to hit the DB each time
    is that most people spend most of their time at the beginning part of a
    recordset (like the first results page on google - most people don't
    get to page 10+) So what you could do is return a query up to that
    point. So for example, if there are 1000 records and the user is
    viewing 1-25, you could just query the DB for the first 25. If the user
    is looking at 26-50, now you would have to return the first 50.
    Basically you would only return the entire recordset set if the user is
    viewing records 976-1000 - this way you can maintain the sorting and

    If you don't mind limiting functionality you can be a lot faster and
    your options are limitless. For example in one case, our recordsets
    grew so large that we changed the page so that a user HAD to give a
    search term and only the first 50 results got displayed.

    Finally, depending on the type of data you are using, you can employ
    grouping and aggregation. So for example instead of just dumping a list
    of all orders, you could add up all orders per country and show a list
    of 10 countries with the total orders for each. Then when the user
    clicks on a country, it shows a bunch of cities with the total orders
    for each. Then finally when you click a city will it will show the
    individual orders. This way you will never need to return thousands of


    baz Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    Why not just use a query to limit the query to only the records that are
    displayed on that particular page.

    Depending on what database you use, the code will be a bit different.

    The ScareCrow is on the right track, but you don't need to use a store proc to
    do this.

    In MS-SQL clever usage of the TOP command can get you what you need.

    My SQL has a LIMIT command that will be useful.

    Oracle has yet another command, but essentiall they all work the same.

    Here is a rough example of how this might work in MS-SQL server or access.

    SELECT TOP 5 field FROM (
    SELECT TOP 10 field
    FROM table_name
    WHERE field = whatever
    ORDER field desc
    ) order by field asc

    This example would select records 5 to 10.

    The 5 is how many records per page. The 10 is the starting point, and will be
    changed based on what 'page' you are on.

    Looking at the query you will see the principle. We first select records we
    need in the subquery to the end of the record set ordered descending. Then we
    reorder that list ascending, and select off the top X number we want on the


    No stored procs, no pain, and you relieve your query size problems without
    subjecting your server to caching the entire recordset.

    Lupus 23 Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Large Query Options


    Thank you for your feedback so far.

    Lupus I definately think your suggestion is heading in the direction I want to
    go. One problem I forsee with that is the potential for lost records... If a
    new order comes in while I'm "viewing" records 10 - 15, based on the sort
    criteria, there is a chance that order will push the row numbers forwards or
    backwards by 1, thus allowing for a single record to get lost between pages.
    How would you handle that scenario?

    DCS Admin Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Large Query Options

    Also, we're using Oracle 9i as the backend database
    DCS Admin Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Large Query Options


    That is a risk that you may have to take, but even if you were pulling back
    the entire recordset you would still have this problem.

    If you code it such that it works based on number of records, rather than by
    dealing with it in pages, then the new record should just slip into the results.

    Let see.. the Oracle command that is simular to TOP is

    select field
    from table
    where rownum <= 10

    ROWNUM is the key here. You can see how you could reconstruct the idea of my
    TOP based query above using rownum.

    Something like this:
    SELECT field
    FROM (
    SELECT field
    FROM table_name
    WHERE field = whatever
    AND rownum <= 10
    ORDER BY field desc
    WHERE rownum <= 5
    ORDER BY field asc

    Lupus 23 Guest

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