[Mapserver-dev] Query efficiency

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Wed Mar 3 15:01:05 EST 2004

Steve Lime wrote:
> Sean: Queries work by first generating a candidate result set and then
> operating on that result set within MapServer (applying classes etc...).
> Queries cannot be completely executed in the underlying RDBMS (as the
> code sits). So there's this disjoint relationship between the result set
> and the database. The fix would be to enable all queries in a vendor
> specific way and then maintain access to the result set using the
> msLayerNextShape() function. 
> The current code gives us very consistent results between datasources
> because the same algorithms (good or bad) are used for everything.
> Unfortunately is doesn't let us tap into the power of the database
> except for attribute queries.


My first pass opinion is that all the results of a query should be
held in memory as shapeObj's and that memory cache reused for subsequent parts
of the query operation.  This would ensure consistent behaviour for all drivers,
but eliminate the extra pass queries that occur now and that can have pretty
awful performance characteristics in some cases.

The obvious downside to this approach is that the memory cache of
shapeObj's could potentially be large.  Even large enough to potentially
bring the system to it's knees in a worst case.  However, rather than moving
alot more logic down into the datasources, or trying to cache to disk, I think
it would be better to just provide better tools for the query, and to provide
some sort of "maxresults" option to control the number of shapeObj's that will
be collected as a query result.

This sort of change would be quite simple, and very fast for cases where the
result set isn't gargantuan.

However, there are still aspects of the query architecture as it stands
that I don't really understand.  I'm not sure why a the shapes from a result
set can't be fully processed on the first pass.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

More information about the mapserver-dev mailing list