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  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Unanswered: Eliminating lag time caused by a massive drop-down list

    I have a question that I would like to ask to the very talented individuals here. I have a folder that contains 1,364 medical procedures. This folder is used to populate a drop-down list that I have on another folder. The problem is that using a massive drop-down list causes a delay in Brilliant Database whenever I try to select that folder (the folder conatining the drop-down list). In reality, the program actually contains this same drop-down list a total of 12 times in that one folder – the hospital is wishing to track a maximum of 12 medical procedures per patient (many patients have multiple conditions when they visit their doctor). After selecting this folder, it may take ten to twelve seconds until the first record even appears on the screen… which is my problem.

    It is critical that the proper name is used on the procedure since all of these are tracked which I why I used a drop-down list - the drop-down list approach prevents any spelling errors (who can even pronounce ‘Esophagogastroduodenoscopy’ let alone spell it???). The majority of the time all of the data will be downloaded from the hospital system to Brilliant Database via EXCEL and only occasionally will any data be entered manually. I toyed with the idea of eliminating the drop-down list and using scripting to verify that the procedure is valid upon entry; however, approximately 80,000 procedures will be contained in each quarterly download and attempting to verify each of these against the 1,394 procedures will take a while to do. When the 12 procedures are entered into a text field rather than selected from a drop-down list, the folder opens immediately... but I have no way to verify the validity of the procedure listed.

    As part of the program, each individual procedure must be counted. Does anyone have any idea on how I can ensure that only valid procedures are entered AND concurrently eliminate the lag time?
    Daryl G

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Australia
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    Provided Answers: 2
    Hi
    Not saying I can solve you problem but love a challenge in BD - many others do I suspect as well.
    Just to clear up my impressions , does the actual droplist have over 1000 choices or just the source folder? This would be a lot of scrolling I would imagine. Might it be possible to have a txt file with these conditions (if not confidential) to experiment with or a cut down version of whole file just of this section. Have one idea but would need to experiment before making a suggestion.
    Regards
    David

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    David,
    Yes, the actual drop-down list has all 1,364 choices. The scripting I incorporated does a fairly good job of individually checking all completed procedures against EACH of the 1,364 possible choices (you had a hand in helping me set up timers so that I could see which approach was the most efficient!). The script-based analysis process takes a few minutes to complete but it is checking several thousand records for each doctor against each of the 1,364 procedures... I can live with that computation time; however, I find the delay when simply selecting 'that' folder to not be acceptable.

    Attached is a simple two folder example - one folder has all the procedures while the other has the drop-down list. It only takes a couple of seconds after selecting the second folder for it to appear but the actual form has 12 of those drop-downs and it is really, really slow.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by fireant911; 03-22-14 at 22:35. Reason: added example file
    Daryl G

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Hi Again
    The actual droplist performs better then I would have thought and typing the first letter in field filters list quickly. But I see what you mean about folders - quite a delay when switch from any folder containing the master list, not sure why yet. Tried an idea with list input variables but stops at the "P" position, seems like lists are limited to about a 1000 entries.
    Will play around some more - others might come up with solution hopefully
    Regards
    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Hi Daryl.

    With regards to the lag, I'd recommend removing the drop down lists entirely and replace them with a simple relation field. You can customise the appearance of the simple relation field so that it only displays the column you want in a pop up window.

    That should make a vast difference.

    Regards
    James

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I was at my 'other' office earlier this morning (McDonald's restaurant) and I had an idea removing the drop-down list entirely as James suggested and instead adding a variable using 'Recordset = Input record(s) from a folder'. The issue was that I was unable to make the folder's records' appear when left-clicking within the desired text field (ease of use is one of the desired qualities that I am attempting to include). To overcome that issue, I simply added a check box (Flag field) and once it is checked the records from the desired folder appear and will populate the proper text field (see attached - 'completed activities option 1' is the old, slow method with the drop-down and 'completed activities option 2' is the new way). Unchecking this box clears the old value since sometimes it may be necessary to make corrections. I added all 12 fields in option 2, just as will be required in the actual project, and it does not slow down!!!!

    James, I just tested the 'simple relation field' and although it works great, I am unable to find a way to change the value in that field. Certainly this capability must exist - how can I adjust/change my selection?
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Daryl G

  7. #7
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    James, I just tested the 'simple relation field' and although it works great, I am unable to find a way to change the value in that field. Certainly this capability must exist - how can I adjust/change my selection?
    No problem.

    1: Open the designer and select the simple relation field.
    2: Select “Individual Properties”
    3: Press the button “ Records(s) input config.
    4: Go to the Visual Tab.
    5: Tick the “Use custom Table Style” box.
    6: Press the button “Configure Table Style”.
    7: Go to the Rows tab.
    8: Tick “Allow to edit data directly on grid cells”.

    You should be good to go now.

    You can use the options in this menu to remove the folder tree and so on so that only your list is displayed.

    You can even specify the size of the popup window.

    Regards
    James

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    James,
    I tried that but I am only able to change the actual name of the record by doing that and not able to select another record if a wrong one was selected.
    Daryl G

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Hi Daryl.

    Sorry for going missing. My workload went through the roof here.

    Do you still have a problem with this? You could make the simple relation field read only, and put a small button beside it instead that when click on it brings up the list.

    So the end user would not click on the field itself to set it, even if they did it wouldn't do anything. It's only when they press a small button beside the field that the list would display.

    Regards
    James.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    James,
    Welcome back! I have changed my approach to this problem. I believe that I was expecting too much because the drop-down list would have to be HUGE... I think that I may have a solution that significantly reduces the volume that may be required.
    Daryl G

  11. #11
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    No problem.
    Hope it works out.

    Cheers
    James.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    I'm arriving late to this party (as always), but I always taught (and still believe) that when a drop-down or pop-up is bigger than your screen it usually means that you have a design problem. There are a few cases where it is truly necessary, but I'm pretty sure that I can count on my fingers all of those cases that I've seen in my career.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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