8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2011 6:32 PM by PeterMitchell

    Delay in opening a file



      Delay in opening a file


      FileMaker Pro



      Operating system version


      Description of the issue

      I have updated my operation system to Lion and my old Filemaker v6 wouldn't work anymore. So I have downloaded the current version on trial. I have two files linked to each other. A database of clients and a database of job sheets with details of every project since 1994. The job sheets make 5.4mb.

      The problem I have is that the job sheets file now takes over a minute to open, it used to take a second or two. (The clients file takes seconds).

      What do I need to do to speed this up? I'm hesitating to buy the upgrade.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      'Open' or click file from within or from outside Filemaker

      Expected result

      File would open in seconds

      Actual result

      Takes a few second over a minute to open

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      No error message

      Configuration information

      I've tried re-booting etc.


      Sit and wait

        • 1. Re: Delay in opening a file

          How FileMaker manages external file references has changed a lot from version 6 to version 11 and given 6's limiation of one table to a file, you likely have many files with many such references in them.

          Use FileMaker Pro to open Manage | Database and examine these references. You may find that you have a lot of them and each reference may list multiple "paths" to the same file. What may be delaying the file open falls into one of two categories:

          You may have invalid file paths stacked on top of valid paths inside the same reference. FileMaker starts with the first list and works through them all until it either gets the file open or reaches the last path, fails and displays the "file is not found" dialog to the user. References to invalid IP addresses can really increase the time FileMaker requires in getting the files open. Deleting these will fix this issue.

          You may have references still supported by FileMaker that now really slow down the open. Look for references that include asterisks as these are a classic cause of this delay.

          Here's the simplest fix: If you can keep all your files in one folder, each such reference can be simplified to just: file: filename (the relative path reference) and this is the quickest most stable way to link files in your system.

          • 2. Re: Delay in opening a file

            Thanks for this Phil. I think I can follow what you are saying.

            My form is rally a glorified spread sheet for calculating hours, rates and mark-ups. It has no outside links and I cannot see an asterisk anywhere. The only references are between the problem file (the JobSheet) and the name and address file and they are both sitting in the same folder.. There are a lot of calculations on the Job Sheet.

            I think what you are telling me is that FileMaker Pro now works differently to previous versions and that it has to overcome a lot of history before it can open the file. The original file was v3. 

            It sounds as if there is nothing I can do about it.

            • 3. Re: Delay in opening a file

              If your database consists of only one file then ignore my last post as it doesn't apply to your file.

              "My form is rally a glorified spread sheet for calculating hours, rates and mark-ups."

              Did your original file make use of the Today function?

              That function no longer exists. If I remember correctly, FileMaker adds a script that runs when the file is opened using Get ( CurrentDate ) to produce the same functionality as this now missing function when the file is converted. The script cycles through all the recods in your table, so it could produce a noticeable delay when you first open your file.

              Whether or not that is the exact issue, examining any script that runs when your file opens is the next possible cause of your delay to check out. Select File Options and see if a script is specified to run when the file opens. Note the name of the script and go to manage | Scripts to find and open it. Look it over for any changes that might be made to speed up the process.

              • 4. Re: Delay in opening a file

                In the File Options dialogue box the Perform Script box is unchecked.

                • 5. Re: Delay in opening a file

                  Take a look at the layout that is current when the file opens. Could it be taking a long time to update? Perhaps a summary field needs to evaluate a large number of records before the screen fully refreshes? (You should see a progress bar if it's something like this, however.)

                  If you think this is a factor, you can try selecting different layout before you close the file and see if you get any changes in how long it takes the file to open.

                  Have you added any script triggers to this layout?

                  • 6. Re: Delay in opening a file


                    I haven't seen a progress bar and I don't know what a script trigger is, but you have given me a clue.

                    The client list file opens instantly, the job sheet file is the one that takes the time. The Job sheet file references the client list file, which I don't always need to open. That is when it takes a long while. If I open the client list file first the job sheet file opens instantly. Eureka!

                    Now, is there a way that I can link these two files so that I don't need to open the client file first?

                    • 7. Re: Delay in opening a file

                      One option is to merge the two files into a single solution. That's a lot of work, so look before you leap, but it is an option to consider.

                      Go back to my original post on External Data Sources. Open the Job Sheet File and select Manage | External Data Sources. I'm pretty sure you have a problematic external data source reference to the client file in your Job Sheet file. If you clean that issue up, it shouldn't matter which file you open first.

                      And you may find that you have multiple data source references that all refer to the client file. Make sure that you examine each and every such entry for possible problems.

                      • 8. Re: Delay in opening a file

                        Yes you were right and now I understand why. The path to the client list was wrong, now I have renewed that and deleted the old path we seem to be OK. I had an error message at one stage, but that hasn't repeated. I know where to look now.

                        Thank you so much for you help and persistence.

                        Peter Mitchell