drop down list large number of items


I have an application that need to use drop down list with large number of items - range from 1 to 5 thousands. My questions are, what is the best practice to do such thing? What is the max size drop down can held?
or I should change the way the application work such as fetch part of the items with aJax based on filter??

Thanks in advance
Ahmed MerghaniSoftware EngineerAsked:
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Do the same thing that Google does when a search returns millions of hits: display a subset of the data, with controls that let the user page up and down through the list.
Marco GasiFreelancerCommented:
A dropdown list is not the right control to how those number of items: think about how do you feel if you should find one item in among a 1000 items' list! For sure you should change the application design (not necesarily the logic, this depends on several factors and I don't know anything about your application to say something): as Thomas said, a so great number of items should be paginated in some way or organized alphabetically increaing the number of steps the user has to do to find what he's looking for. If you can tell us what exactly your application does in this section maybe we can give you more interesting suggestions.

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Ahmed MerghaniSoftware EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for your response.

My application is simply to enable user to select service from list. In earlier analysis our thoughts was the maximum number of services in the list will not exceed 20, We realize later, some users may have more. This is odd cases. So, shall I continue the same way and just add filter Ajax based for the drop down or change the application design. Am trading of between usability and performance.
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Marco GasiFreelancerCommented:
So you have two dropdowns... Yes, then Ajax filter is the best way.
Ahmed MerghaniSoftware EngineerAuthor Commented:
Not exactly two drop down! I think of the same box of the drop down to be used as filter as I saw something like this some where but did not remember where!
So, it seems it will be in this direction and just what I am asking for if there is jQuery plugin or else can fit this purpose??
Marco GasiFreelancerCommented:
Do you mean that selecting a dropdown item the items in dropdown change? It doesn't seem a good design: if the user want change his choice has to go bavk to the previous page... Anyway, I'm sorry but I don't know a jquery plugin to do it.
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