1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 16, 2009 7:39 AM by TSGal

    Slow performance

    AnnieD

      Title

      Slow performance

      Post

      I began using Filemaker 9 in October when I bought a MAC (2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GB 800 MHz DDr2 SDRAM - bought w/1 Gig of Ram and immediately needed to add a 2nd - because of a problem loading MS Excel).  Yesterday, I just upgraded to Filemaker 10. 

      I am using Filemaker to write a book and hold the supporting data.  It is one table (I cannot wrap my my mind around relational DB) -- I have about 400 fields, 98,000 odd records and it is about 90 mb on the HD.   About a third of the records hold information in only about a dozen fields.

       

      PROBLEM:  In both Filemakers, I have encountered times when I have had to wait (a second or more) to enter data into a field, and sorts are slow (slower than using MS Access on a 4 year old Dell machine).  When I am waiting to enter data, the computer simply won't let me do anything -- no swirling disks or other sign that the computer is doing anything.

      I tried to add a lot of special characters to abbreviate my notes (because Filemaker won't allow me to sort more than 100 characters in a record) but that just made performance worse.

      As of now, I have no calculation fields in the DB -- but I am afraid of what will happen as I need to add them in time.

      I saw a note in the docs for the Filemaker 10 that changing the cache might improve performance for large files.  I did that -- now 16 rather than 8 -- but still no help.

      Waiting to enter data is not a problem every once in a while, but I need to constantly sort and resort and change record entries.  These delays are slowing me down a lot.

      I am obviously thinking about upgrading to 4 gigs of ram (the physical limit of this machine).  Are there other options (other than changing the basic structure of the DB - which at this point is non-negotiable)?  Are there Filemaker features I can turn off so as to save RAM? Any thoughts?

      Thanks.

       

        • 1. Re: Slow performance
          TSGal

          pfh:

           

          Thank you for your post.

           

          400 fields and 98,000 records isn't out of the ordinary, but it is the contents of the fields that could be the culprit.  I'm bringing this up because you said FileMaker won't allow you to sort more than 100 characters.  It sounds like you have some fields with many characters.

           

          If you ever perform a Find on a field, that field needs to be indexed.  If a field has many words, then each word needs to be added to the index.  As the file grows, so does the index, so once a record is committed/saved, all the indices need to be updated.  This is what may causing the slowdown.

           

          Calculation fields calculate instantaneously.  However, if you add one now with 98,000 records, it will take some time to initially calculate every record in the file, so be prepared for this initial wait.  Again, once the calculation is complete, the results are instantaneous.

           

          When sorting, if the key is 100 characters, then it will take some time to sort 98,000 records.  The less characters in a sort, the faster it will process.

           

          I hope this helps.

           

          TSGal

          FileMaker, Inc.