I am in the process of setting up some searches in php for a database.
Currently my test data consist of about 10k records. I am unsure what
the operational total will be but I would bet less than 1 million
records. The table in question has 13 fields and of these 13 fields I
would like to allow the user to be able to search on 7 of them. To
complicate things I would like to allow the user to use multiple colums
to do the search. I accomplish this by displaying a form where the user
can enter search criteria into all or none of the 7 fields. Obviously
the more accurate the returned data the faster and more correct the
search will be. 

        In order to allow for the user to enter partial data I use a lot of
"like" in the search. I realize that in mysql LIKE uses indexes if it is
not prepended with a wildcard so performance should not be too big of an
issue there, but what if wildcards are used at the beginning of search
criteria? My searches are very acceptable with 10k records, but what can
I expect when I hit the 500,000 or even million mark? Please note, I
also use offset and limit to limit the returned records and supply
prev/next links at bottom of returned data.

        Anyways, I am just looking for some ideas on a good compromise between
allowing users flexability without sacrificing performance. All input

Larry Hotchkiss


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