9 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2012 5:35 PM by disabled_JackRodgers

    Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?


      Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?


      I've read that a FM database can be huge. 8 TB. OK.

      But, stipulating that there are TONS of variables that affect the answer to the following question, how big can a FM database be before it (realistically) gets bogged down (slows down)?

      100,000 rows?

      1,000,000 rows?

      I have a i7 2.8 mac with 16 GB RAM and I was just wondering if anyone had any metrics based on databases they use or maintain.

      I have a customer who has 500,000 rows in a legacy customer table i would like to bring into FM.

      Reading reviews of FM (even 12) in PCMagazine, they ususally say it's for "small company databases". Not sure what they really mean by that given FM's impressive capabilities.

      Look forward to any info here.

      Thanks in advance.

      - m

        • 1. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

          As you say, lots of variables.  Commenting only on the variables you mention, millions of records is not an issue.  I think there is a big difference between "small company databases" and "company's small databases".

          You could set up a database and repetitively import records to it until you have millions, and try it.

          • 2. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

            Right, the reason for the posting was to get others' input about practical database/table sizes.

            Since I don't yet have FM 12, this is a decision criteria.

            $500 is no small investment (would clearly want/need the debugging abilities in Advanced).

            If FM were $99, I'd have already bought it. :)



            - m

            • 3. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

              You can download the trial, and import data from existing MySQL tables, for example.

              • 4. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

                I should probably just buy it. I'm sure it will ROCK.

                I see that MySQL now has a free ODBC driver for the Mac. I'm assuming that would work fine in FM 12.

                Look forward to hearing how you do these kinds of imports including Oracle.



                • 5. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

                  What do you want the ODBC driver to do?  You can mount a MySQL Table directly in a filemaker file already, and use it as a data source.

                  • 6. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

                    I was actually thinking about doing UPDATEs and such on the remote tables directly.





                    • 7. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

                      From memory, you can 'mount' the MySQL table in the Filemaker file and read and write data to it.  My understanding of Application X making an ODBC Driver available was that it enabled other applications to read from (and maybe write to) Application X.  Its performance or utility would not be dependent upon the particular destination application.  So, on the one hand, once MySQL made an ODBC Driver available, it will work with Filemaker as it is ODBC 'savvy'.  (Well, one would like to think that it would.)  And on the other hand as Filemaker can read the MySQL (Community Edition) as a table directly then that functionality was not dependent on that driver being released.

                      Filemaker will import from Oracle, with the right Oracle driver, and I believe can write to it as well - obviously that is as much dependent upon the Oracle DB as the driver.

                      There are some limitations; from memory I think you can add fields and calculations to the 'mounted' MySQL External Data Source, and use them in relationships to other TOs, etc, but it doesn't actually create those new fields in the MySQL DB.  I think.

                      • 8. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

                        I have several tables in a Filemaker 10 database file that have exceeded a million records (One is 4 or 5 times that as it's the line items to the other's PO table.)

                        While such massive tables must be treated with respect so that you don't bog things down with summary fields totalling massive numbers of values or by performing a search with criteria in an unindexed field. There's no reason why you can't make such tables manageable.

                        • 9. Re: Practical FM Database (Table) size limits?

                          My father used to say "It depends." and that  being his only answer nearly drove me nuts. However, I can now see the wisdom behind the response.

                          Perhaps most important is the thing(s) you should NOT do with 1,000,000 records, for instance, as a developer for an inhouse database with 25 connected active users, I would not recommend doing a Replace All for the 1,000,000 records...  :) or a number of other things.

                          In other words, every database application I have used has had its areas of least response. In xBase it was trying to do an instring search in a field such as 'the' which would return theatre, stethescope, and so on. But xBase indexed files sort infinitely faster than Filemaker.

                          Hey, its only money and if after you try 12 Advanced, if you determine its not for you, you can transfer it to me...