Administration: Omnidex Indexing

ActiveCounts

Overview

Counts inform us. When people use web applications, their experience is substantially altered by the mere presence of counts. Think about the websites that you have visited recently, especially those that access databases. Shopping sites. Forums. Libraries. When you perform searches, some of those sites show you counts along the way. Others do not. There is a difference.

Many websites provide counts as you navigate a product line. Imagine you are looking for a printer, and you see there are 276 Printers. You narrow it to 93 Laser Printers, then 36 Color Laser Printers, and so forth. Each time, you see the count get smaller and smaller. These counts are helpful in deciding whether to process further criteria. It is fairly easy for the web application to do this with a product line database. A product line may have a few thousand rows, and obtaining counts from a few thousand rows is pretty fast, but what if your database has hundreds of millions of rows? Relational databases cannot provide counts fast enough in that environment. Omnidex can.

ActiveCounts is a feature of Omnidex that allows counts to be an interactive, visible part of any search. ActiveCounts allows you to present the available criteria at each step of the search, complete with real-time counts, refined by the criteria entered so far.

To the application designer, this provides the opportunity for a wholly different design. Many applications today try to guide the user through the steps of a search in order to preserve performance. Once the criteria has been collected, the database is queried and the results are displayed. This may preserve performance using those database systems, but it requires the user to think like an application, rather than letting the application respond to how the user thinks.

With ActiveCounts, the user can choose their own path through the data, seeing the available values appear at each step of the search, informed by counts along the way. This approach is similar to the way the user thinks, and the counts allow them to see the ramifications of their choice before they even make it.

Take a look at an example of ActiveCounts. As you continue with this section, you will learn how to put ActiveCounts in your own application.

Additional Resources

See also:

 
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admin/indexing/activecounts/home.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/06/28 22:38 (external edit)
 
 
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