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Adventures in Managing Application Data

Application data management can be a chore.Then, instead of getting the big page later, you get a message that says, “Server took too long to respond. Please try again.” For those interested in such things, this is HTTP error code 503. I’ve emailed Spamarrest and asked them to increase that interval, or to give users the options to create “big pages” with 900 messages each (far enough below the usual timeout threshold to prevent Internet congestion from timing them out when that occasionally occurs).


No response from them ... so far.


Case 3: E-mail on Your iPhone


Because I echo email to my iPhone, I have a problem on that device similar to what I've encountered in Spamarrest. I have to manually fire up e-mail every few days and clear out the incoming messages that I don’t want to miss — should I need them on the phone — but that I usually read on my PC on the bigger screen with its real keyboard.


In iPhone mail, you can only select a screen’s worth of email messages for deletion at one time. And it’s a small screen, so that typically translates into 5 or 6 messages at a go. The interface is clunky enough that a missed touch or swipe can undo all the messages already selected for deletion, so I’ve found myself doing and redoing this chore on a pretty regular basis.


Case in point: I just looked at my iPhone and it has 617 e-mails on it. History teaches me it will take at least 15 minutes to clear this out. I’ve gotten in the habit of doing this while waiting for other things to happen: waiting on hold on the phone, waiting in line for a restaurant table, waiting for service at a professional office or the DMV, and so forth.


It’s still a pain, however, and I don’t like it. None of my research has turned up a workable means to clear out e-mail on the iPhone in bulk, so I’m resigned to doing this two or three times a week until further notice. Sigh.


An Impassioned Plea to Developers and UI Designers


You guys know if your app or application is bound to create or acquire large amounts of data (especially lots of data files, such a messages, e-mails, logs, report, and so forth). Please design in explicit tools for organizing, deleting, and archiving such items as part of the overall application or app.


As our world gets increasingly virtual and digital, this will only become more important to the millions upon millions of users who depend on such things to live their daily lives, get their work done, and keep up with their personal, professional, and civic responsibilities. Thanks for taking this seriously — and thanks even more, in advance, for doing something about it!


I think this is an important enough topic that it should be included in all software design, implementation, and testing/training/education. It’s not just enough to create data. It’s also essential to be able to manage, control, secure, and even destroy it — quickly, safely and efficiently.



ed-tittel120Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Business News Daily, and on Windows desktop OS topics for TechTarget and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at