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List Speed Optimization

By |2021-09-09T10:10:41-05:00March 23rd, 2018|Comments Off on List Speed Optimization
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Introduction

If your lists are slow, unresponsive, or freeze, please read on about how to configure list speed optimization.

The various lists in Total Office Manager can get very large. A Customer or Work Order list might have hundreds of thousands of records. Depending on what columns you are including in that list, sorting, searching, and filtering can become slow. We offer numerous features that will help speed up the performance of your lists. In this article, we will cover two of those features known as Fast Lists and Max Lists. Be sure to check out our other speed tips. We have left the links below.

Both features mainly work by limiting the number of records shown in the lists. Fast Lists create pages and Max Lists limit the number of records in the list. We generally recommend Max Lists over Fast Lists.

Think of it this way, when you go to a shopping website like Amazon® or Ebay®, you are not shown their entire product list. You select a category or perform a search. The results are limited to a set number. If you have too many results, you narrow your search criteria.

Uncheck Columns That You Do Not Need

The larger lists have a preference form called Show Columns. This form offers a list of columns that you can include or exclude from the list. Many users leave all of them checked. Some of them are not needed while others can cause your lists to load, sort, filter, and search very slowly. Some users might notice the software freezing, unresponsive, or locking up. The following lists and forms contain these types of columns.

Show Columns

  1. Caller ID
  2. Check List
  3. Customer:Job List
  4. Customer:Job Lookup
  5. Invoice/Sale/Credit/Estimate List
  6. Invoice Items List
  7. Receive Payments List
  8. Work Order List
  9. Work Order Lookup
  10. Chart of Accounts List

Column Preferences

List Speed Optimization

Hide Columns

  1. From the main menu, click Edit | Preferences | Appearance | Company Preferences.
  2. Look for a button called “Hide Columns that Significantly Slow List Performance” and click it.

List Speed Optimization

This process unchecks the boxes needed to hide these columns for all users. Users may still add those columns back if they wish. You can perform this procedure any time you need to. Note: If a form is opened when you perform this action, the form will need to be closed and reopened for the changes to take effect.

Use Fast Lists

The Fast Lists feature was designed to make the process of searching through excessively large lists (such as the Customer:Job List for large companies) faster. It works through pagination (organizing the contents of the list into pages). With this feature turned on, you might have fifteen pages to tab through rather than one very large list.

Enable Fast Lists

To use the Fast Lists feature you must first enable it in Preferences. You must have permissions in security to access this preference. This preference will apply to all users. Here is how to turn on Fast Lists.

  • Click Edit | Preferences | Appearance | Company Preferences.

  • Check the List Speed checkbox and select the Use Fast List radio button.

  • In the “Maximum records per page” box, enter how large you want your pages to be. We generally recommend 500.

Usage of Fast Lists

Your lists will now include four new buttons at the top left called First Page, Previous Page, Next Page, and Last Page. Conduct your search as normal. Use those buttons to move through the various pages of search results.

Paging Controls

Tips

  • When sorting a list, you will be sorting ONLY the records visible in the lists. For most users, this is not an issue.
  • When you open the list, right-click, click Open List in MS Excel, the Max List feature will export the entire list of active records, regardless of how many are being displayed on those lists.
  • User Filters will search the entire record set (all pages).
Disadvantages of Fast Lists
  • When you open the list, right-click, click Open List in MS Excel, only the results of that page are exported. The Max List feature will export the entire list of active records, regardless of how many are being displayed on those lists.
  • When Fast Lists is enabled, the Customer:Job list will load in “Flat” view. That is, it will display Parent:Child relationships with the parent name, a colon, and then the child name. (Ex. Megamart and Megamart:Store1). Max Lists does not have this issue.

Max Lists

This is generally the option we recommend for speed list optimization.

The Max Lists feature was designed to make the process of searching through excessively large lists (such as the Customer:Job List for large companies) faster. It works by limiting the number of records that are displayed in a list. The user decides how many records will be displayed.

To use the Max Lists feature you must first enable it in Preferences. You must have permissions in security to access this preference. This preference will apply to all users. Here is how to turn on Fast Lists”

  • Click Edit | Preferences | Appearance | Company Preferences.

  • Check the List Speed checkbox and select the Use Max List radio button.

  • In the “Maximum records per list” box, select how large you want your pages to be. We generally recommend 100.

Tips

  1. When you open a Fast Lists enabled list, such as the Customer:Job list, Work Order list or Invoice/Sale/Credit/Estimate list, it will load blank. This allows the window to open more quickly and enables you to use the various filter options (i.e. User Filters, Quick Filter, etc.) to more quickly search through the lists as it will only load what you need and none of what you don’t. However, you are still able to use the Default Filter to “Show All” and load your entire list.
  2. With Fast Lists enabled, the lists include “paging” options. Imagine you have a Customer:Job list with 300,000 records. Instead of trying to load all 300,000, the list will only load a certain amount per page (set by the user). You will be able to open, search, filter, and sort much faster than before.
  3. When you activate Fast Lists for the first time, the feature will hide certain columns, found in certain lists. These columns are ones that slow down your lists because they perform calculations each time the lists are opened, sorted, filtered, or searched. There are not many of these columns and you can always reactivate them. For example, in the Customer:Job list click the Customer:Job menu in the upper left side of the form. Now click Form Preferences | Show Columns. These are columns whose names end with an asterisk, such as Financial History*. Max Lists does not do this. Your column selections are not changed.
  4. When sorting a list, you will sort the entire list (all records, from all pages) and return the sorted results.
  5. User Filters will search the entire record set (all pages).

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