As those of us who use ESS know, sorting and searching data in Filemaker ESS tables can be VERY slow, especially when working with large tables.
I would like to see a few minor changes made to the core feature set that could dramatically improve this situation in a large percentage of real world usage cases.
1.) If Relationship is defined, and a sort is defined between a FM table and an ESS table, and if all of the sort fields specified reside in the ESS table, I would like Filemaker to allow the sorting to be done on the SQL Server.
2.) If a sort is performed on a ESS table where the table is the main table for the Layout, and again, all of the fields specified for the sort are IN the ESS table, I would like Filemaker to allow the sorting to be done on the SQL Server.
3.) When data is otherwise brought into Filemaker from an ESS data source with no sort order specified, I would like Filemaker to RESPECT the natural order of the SQL data as it is retrieved and loaded into Filemaker. Currently, Filemaker reorders the records on a basis that I can not document or recognize, but it definitely does not respect the sort order specified in the SQL database, at least with Oracle.
These three somewhat minor changes would make a tremendous difference in performance of Filemaker with ESS tables without requiring a significant re-engineering of the feature.
4.) Is more difficult, but if possible, as an alternative to 1,2 and 3, or perhaps in the case where mixed sorts are defined (Sorts based on both Filemaker and ESS fields), it would be great if Filemaker could build and maintain temporary indexes for the ESS records so that performance of searches and sorts through relations and mixed field sorts would be reasonable. This is much bigger change that I would love to see, but would take a major resource commitment from FMI. In this day and age with many SQL databases in use in conjunction with Filemaker, I believe it would be worth the effort, but I would be very happy to get 1,2 and 3 at least as a starting point.