Search performance

May 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I would like to try it, looks really useful, but should I expect some degradation in Windows search performance or indexing?

May 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Edited May 26, 2013 at 4:10 PM
That is an interesting question. I have not noticed any degradation in the performance of indexing or search, but I can think of reasons why there might be.

Clearly, extra work has to be done for each file for which the properties are read. The effect will be proportional to how many files of a type for which File Meta provides the property handler are accessed. I can say that almost all of the code path involved is code that is part of Windows, either in Explorer or NTFS, both areas to which a great deal of optimisation has been applied. My code contributes about 40 lines per file, plus 2 lines per property. Also, the properties are system-defined properties held in a property store that is system-provided and purpose specific, so property reading should be as lightweight as it gets. But, obvious sensible precautions to avoid any possible degradation are to make File Meta the property handler only for file types for which you intend to set metadata properties, and to choose the Simple Profile if it includes all the properties that you need, to reduce the number of properties that are read.

For search, the files for which properties are read will be those in the searched directory and its subfolders, and any delay will be directly experienced. As I said above, I have not noticed any impact, but I have no metrics to support this.

For indexing, the set of files for which properties are read is often every file on the system, which makes performance more critical. On the other hand, indexing is done in the background, so any delay is likely not to be experienced directly. It is worth noting, however, that File Meta cannot use the preferred out of process background indexing approach, because it is not looking at properties in the default stream (see . Again, I have not observed any impact, but have no numbers concerning this.

If you have any issues, or can provide any data to measure the impact, I would be very interested to hear about them.