Google search has instant search feature. While you are typing, it finds the pages. Apple.com search box. StackExchange ask question part finds similar questions while you are typing question title.

I am building a collection of web applications in same system. I will add a general search functionality to search through storage of all web applications. But thinking that tables will have records of thousands of users, and that searching will be done for all applications, that can cost too much server power.

I consider caching, though it is like creating all database tables in a folder or memory with same information. I don't see any benefit from this approach.

How are businesses are building this kind of feature in products professionally? Is there any special technique, or can caching really solve it?

P.S. I am using PHP with MySQL.

  • I think SO uses very heavy caching for this. Google has a custom proprietary database so they are probably not a good case to compare against.
    – JNK
    Sep 14, 2012 at 19:57
  • are you looking for something like this? Sep 27, 2012 at 18:47
  • No. That is only auto complete. Without having the data quickly, auto complete doesn't mean anything. Its time will come though not now.
    – tcak
    Sep 28, 2012 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


If you're searching documents, a text engine like solr could be your friend. Combine that with ajax for real-time document discovery.


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