What does compacting my GiftWorks database do?

Compacting your GiftWorks database should be done on a regular basis.

Here is an excerpt from a Microsoft article which discusses what compacting does to a database ( Compact utility gets rid of empty space in an existing database. The Compact utility does this by creating a new destination database and then by copying each object in the old database to the new database. If you select to compact the database to the original database name instead of a new database, the Compact utility creates a temporary database, exports all of the objects from the original database to the temporary database, removes the original database, and then renames the temporary database to the name of the original database.The Repair utility tries to repair only the tables, the queries, and the indexes in the database. The Repair utility does not try to repair damaged forms, reports, macros, or modules.

The following is a list of actions the compact process performs:

  • Reorganizes the pages of the table so that the pages reside in adjacent database pages. This improves performance because the table is no longer fragmented across the database.
  • Reclaims unused space that is created by object and by record deletions. When objects or records are deleted from the database, the space that they occupy is marked as available for new additions to the database. However, the size of the database never shrinks unless the database is compacted. For databases in which objects and records are frequently added, deleted, and updated, you must compact frequently.
  • Resets incrementing AutoNumber fields so that the next value allocated is one more than the highest value in the remaining records. For example, if all records in the database are deleted after you compact the database, the value in the AutoNumber field is 1 when the next record is added. If the highest remaining AutoNumber value in the database is 50 after you compact, the value is then 51 when the next record is added. Note that this is true even if records that contain values higher than 50 were added previously but were deleted before compacting.
  • Regenerates the table statistics that are used in the query optimization process. These statistics can become out-of-date over time. This typically occurs if transactions are rolled back, or if the database is not properly closed because of a power loss or a failure to completely exit the program by using Microsoft Jet before you turn off the computer.
  • Flags all queries so that they are recompiled the next time that the query is executed. This is important because database statistics can change, and a previously compiled query may have an inaccurate query plan.
Generally, the compacting process organizes the data to be the most efficient and perform the best possible. Compacting should be a regular part of your processes.

In order to compact your GiftWorks database you can use the following steps:

  • Go to Settings / Importing, Exporting and Data Management (or Database, Files and Maintenance in GiftWorks 2013)/Manage Your GiftWorks Database / Compact the Database
  • You will see an option asking if you want to back up the database before compacting. Please keep the box checked and GiftWorks will create a backup for you.
  • Then click "Compact".
  • Once the compact is complete (it may take a few minutes), you can continue to use GiftWorks.
  • If you were instructed to follow these steps to fix an issue, please try again and see if the issue is fixed.
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