I am adding some indexes to my DevExpress TdxMemDataset to improve performance. The TdxMemIndex has SortOptions which include the option for soCaseInsensitive. My data is usually a GUID string, so it is not case sensitive. I am wondering if I am better off just forcing all the data to the same case or if the soCaseInsensitive flag and using the loCaseInsensitive flag with the call to Locate has only a minor performance penalty (roughly equal to converting the case of my string every time I need to use the index).
At this point I am leaving the CaseInsentive off and just converting case.
IMHO, The best is to assure the data quality at Post time. Reasonings:
You (usually) know the nature of the data. So, eg. you can use UpperCase (knowing that GUIDs are all in ASCII range) instead of much slower AnsiUpperCase which a general component like TdxMemDataSet is forced to use.
You enter the data only once. Searching/Sorting/Filtering which all implies the internal upercassing engine of TdxMemDataSet it's a repeated action. Also, there are other chained actions which will trigger this engine whithout realizing. (Eg. a TcxGrid which is Sorted by default having GridMode:=True (I assume that you use the DevEx. components) and having a class acting like a broker passing the sort message to the underlying dataset.
Usually the data entry is done in steps, one or few records in a batch. The only notable exception is data aquisition applications. But in both cases above the user's usability culture allows way greater response times for you to play with. (IOW how much would add an UpperCase call to a record post which lasts 0.005 ms?) OTOH, users are very demanding with the speed of data retreival operations (searching, sorting, filtering etc.). Keep the data retreival as fast as you can.
Having the data in the database ready to expose reduces the risk of processing errors when you'll write (if you'll write) other modules (you need to remember to AnsiUpperCase the data in any module in any language you'll write). Also here a classical example is when you'll use other external tools to access the data (for ex. db managers to execute an SQL SELCT over the data).
Maybe the DevExpress forums (or ever a support email, if you have access to it) would be a better place to seek an authoritative answer on that performance question.
Anyway, is better to guarantee that data is on the format you want - for the reasons plainth already explained - the moment you save it. So, in that specific, make sure the GUID is written in upper(or lower, its a matter of taste)case. If it is SQL Server or another database server that have an guid datatype, make sure the SELECT make the work - if applicable and possible, even the sort.