7 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2009 2:44 PM by philmodjunk

    Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.



      Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

      Your post


      I'm brand new to the forums and to Filemaker. I have recently been asked to investigate a performance issue for a customer.

      They have a windows 2003 server running filemaker 9 at our facility and connect to it remotely from offices around town. They have recently reported slow performance at all sites.

      We have checked the network connections, the server itself (ram, nic, hdd, etc.), and we're left with the possibility that the filemaker server software might need to be optimized/repaired/updated/fixed.


      Are there any suggestions for investigating / resolving slow performance in filemaker 9?



        • 1. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

          If you are a TechNet member, there are some briefs on how to optimize your server.


          Another thing that you want to check it the solution architecture. Depending on how the developer has created the solution, it may run slow in a shared environment. 

          • 2. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

            Thanks for the quick reply!


            The performance issue is a recent occurrence, that would lead me to believe that the original database layout is at least somewhat sound.

            The server (and OS) itself is pretty well tweaked and we're not seeing any performance hits to ram, cpu, or networking. The server only hosts one live database and there are approximately 45 users. The end users report extreme lag (up to 60 seconds) when entering data from a remote client.

            The only windows side issue I see is heavy fragmentation on the HDD which I have attempted to address with little success as it's the FM database files themselves that are the most fragmented and they wont respond to windows or diskeeper defrag (FYI: I stopped all FM related services when defragging).

            Is there any sort of optimization or database analysis tool that I can run against the database to check for problems or execute maintenance/cleanup functions?



            • 3. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

              for defragging, try using Defraggler (free)

              or if you can pay - O&O Defrag has an option to defrag by file and does a good job. 

              • 4. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

                Dont defrag the HD; especially whent the server is going on. Hard drive fragging should be commin with FM because of its constant disk swapping.


                Try taking your files offlline after hours and saving a copy as Compact. This should help you initially.


                However, with your statement earlier stating that it can not be an architecting issue is not always true. Just because it used to go fast does not mean that after time it will not slow down. With some architectures, the more records you have the slower it can be. Take for instance unstored calcs and summary fields...


                Try the save as compact first.

                • 5. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

                  Thanks for the info. :)

                  How would I go about saving the file as compact?

                  And / Or

                  How would I go about uncovering design flaws in the database?




                  • 6. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

                    Unserve the file.

                    Then open the files locally using FMPro or Pro Advanced.

                    Under the File Menu --> Save a copy as --> Last drop down ( Compact )


                    Then use this new copy and put it back on the server to be served.



                    There are many optimization techniques out there. The easiest being indexing only the fields that need to be, such as: anything field used in a relationship join, fields that are frequently search on, IDs, fields used in values lists, etc.


                    The default field option is to have indexing off but it creates an index when needed. Therefore, each time a find is performed ( even once ever ) it will create an index. If the field is infrequently used, then really there doesnt need to be an index.

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker server slow/ Poor performance.

                      There are a number of checks on the overall health of your files that you can do. They all require you to take the files down off the server and open them with filemaker pro directly. File | Save a copy as... has a compacted copy option. That's what Mr. Vodka is suggesting.


                      You can also run a recover on your file just to see if the recover process finds any problems to fix. I don't recommend using the recovered file, just run the recover on it to see if it reports back with a clean bill of health or not.


                      You can also import all your records into a clone of the file, which rebuilds all your indexes. This option might help.


                      How would I go about uncovering design flaws in the database?

                      That's a very open ended question. You'd have put an process where you see significant slow downs under a microscope and look for processes that refer to unstored/unindexed fields. These may or may not be global fields. Sort operations that are having to sort larger and larger sets of records as the file grows could also be a factor. Look for any progress bars that popup, and so forth.