Optimized Auto-Complete Field or Alternative for Advanced Sku Searching

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    Asked on November 07, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    We are trying to use a copy of our stock database to make filling in a form easier for the user. Rather than them having to type a SKU (stock number) and description, we'd like them to be able to key a SKU and for it to be looked up - somehow! We've tried the auto-complete option but, as there are over 18,000 SKUs, there is an unacceptable lag. I believe this is because auto-complete filters as you type - including the description (as SKU and description are in the same field). If we try to use a dropdown, fewer than half of the items are available as the list cuts off part way through. Are there any other options we should be looking at? Ideally, the form would have the option for 4 or 5 products - which multiplies the problem massively! The form is 32863082152956.

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    Answered on November 07, 2013 at 02:19 PM

    This is an interesting idea you have here and I do understand the lag part because of the filtering that is required to search through the list of sku's if there are several. I can also understand how that would be a lot to input. I think the problem is mostly due to the fact that there are so many it would still take time to work itself out either way you go with it whether it be through a filter, entering, or searching through sku's in a database.

    How many sku's did you have before it was showing it as cut off? Or even before it started to lag? Also what browser/browser version are you testing this on your end that this is happening? Perhaps we can find a way to optimize it better to prevent that as a problem.

    To my knowledge I think that the Auto-Complete is probably the best option for a feature to build this off of. The second would be a Dropdown or possibly a group of dropdowns which would then need to be created to separate them furthermore so that it could be narrowed down to what the person is searching for in the sku list. I'm not really able to think of any other way around it other then a possible workaround using what I have stated below.

    Aside from that, the only other thing that I can think of outside the box is to use the form's source code to build in a method that would connect to it to a box that has a populated master sku list which is optimized in your own web database somewhere that you might have it pull from. However, that's not a guarantee as it may be difficult to get this to appear in the Form's Notification also. I have to think more on this and about how to do it since this would be a challenge to try to figure out. Additionally, if I can think of any other way to try to implement this I will let you know that also.