Consultation: automatic deletion of old files
04/12/2015by Rob Findlay
Some of you have been using Gooroo intensively for some years now, and have built up a large collection of datasets and reports, many of which you probably never look at. So all they are doing is filling up your Dataset and Report manager screens so that they take longer to load.
And more recently, the introduction of patient-level datasets has made Gooroo much easier and more powerful to use, but it has also led to a huge increase in the size of our databases and the amount of server space we need.
So we would like to find a way of decluttering your collections of datasets and reports, without of course affecting any data that you still need to keep. The simplest approach is to automatically delete items that are very old, and we would like your views on the following proposed timescales for automatically deleting datasets and reports from your user accounts.
Items in the Trash – 3 months
When you delete things they go into the Trash. You can go into your Trash at any time, and undelete individual items, delete them permanently, or click Empty Trash to permanently delete everything that is there (which can take a while).
We propose to automatically delete items that have been in the Trash for longer than 3 months. Our thinking is that, if you have thrown it away and still not missed it 3 months later, then it is probably safe to delete it permanently.
Datasets and Reports created on-screen – 2 years
When you are using Gooroo Planner for its main purpose – the operational planning of healthcare – your models go out of date pretty fast. Usually operational managers like to see a model that has been refreshed in the last month, and perhaps even in the last week. An operational capacity model that is several months old is probably no longer relevant.
On the other hand, if you are using Gooroo Planner for the annual contracting round, then your modelling from the previous year is probably still relevant for comparison purposes. But models from the year before are probably not of interest. (When did you last look at a model that you created back in 2013?)
So we propose to move datasets and reports automatically to the Trash when they are more than 2 years old. There would then be a further 3 months before they were permanently deleted from the Trash too.
If you have a particular model that you want to keep for longer than 2 years, you always have the option of keeping the original dataset files and downloaded reports tables on your own computer for as long as you like.
Datasets and Reports created by the Planner API – 2 years
When you use the Planner API, there is a setting in the config file (“ExpireAfterMonths”) where you can specify how long the automatically-created datasets and reports should be kept for. The default is currently 3 months, but it can be set to longer. We don’t propose any change to this arrangement, and datasets and reports will continue to be deleted automatically when they pass their specified time limit.
However we do propose to bring API-created datasets and reports into line with the on-screen time limits above, by moving them to the Trash when they are more than 2 years old. This effectively means that the longest you could meaningfully set ExpireAfterMonths to would be 2 years and 3 months.
We hope you feel that these proposals strike a sensibly cautious balance between deleting things that are no longer needed, without putting things that are still required at risk. However if you disagree with these proposals, then please let me know directly – my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
If people are generally happy then we will implement these changes around Easter 2016.Return to Post Index