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How can I manage my application's tables?
Table size can significantly affect QuickBase performance, including the speed with which QuickBase searches tables and runs reports. We recommend that you schedule regular reviews of your applications to see how much storage space each table is using and whether you can tweak your tables to optimize performance. For tables that are using a large amount of storage space, consider reducing table size by moving data either up into a master table or down into a detail table, or by removing unused fields. In some situations, you may find it useful to institute a strategy for archiving older records.
Note: Consider documenting the structure of your application so that you have a record of each table’s and field’s purpose that you can use when reviewing your application. You can create an Application Page with this information, or use one of the tools created by our QuickBase partners.
Monitoring Storage Space Usage
To see how much storage space each table is using, select Customize > Application from the menu bar and click the Misc tab. Click the Show Application Statistics link.
If you are the billing account manager, you can also see how much storage space each table is using by clicking the Manage my billing account link on the My QuickBase page and selecting an application on the Applications tab.
Note: Although the Application Statistics page shows you the amount of attached file space used by each table, file attachments count towards your billing account limits, not your table size limits. Like all fields, file attachment fields themselves take up table space, but the uploaded files do not. Deleting file attachments will not decrease your table size. (If you notice you are getting close to your billing account’s attached file space limit, you can use the File Attachment Management page to identify large files and to delete unused file revisions. Read more about managing file attachments.)
Optimizing Application Performance
When reviewing your tables to optimize performance, consider the following points:
If you have a large table that serves many functions, consider breaking the table into multiple, related tables. You then can leverage lookup fields, formula fields, summary fields and report link fields to run reports containing data from the related tables. These fields do not affect table size. Read more about converting a field into a table and creating relationships.
Large tables can result in many unused and dormant fields. Unused fields still occupy storage space. (Read more about how much space is used by each field type.) To help identify fields in use, compare the list of fields in the table to the fields that appear on the table’s current forms. If your table contains fields that are not used on any forms, or that are empty in a majority of records, those fields may not be necessary for your application.
Review your table’s records for repeat data. Repeated data can be ‘normalized’ by creating a separate master table that stores this data once, and references it in details records as many times as you like with no storage impact. For example, if your Contacts table repeats the same town, state, and zip code in many records, you could create a table to store town information and create a relationship to the Contact table.
Look for logical ways to segment in your data, such as by years. You can create separate tables for each of the last few years and export that data into their respective years (2009, 2010, 2011, etc.). This option has the benefit keeping your data active and close while dramatically reducing the storage space used by table.
Wherever possible, consider how you can leverage lookup fields, formula fields, summary fields and report link fields. These fields do not affect table size and enable you to run reports containing data from multiple tables.
If your table contains large multiple-choice dropdown fields, consider converting these fields to a master table. This not only saves table space but it also reduces your overall application storage space.
If your table contains multi-line text fields that are set to append only, consider converting those fields to detail tables. The data is still displayed in embedded reports for the master table, but the master table uses less storage space.
If you are interested in archiving your data, you can:
Move the data to another QuickBase application using the Import into a table from another table option. Read more about importing data to another QuickBase application.
Archive data using QuickBase Desktop.
Contact one of our QuickBase partners to learn about their products for moving data to another storage location.
For Additional Help
Please submit a support case if you would like help determining the best strategy for managing your applications. You can enter a support case from any application page by selecting Help > Support and clicking the Contact Support button.
Our support team also can help match you with a QuickBase partner specializing in application development and performance tuning.
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