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'Power User' database query suggestions needed

[eluser]Myles Wakeham[/eluser]
I have a large scale database driven CI application going into production shortly, and it uses Flexigrid for display of data results, afterwards allowing the user to drill down through the selected record(s) into their detail.

The process of querying the database is pretty simple in that I use pulldown menus to filter results, and I have a 'Quick Search' facility where a user can find specific data in the database using a selection of a field and a value.

But the user's want more.... The main database that I am working with has 50,000 or so records in it (its a Contact Management App) and their main use of it is to find a matching contact for a particularly difficult to predict query. They don't need something like Crystal Reports for this (although they have it for generating reports, etc.) but they want something that I can embed in the web page that is a 'Power Search' facility. I'm thinking something that might be a popup AJAX style search facility that can allow them to enter multiple criteria that constructs the WHERE clause like:

1. Last Name = Smith
2. and City = Los Angeles
3. and Birthdate < 01/01/2001

Basically they can just keep adding criteria to the query.

I'm thinking that I can't be the only person out there who needs this, so I'm wondering if anyone has encountered something similar and integrated an existing solution into their applications for this?

I'm using Firebird 1.5.5 as the SQL database for this, but I expect if there was something already out there for MySQL I could probably adapt it for my own needs.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.


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