i have finally hit the wall hearing that i need another $600 program from you know who, and i want to try developing my application with PHP/mySQL. I am developing a restaurant cost control system, and have one issue that i need to resolve before i can make the transition to a web based app instead of a traditional client server app.

i need to enable autocomplete on the recipe forms. i have found a lot of javascript online, as well as how to implement this with php. i have two questions.

i want to limit the users to the product guide on the database. it would get very expensive to host if every user had there personal product guide (usually 1000+ items), as well as wastefull as most of the restaurants essentially use the same products. how would i code a text field to limit to list?

my second question is related to the first. my product database will hold between 20,000 and 30,000 products (a lot of typing). the autocomplete snippets i have seen all use arrays to hold the data for the field. is there an effective limit to the size of arrays in php? i can not believe that it would be very efficient to use an array this big. does anyone have any better suggestions?

thanks a lot in advance