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Best Practice Makes Perfect

A collaboration with Domino developers about how to do it and how to get it right in Domino

I mentioned this when I presented on performance at Lotusphere, but it doesn't seem to be documented well, so I figure it wouldn't hurt to bring it to people's attention.

A new database option was added in Notes version 8.5; labeled "Disable automatic updating of views", this option tells the Update server task to skip this database.

Update normally scans every database looking for views whose indexing options are set to "Automatically" (or Auto + some other condition) and make sure their indexes are up to date with any recent document changes. On many servers, there are so many applications with so many views, that the Update task can't finish its work during the intervals between its scheduled runs.  So the server is busy all the time with constant updating of view indexes.

The purpose of keeping the view indexes up to date, is so that when a user opens the view, it'll open right away. If the index is stale, it can take a while to update it with all the document changes that have happened since the view was last used.

By default, the indexing options of a view direct that after it's first used, the view index will be updated automatically until such time as the view has been unused for 45 days. After that, the index is discarded and the next user who opens it must wait for it to be reconstructed from scratch.

For some applications, you might decide that automatic updating isn't worth the cost. The server's CPU and even more so, the hard disk, are precious resources. If the indexer is keeping the disk constantly busy updating view indexes, it decreases responsiveness for your users. So it makes sense to:

  • Remove unneeded views.
  • Adjust the indexing options of individual views that might not need to be indexed so aggressively as the default.
  • Turn off automatic indexing for applications that don't require it (using this new database option!).
Automatic index updates are mostly useful for fairly busy applications that have a lot of views that aren't used constantly -- especially if there are a lot of private views. For applications used infrequently, saving time for an individual user might not be worth making the server a little slower for everything else. For applications that are heavily used but don't contain little-used views (because you've been aggressive about removing those that aren't needed) it may also be a good idea, because the views in that application are kept up to date anyway by people using them all the time, so there's no potential time savings.

Andre Guirard | 22 July 2009 08:36:11 AM ET | Home, Plymouth, MN, USA | Comments (0)


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