4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2014 12:59 PM by erawson

    "Coffee Cupped" everytime the DB opens another DB file

    philmodjunk

      Title

      "Coffee Cupped" everytime the DB opens another DB file

      Your post

      While I've worked with many versions of FileMaker over several decades, the new job has me working with FileMaker in a new context and I'm not sure if I'm looking at "Expected but undesirable behavior" or if there is something that can be done to improve the situation.

      System description:
      Hosted by FMS 13 (was hosted by FMS 12 and saw same issue).
      On Windows Server using Active Directory to authenticate users
      Hosted over LAN to local office, over WAN via Citrix/Terminal Server to many others and via Remote Desktop to developers like me. Issue is aparent for all 3 methods of access.
      There are a very large number of files (100+), most split into GUI and Data files for each module.

      Problem:
      Each time an external data source reference triggers the opening of another file, we see a coffee cup and have to wait 10 or more seconds before the file opens. (I've watched this in the debugger and in other contexts to confirm that it's the act of opening the file, not any script execution that is producing this delay). This performance hit is eroding user confidence in FileMaker as a viable data base application.

      A possible related issue is that the Server's log is logging "Failed to authenticate" errors (not the exact wording) each time a file is opened. That may be expected for AD controlled access or it may be a clue as to why there is such a delay. (I've checked and nearly all external data source entries are simple relative path references in the format:  file:filename)

      When using FMS 10 over a LAN with a less than 10 file set of files and no AD, no terminal server hosting, the same type of "file open via External Data Source reference" opened the other file near instantly.

      So is this expected behavior or should I be telling my fellow IT team members that something isn't set up correctly?

        • 1. Re: "Coffee Cupped" everytime the DB opens another DB file
          erawson

          The domain controller is probably the bottleneck, every time a new file is opened it will request AD authentication, and with a lot of files and a lot of users or a complicated AD structure I can see the domain controller being easily bogged down.

          The "Failed to authenticate" errors sound like maybe the externally authenticated filemaker accounts are above the native filemaker accounts in the authentication order and the AD auth is failing, but the pass-through is hitting a filemaker account and logging them in to that. If that's the case, changing the order of the accounts in the Manage -> Security so that the native filemaker accounts are above the externally authenticated accounts would increase performance. Keep in mind that changing the order could potentially cause users to be logged in with a different privilege set under certain circumstances (user belongs to multiple AD groups etc). Also, it would take quite a while to re-order the accounts in 100+ files.

          • 2. Re: "Coffee Cupped" everytime the DB opens another DB file
            philmodjunk

            Thanks, that raises several interesting possibilities. I've already figured that a log of these files, as they are never opened directly by the user, don't need to be externally authenticated at all as the FileMaker credentials from the file that referenced it are all that are needed to open the file.

            As far as changing the account order in Manage | Security, that seems problematic and for more reasons than just the sheer number of files. As I understand it, each  AD group maps to a specific account in manage security and thus all members of the same group get the same privilege set. I'm not sure that there are any accounts that don't have a corresponding AD group.

            • 3. Re: "Coffee Cupped" everytime the DB opens another DB file
              philmodjunk

              That is definitely it. I moved my FMP account to the head of the authentication order for the "Menu" file and the basic set that opens with it and the coffee cups (and delays) all disappeared.

              Thank You

              Sigh, now to work through a truck load of files making a change that cannot be automated. sad

              Oh yeah, and now to use an AD account to open the system to see whether there are any delays happening there when files open...

              • 4. Re: "Coffee Cupped" everytime the DB opens another DB file
                erawson

                There is a program called FM Robot that might help, I've never used it myself but it exists to try to automate things like this.

                Keep in mind that a user account can be assigned to multiple groups in active directory, so the order of your accounts (at least the externally authenticated ones) does matter. For example if a user is assigned to both the Admin and Data Entry AD groups, if the Data Entry account is above the Admin account in Filemaker it will assign that person the Data Entry account's privilege set.

                I would recommend trying to put the native filemaker accounts at the top, then externally authenticated accounts below ordered by descending level of access.