Can search be made faster and/or more responsive?

davidpmax
davidpmax Member ✭✭
edited November 2020 in Product Enhancements (Mac)
One of the most frequent things I do with Quicken is look up a payment amount that is in my checking account, and I don't know which credit card it went to because the checking account description has something ambiguous like "Card Services". I do this by showing all transactions and typing an amount into the search field.

Because there is an incremental search, when I type, say, "50", it thinks for 4 seconds and shows me all charges for $50.00, $150.43, $12.50, etc. Then I type ".", and it thinks for 4 seconds and gives me a refined set of results. Then I finish typing the cents, and it thinks for 4 seconds, and finally shows me what I was looking for.

I'm finding that I'm taking pains to type my complete search amount without pausing because there is no way to interrupt the 4 seconds of searching once it's kicked off.

Can you make it instead (in decreasing order of desirability):
- Interrupt the search in progress if I type more?
- Allow incremental search to be turned off so that I can just hit return when I'm done?
- Allow me to keep typing (and show me what I'm typing) while the search is in progress so that when the search finishes and runs again, I'm all set?

It appears that the 3rd option is what happens now, except you can't see what you're typing, so you're typing blind, and there's no visual feedback.
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Comments

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't know Mac but couldn't you just sort on the payment amount column?  Then scroll through it?  Why don't the payments have better descriptions or payees?  Like Wells Fargo Visa payment.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @volvogirl It's not just searching for a dollar amount -- it's all searches. And sorting an All Transactions register and scrolling to find a dollar amount is a sledgehammer approach to bypassing a Search tool designed to do this surgically. (I have about 64,000 transactions, so zeroing in on a specific transaction by scrolling isn't a speedy solution.)

    And yes, @davidpmax it would be great if this could be fixed; I've been meaning to post about this for some time. (In fact, my recollection is they did something to improve the search speed a few years ago, and I wonder whether the code change regressed in some subsequent update.)

    I too do a lot of searches in Quicken. In my case, it's typically searching for the history of a Payee, and most often, for something in my Memo/Notes fields. In my data file, which spans more than two decades, the first search after launching Quicken takes about 10 seconds, then subsequent searches take 2-3 seconds.

    My question/suggestion: whatever Quicken does during the first search to build indexes to improve subsequent searches be done in the background shortly after launch, to eliminate that long wait on the first search?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod
    edited November 2020
    Hello @davidpmax,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Community with your request.

    I went ahead and changed your post to an Idea thread.

    Ideas are reviewed by our development team to see what features people would like to have available in the future. This way other users who have the same or a similar request can vote on your idea by clicking the up-arrow (see below).


    Be sure to add your own vote as well.

    -Quicken Anja
  • davidpmax
    davidpmax Member ✭✭
    A lot of programs do things slower the first time, and you'd have to know more about the implementation to know for sure what's being built or cached that speeds it up.

    I went so far as to export all the transactions to a CSV file, massaged it a bit in Excel, and then imported them into a SQLite database just for quick searching. I have one query that I just edit the amount field each time, and each search is done in the blink of an eye (I'm using SQLiteStudio, and it tells me that the query finished in 0.003 seconds).

    I assume that the biggest difference is that I'm treating the amount as a value, whereas Quicken sounds like it's treating it as a string in the way I can match my search for "10" to every amount that has a "10" somewhere in it.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    As you say, there's no way to know how the data is stored and the queries are built in Quicken. Search can be set to search one field or all fields, Search can be on one account or multiple accounts, multiple accounts may or may not include hidden accounts, banking accounts are defined differently than investment accounts, etc. A straight search on a single field in the database should be blindingly fast, but dealing with all the tables, complex joins, cursors, and complex queries has lots of areas where performance may be optimized for some things over others -- and it's not worth guessing at how it's built. We just need the developers to be aware of the problem and agree to tackle it. ;) My guess is they mostly work with pretty small test databases, so they're not always seeing problems like these that real-world users encounter.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • davidpmax
    davidpmax Member ✭✭
    > @jacobs said:
    > We just need the developers to be aware of the problem and agree to tackle it. ;)

    Yes, thanks for putting it perfectly.
  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod

    Hello All,

    This idea seems to have fallen stagnant and due to the age of the request and lack of user votes/comments, will be archived within the next 7 business days.

    If you would like to see this idea kept alive and considered for possible future implementation in Quicken, be sure to add your vote and a comment explaining how this idea would be beneficial for you.

    More information, including steps to vote and how to submit your own ideas for future product features/improvements, is also available here.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Community Support Team

    -Quicken Anja
  • I’ve noticed the sluggish behavior when searching as well. I would love for it to be faster and more smooth. 
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    The problem hasn't been solved or addressed. It would be a shame to have this thread archived, as the need for improvement in this area is still there. (And the need grows as users data files grow over time.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    You know for all comments about Quicken Windows using an old out of date database, and Quicken Mac using a modern one, I can do an incremental search of my All Transactions (37062 transactions) in Quicken Windows without it pausing at all.

    Then again if it works like all the other account registers in Quicken Windows, they load all the transactions into memory when first accessed.  But even that is just a slight pause of a second or two.

    There is also a non-incremental global search.

    Neither of these search investment accounts though.
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Chris_QPW  Speed for Searches is all about how everything is built. There are ways to make searches faster, whether it's by preloading transactions or building indexes during startup, or by optimizing the way queries are built. In Quicken Mac, I find the first Search after startup is a little slow, and subsequent searches are faster. That suggests to me that they could perhaps improve performance by doing pre-reading or pre-indexing in a background thread after the program is up and running. I don't believe the developers have gone back to try to optimize Search performance for large databases. (My guess is they generally work with smaller test databases than those of us with databases that have 50,000 to 75,000 transactions, or that they have a test database with a lot of dummy transactions but a lot less text in memo fields than real-life files like mine.)

    I'm not sure what you mean by an incremental or non-incremental global search. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I definitely agree with you there's a lot of things you can do with a database and there's a lot of ways you can improve searches by caching things and things like that.

    And believe me there are slow parts in Quicken Windows but but in reality I think most of that is actually in the GUI not in the database but people tend to believe the database is the problem.  So my comment was more tongue in cheek about the old database in Quicken Windows.

    Most likely the developers are Quicken Mac haven't really looked into optimizing much of anything yet.
    When you do optimization you really need to look at exactly what the bottlenecks are and fix them not what people are guessing that have no idea what the bottlenecks really are.

    What I meant by incremental is as you type they are doing the search and filtering the results on the fly.

    Non incremental means that as you type in your search term they're not doing anything until you hit enter or the button for search or whatever.

    Traditionally for most of Quicken Windows the searches were always non-incremental.  For instance I've seen lots of people talk about that Quicken Mac should have a find command.  The way that works on Quicken Windows if you type in a search hit enter and then a dialog comes up with the results.  A very traditional kind of search.

    Incremental searching in Quicken Windows is mostly pretty recent.
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