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Front end on workstations or server?

Question asked by njem on Nov 4, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 10, 2011 by njem


Front end on workstations or server?

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I'm trying to sort out the best arrangement for speed of response of my db to the user. I will have FM Server on our server. The db has a front end with all user interface, scripts, etc., and a back end with tables. The back end will be on the server. I can either have one copy of the front end on the server and all workstations run that, or I can have a copy of the front end on each workstation and the external data source looks for the backend file on the server hosted by FM server (I guess that would be an fmnet:/etc. path). This is all on local lan. There are only 8 users so it's not a big deal to update the front end file on each system when needed. The workstations and server are all somewhat older, middle power systems. MS Server 2003. It gernerally doesn't host other software, just acts as a file server.

I guess this depends on how FM does things under the hood that I don't know. When a workstation opens a front end file hosted on the server (opens it as remote fmnet:/..) I assume then the server has to do all/most of the work for that front end for each user and the workstation is acting kind of as a thin client just seeing the results? Or am I wrong in that and even in this case the workstation does a lot of work? But then maybe it happens slower because the workstation is working across the network whereas if the server does it all for everyone it all happen internally in the server?

The other situation each workstation runs its own copy of the front end and just has external data in the backend accessed as fmnet:/...

Likewise how the server is set up might make a difference. If the front end is only on the server and accessed as fmnet:/..., it could in turn have "external" data from the back end accessed as fment:/... even though the back end is also on the server, or it could have a direct path to the back end file as C:\data\backend.fp7. Or maybe that wouldn't work at all because as soon as a second user connects it would complain that C:\data\backend.fp7 is already in use?

Thanks for helping my getting up to speed on this, and please indicate if your answers are just personal experience and general practice, or if it's actually known how FM handles these various scenarios under the hood.

Thanks, Tom