1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2016 5:18 AM by MartinBridges

    File not closing properly on Server

    MartinBridges

      I'm having major issues with one database. Every now and then it will freeze - say, once every few months, but once it was only a week apart. The FM file is quite modest in size. 18 tables in total of which there are 4 main ones. Client, (23 fields, 28 records), contract (25 fields, 153records), property (92 fields, 20,253) and job (98 fields, 34,752). It has a number of stored docs so is 3.4GB.

       

      So it would freeze, and the user would have to force quit (it would say that FM was not responding) but then could go back in again. Any other users at the time could continue to use the database ok until they tried to go through to any layout based upon the job table, and then their machine would freeze too. Interestingly one could edit job records via a portal in the property layout, but if you created a new job record via the portal you'd get the spinning ball again.

       

      Interestingly the database activity suggested that individual users hadn't logged off as there were multiple entries of them being logged in. So I would close the database in the Server Control Panel. But it wouldn't let me open it again. The hosting company had to reboot the whole server for it to work again. I tested every route on to any layout based on the job table, I've run recover a few times and never found anything untoward.

       

      So last weekend (because it was on a shared server FMS13) we moved it to a dedicated FMS14 server, so if it happened again I could reboot the server withing minutes and... it was fine over the weekend and all day yesterday and today it freezes every 20 minutes!

       

      The hosting company says it has experienced once or twice in 16 years, files being closed on the server that can't be reopened because FMS thinks the file is already opened. It has no idea what the developer did to rectify it. The hosting company also can't see any logic between a file freezing and the server issues.

       

      I'm now going to completely rebuild the jobs table. Any other suggestions?

        • 1. Re: File not closing properly on Server
          mikebeargie

          Have you tried it on another server? It could be the company's shared server choking on it, and it wouldn't hurt to rule that out since it's not really under your control.

           

          Also, I'd suggest moving the container field to external storage if possible, there's no sense storing documents inside of your file if it accounts for almost all of your file size.

          • 2. Re: File not closing properly on Server
            MartinBridges

            Evening Mike. Thanks for your thoughts

             

            We moved it to a new empty dedicated server over the weekend. Before the move, we had a freeze every few months, after the move,  it's run for a couple of days and then froze 6 times today.

             

            This evening before completely rebuilding the jobs table, layouts, scripts etc I thought I'd go through everything. So far I've gone on every layout based upon the jobs table (over 50!) and edited records, searched etc. No issues.

             

            I'm now trying every script to do with the jobs table. I've ran a couple of dozen so far and all working ok.

            I take your point about the container fields but they are all in the property table and we don't have problems with that so far.

             

            regards

            Martin

            • 3. Re: File not closing properly on Server
              wimdecorte

              If you do not have it turned on: turn on stats logging on FMS.  That will give you good info.

              If you did have it turned on, review the "freezing" around the time it happens in that log and the FMS event log.  That could yield some valuable clues.

              Also check to see if the FMS has DMP files in its log folder that correspond to the timings of the freezing.

              • 4. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                MartinBridges

                Thanks for your thoughts.

                I've passed all this to the hosting company. They've only experienced this closing/opening issue a couple of times before. They've been doing it for 16 years now so know far more than me.

                • 5. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                  Mike_Mitchell

                  This sounds suspiciously like the issues we had a few months back. It was traced back to networking. More specifically, a Windows patch to a DNS server was interrupting communication and FileMaker was simply dead in the water. Basically identical symptoms - database would freeze, three-finger fix was required, and client sessions remained open on the server and couldn't be disconnected. Any possibility that you have internal network / DNS issues?

                  • 6. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                    wimdecorte

                    Hi Mike,

                     

                    What was the fix for that?  Undo the patch?  Changes to the DNS settings?

                     

                    Best regards,

                    Wim

                    • 7. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                      MartinBridges

                      Evening Mike

                       

                      You're getting me excited! Tell me more.

                       

                      I've passed on your reply to the hosting company to see if it makes sense to them. It's not something I understand.

                       

                      There's normally 6-12 people on this database at any one time. And it crashed 6 times today. I've been the only person on it for the last 4-5 hours, going through over 70 layouts (in fact I had them open all at once!) and tested a similar number of scripts. Creating editing and deleting records with no issues.

                       

                      So you've had intermittent freezes for no obvious reasons.

                      That when the control panel was looked at showed clients with multiple logins?

                      Closing the file in the server control panel (in hindsight) didn't shut it properly,

                      which meant that server couldn't open it because it thought it was already open.

                      Which required a server reboot?

                       

                      If you're saying yes to that lot. Where was the issue? The client's internal network? Their router? Or the hosted server?

                       

                      regards

                      Martin

                      • 8. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                        Mike_Mitchell

                        Hi, Wim. Honestly, I'm not 100% certain. We have a separate group who manage our servers for us, and, at the time, they were busier than a one-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (as you might imagine). Didn't want to stick my nose in where it wasn't useful.

                         

                        I believe, IIRC, they backed the patch out to restore service. I don't know what the final resolution was. I can find out if you like.

                         

                        Mike

                        • 9. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                          Mike_Mitchell

                          Hello, Martin.

                           

                          MartinBridges wrote:

                           

                          So you've had intermittent freezes for no obvious reasons.

                          That when the control panel was looked at showed clients with multiple logins?

                          Closing the file in the server control panel (in hindsight) didn't shut it properly,

                          which meant that server couldn't open it because it thought it was already open.

                          Which required a server reboot?

                           

                          If you're saying yes to that lot. Where was the issue? The client's internal network? Their router? Or the hosted server?

                           

                           

                          Basically, yes to the lot, except the freezes weren't so "intermittent". We had periods when every database on the server would lock up, and when we finally cleared it, there were over 250 hung sessions.

                           

                          In this case, "the client" is us - a large government site. The problem was with one of the DNS servers. It reacted very badly to a Windows patch and basically quit working. (So, really, it was "none of the above.") I don't know all the details, but the upshot was the clients were unable to connect to the server and they just locked down.

                           

                          I have another system out in the commercial world for my side gig where the client network is a plumber's nightmare of WiFi, hard cable, and chewing gum. They have had similar issues. Clients just lock up and have to be forced to quit.

                           

                          So when I hear about issues like this, the back of my brain says, "Communication issues".

                          • 10. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                            MartinBridges

                            Thanks Mike.

                             

                            It sounds like all your databases on the server froze. We have just this one database amongst many on the same server. The only thing that's unique about this one is their own internal network (there's about 6-10 people on it). They then access their database in the cloud. And we moved that server over the weekend to try and solve this intermittent issue and after a couple of days working fine became infinitely worse.

                             

                            I've been accessing their database ok from my office via my mac, pc and webdirect ok for the last few hours.

                            I'll be at their office first thing this morning to see if they are still having issues there.

                            • 11. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                              MartinBridges

                               

                              Morning All

                               

                              I've finally found what causes it!! It's when uploading a file (drag and drop from the desktop) but only from certain machines.

                               

                              The database goes into a loop and needs a force quit. This then has a knock on effect when others go to this layout, it freezes and they too have to force quit. If new users then login they experience the same layout freeze. If you then close the file on the server, you can't reopen it as FM says the file is already open so we have to reboot the entire server.

                               

                              Interesting thing is that out of a dozen or more machines (various macs and pcs, OS and FM versions) it only happens on 2. One running FMP 14.0.1 and the other FMP 13.0.4, both on windows 7.

                               

                              So we've found the cause. Now to find the solution. I'm assuming it's something like a conflict with their version of adobe something or other. So over to the IT guys.

                               

                              • 12. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                                mikebeargie

                                14.0v4 is the current one, so the 14.0v1 is out of date.

                                 

                                Also 13.0v9 was the most recent there, so that one is way out of date.

                                 

                                Start with the easiest first?

                                • 13. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                                  MartinBridges

                                  Thanks Mike

                                   

                                  I haven't upgraded them yet as other machines are running similar versions with no issues. I'm still investigating.

                                   

                                  regards

                                  Martin

                                  • 14. Re: File not closing properly on Server
                                    mikebeargie

                                    FYI, most filemaker updates are to fix issues that "only happen on some machines".

                                     

                                    Based on the potential millions of combinations of windows hardware and software, it's not surprising in the least that some computers would be affected while others not. I've seen windows machines cloned from the same disk image be different within the first round of updates.

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