Tips for large databases

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Revision as of 04:44, 11 April 2008 by Lostincyberspace (talk | contribs) (Added a line about breaking up the file under "Loading the File")
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Large data files, what to do, and what not to do.

Loading the file

General tab of Edit->Preferences dialog box

For small files, you can work on GEDCOM or GRAMPS XML format. This works great. However, these formats are completely loaded in your computer memory so, for larger files, this becomes slow and might bring your computer to a standstill.

Therefore, you should only handle large files by using the GRAMPS GRDB format. You do this by creating a new GRDB file and importing the large file into it. This can take a long time, so do it in the evenings! If you enable database transactions in the Edit->Preferences->General menu tab, the importing of data will then be much faster.

Also if you have a file that large it might be prudent to break up file into smaller pieces (i.e. Maternal & Paternal lines in different files) so you only have to use a smaller file.

Default view: bookmarks and active person

As there are many people, loading the person view might take some time. See a comparison of performance on large datasets, between different GRAMPS versions.

You can circumvent this load time by going to the relationships view before opening the grdb file. This will open the active person and their family extremely fast, independent of the amount of data you gathered.

You can add bookmarks to common people, or in the branch you are researching. This allows to change person in the relationships view without the need to activate the person in the person view first.

Avoid general filters

Filters search all the data looking for the people who satisfy your query. Try to avoid this on large files.

For name searches do the following:

  • click on a person in the people view. Now start typing the family name of the person you need. The view will automatically go to the family name as you complete your typing.
  • for a more detailed search, click CTRL-F first. This will expand all the nodes and allows to search more specifically.

Please contribute

If you have more tips for working with large databases, please share them here.