Slowness of search when faceted search webparts added

Jun 10, 2009 at 6:36 PM


I realize that the search engine is really slow when Faceted Search webparts are added to the search results page (the original one) and this slowness disappear if I remove the webparts.

Do you have an idea about what I could check to remove slowness ?

Thank you.

Jun 11, 2009 at 1:00 PM

I ran into a similar issue with a client of mine.  We developed on VPC's and searching using the Faceted Search was roughly as fast as without using it.  Our deployment was to a hosted environment, so access to the application was strictly via the Internet.  We struggled with going from sub-second searches to then consistently taking 13 - 14 seconds each.  I removed the Faceted Search webparts and the search was back to sub-second.  After playing with it for a while I tried by unchecking the caching feature in the webpart.  With the caching turned off our searches ran perfectly.  Turn it back on and back to consistently 13-14 seconds.

Based on this it appears that the caching architecture isn't designed to be used over a slower connection.  I am not sure of your environment or setup, but just thought I would share my experience.  The good thing is it is an easy change to test out.

Please post back your results.

Good luck.

Jun 11, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Thanks for your research on caching. Please clarify what type of caching you used. If it was SQL, have you tried NULL store?

Jun 11, 2009 at 8:15 PM

Hi donovanjames,

You were right ! I disabled the caching options and the slowness disappeared. For the moment, I'll keep this option disabled. Thank you for your help !!!

Now I have another question : What is the side-effect of disabling caching in faceted search webpart ? Maybe a newbie question but i'm not developer...
Thank you (anyone) for your answer on this topic.


Jun 11, 2009 at 8:29 PM

We were using SQL caching.  I am no longer working in that environment, so I can't try any other options to see if they fix the problem. 

With caching turned off the results just appear slower.  I don't think there are any additional side-effects of turning off the caching.  The site I worked on has been using the webpart w/o the caching for around 7 months now, and I haven't heard any complaints of issues with the search.

Jul 10, 2009 at 6:43 PM

I see this behavior as well (caching off is fast).

I am not sure how to turn on NULL store, as suggested. Can you provide any info?

Normally caching speeds up the second (and subsequent accesses). Is this what that flag does for faceted search?


Roger Williams

Franklin Laboratory

Jul 11, 2009 at 7:51 PM

The NullBackStore is now a default setting for the latest (one-click) release.

The fundamental goal of the Caching is to speed up search refinement against large result sets. The logic is somewhere similar to SUBSET in strings. E.g. if your search for "microsoft" returns 500k results, the whole result set will be cached for you. If you drill down facets to e.g. "microsoft product:sharepoint", the cached result set will be used in 1st thread to provide a fast comeback, while the 2nd thread interrogates the search engine with narrowed query. The actual logic is a bit more complicated than that.