Working with Virtual Catalogs

Since CS2002 i have been actively using Virtual Catalogs in commerce server. They are very useful, if you are createing a campaign for a limited time, temporary catalogs like for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, .. etc also they enable you to create country specific catalogs as well. However you need to be careful when you are designing your virtual catalog usage approach as you may experience some problems in the rebuilding operation if you use “materialized” virtual catalogs.
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Materialization is a concept that has been introduced to increase the performance of virtual catalog queries. Normally virtual catalogs are like database views, they are not phisically available on the disk, but whene you “materialize” them using the catalog manger and tick the checkbox, behind the scenes the view becomes a table and all the data will be available on the disk providing you a better query perormance.
So far so good. when it comes to REBUILD the virtual catalogs normally there are no problems with non-materialized ones, but rebuilding a materialized virtual catalog takes more time and sometimes you experience deadlocks.
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Ravi explains what to be aware of when using virtual catalogs and ehwn to materialize them.
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Vinayak’s post also guides you when to use materialized and when not to use non-materialized virtual catalogs.
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Ravi Kanth Koppola’s article “VIRTUAL CATALOG REBUILD HANGS”
Vinayak Tadas’s article “Virtual Catalogs : To materialize or not to materialize”