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compact and pack

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  • compact and pack

    I have built a new app for my business and it is running fine, except that it is getting a little slower as more data is entered. Can someone explain the "database compact" command under file, and the "pack" command? Will these help to keep the databases running smooth and if so, how often should they be run. There is little or no information in the help files on these two commands.

  • #2
    RE: compact and pack

    'Pack' physically removes records marked for deletion, and rebuilds the table's indexes. It does not touch the dictionary files for the table.

    'Database Compact' does the same thing for the data tables, and also for the related dictionary files. The dictionary files are where your layouts, field rules, etc. are stored. During design of your application, as you make changes each iteration is stored in the dictionaries. Compacting clears out the old, superseded iterations.

    -- tom


    • #3
      RE: compact and pack

      Thanks for your reply.

      I ran the database compact and saw a tremendous change in the size of the files. I am unclear on one point: does database compact also pack the files making pack redundant after database compact has been performed? How often should I compact and can there be problems with doing it too often?

      If pack is also required, I have questions on the use of pack:

      You said that packing updates the indexes, so I do not have to run both pack and update indexes? With the pack command, how often should this be run? Can it be automated to pack all of the tables? Would packing Sets save time over packing tables?


      Gordon Stern


      • #4
        RE: compact and pack


        Compacting the database clears out the data dictionaries, packs the tables and updates the indexes. Packing clears deleted records from the tables and updates the indexes. Updating indexes just rebuids all of the index keys. Since a set contains no data and is actually only a data dictionary, pack has not relevance to sets. If you try to pack a set, you will just pack the individual tables. Same for updating indexes for a set, it really doesn't do any more that updaing the indexes for each link table.

        Compacting really only needs to be done if you have made any design changes and then it should be done nearly every time. Packing only needs to be done if you have deleted any records. Updating the indexes really only needs done if there is an index problem. Having said that, most developers include maintenance options to pack and update indexes periodically.



        • #5
          RE: compact and pack

          What should I do after I modified some forms and run a compact. I run a network environment that is network optimized.


          • #6
            RE: compact and pack


            Refreshing the shadow database works for some.

            If it were me, I'd network optimize each workstation all over again. This may be overkill, however. If you know which dictionaries were updated, you might be able to just copy them to the shadow folders on each workstation. I've never tried this, personally.

            -- tom