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Cannot open DB view and see all documents

We have got a database containing nearly 30,000 documents with information for customers. The database is growing for about 10 years now. Old documents may not be deleted or completely archived to another database, as there are quite a lot of doclinks that point to these documents.

For approximately two months we have no longer been able to open the database in any view showing all documents. We get the following error message: "Field is too large (32K) or view's column and selection formulas are too large." I only know this error message with @DBlookup, but not when opening a view! If I select a subset of documents, I have no problem opening the views.

Now I tried to change a view, so it is simpler and smaller. There is only one column left with @DocNumber. The view's selection formula is quiet simple:

SELECT Form = "document" : "rs" : "info" | @AllDescendants
But the error message still appears. It even appears with the selection formula "SELECT @All".

The Domino server is version 5.0.12, operating system is Windows NT 4.0, maximum size of the database is unrestricted, actual size is about 3.7 GB.

30,000 documents is not a lot of Notes in a Domino database, even if it's nearly 4 GB of data. And a 10-year-old app is not unusual (I've got quite a few). How much of the database's information is view indexes?

To find this information, type "Show database path\yourfile.nsf" where "pathyourfile.nsf" is the name and path to your application.

This will report on the size (in bytes) of the individual views.

When was the last time this database was compacted (to recover "white" space) or had it's views completely rebuilt (as in, the old indexes discarded and recreated from scratch)?

Try load Updall yourfile.nsf -R -C and then a compact (load compact yourfile.nsf) to see if there are any changes.

Should rebuilding views, indexing and then compacting the database not produce any better result, it's time to dive into Designer and change the layout of the big views.

The rule of thumb when it comes to BIG views is: The more documents included in the view, the less columns you should use. You should also have a look at the columns, which have sorting options available to them. Every time a developer has added a "click column header to sort" option in a database view, the larger the view's index will be, and the worse it will perform when displaying a large amount of documents.

If your view reports its size through a "Show database" command as fairly large (I'm talking over 100 MB -- that's 100,000,000 bytes), you should seriously look at rebuilding the view index (as described above) and definitely take a good look at the number of columns (especially sortable and column formulas) in the view's design.

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