11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 27, 2017 9:25 AM by gofmp15

    Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?

    Lawrencex

      Dear FileMaker Pros,

       

      Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?  Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
          macwombat

          Hi Lawrence.  Depends on what you are wanting to do?  Perhaps you could describe what you are hoping to achieve?  There are some aspects of FMP that can be multi tasking.  For instance a client copy of FMP could run a script that performs the Perform Script on Server (PSoS) with the "Wait for Completion" option unselected.  While the server performs the script, the client copy of FMP can be going on with another task.  Multiple users can be working at the same time, and as a work around, a single user could be logged into a database from 2 different instances of FM - eg. one on desktop and one on iOS performing different tasks at the same time.

          But from the one client you cannot for instance be running a script in the background (unless it is PSoS) while entering data in the foreground.

          Chris

          • 2. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
            CarlSchwarz

            I think that the best form of multitasking is "perform script on server".  Up to 500 of these scripts can be running at once on one server and a single client can fire all of these off and also do other things while the server is processing.

             

            The web viewer can also be pushed into multitasking, so that the user can do some data entry while the web viewer is also processing html.  But that is a difficult way to multitask!  It's a kludge really, and restricted in it's abilities.

             

            Another "client" on the server can be set up to do certain operations when triggered, but IMO that's only a considerable option when doing something that the server can't do such as make PDF documents.

            • 3. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
              CarstenLevin

              Yes ... technically FileMaker Pro is indeed multitasking ... or rather Multi Threaded.

              But in many cases you want a procedure, let's say a script, to finish and give you the new state and context before you can do the next task. And it is as people have already mentioned: Send tasks to the server (perform scripts on server) to have them performed in parallel.

              • 4. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                coherentkris

                I'm with everyone else.. explain "multi tasking". Your question is too vague. Precise questions get accurate answers.

                • 5. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                  Markus Schneider

                  depends..

                  - several users can use a FileMaker host and perform individual actions, at the same time

                  - one user on one instance (one FM version on one hardware/vm) can not perform several actions at the same time

                  -- using 'perform script on server' can be used for that, as already mentioned

                  • 6. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?

                    Do you mean multi-tasking or multi-threading?

                     

                    Multi-tasking is generally considered a feature of the Operating System where as Multi-threading is the ability of a program to run multiple instances of a given "function" either across processors or via processor time-sharing using some algorithm (say, like a Web Server).

                     

                    So, it sounds like you mean multi-threading. I know of no way to manage separate threads on a local copy of FMPA. At least explicitly. The suggestions for FMS may be what you need.

                     

                    Can you please clarify your need or use-case?

                     

                    - m

                    • 7. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                      gofmp15

                      There are arguments about what is multi-tasking, multi-threaded that have been going on for decades.

                       

                      So, let's define a scenario that would be of benefit.

                       

                      Lets start a script that opens a new window and begins updating our customers invoices for the eom statements.

                      While that is running on our computer let's start another script that lets me scan the inventory and see what is needed for an order I am placing. I will have to update the sales, etc.

                      Oh, while I am working on that the phone rings and I have to open a clients records.

                      Now i have three live, working scripts.

                       

                      Wait, I can't have three running scripts in FIleMaker. Only one can be running while all others are paused.

                       

                      I can have those scripts running simultaneously in 4D so that the statements are updated in the background while I place my order, etc.

                       

                      Am I describing multi-threading, multi-tasking, simultaneous script running? The idea is that I could have 3 or 6 or 12 different scripts running and doing stuff. I could fake this with one master script that tells one script to start and run for 2 seconds and then pause and pass trigger script 2 to do that and trigger script 3...

                       

                      But it would be simpler and more powerful if I could have a dashboard with 30 buttons on it and tap 10 of them and their scripts would run simultaneously and I could view their progress in 10 unique windows.

                       

                      Naturally each concurrent script would affect the speed of the others and a limit as to how many simultaneous scripts could be run.

                       

                      The most obvious benefit would be that the client would now be freed from having to just sit there and wait to do something else.

                       

                      Perform Multiple Simultaneous Scripts (ScriptA;ScriptB;ScriptC;ScriptD)

                      • 8. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                        wimdecorte

                        gofmp15 wrote:

                         

                         

                        Wait, I can't have three running scripts in FIleMaker. Only one can be running while all others are paused.

                         

                         

                         

                        That's not strictly true.  All scripts / steps are executed in idle time.  You can interrupt an existing script by running another script quite easily if you try enough times.

                         

                        I've demoed this at a devcon about 10-12 years ago in a security session.

                         

                        And more recently with the PSoS set to 'not wait' you can execute multiple things in parallel and they would each update your UI through the normal FM notification scheme if it was relevant to do so.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                          CarlSchwarz

                          wimdecorte wrote:

                           

                           

                          That's not strictly true. All scripts / steps are executed in idle time. You can interrupt an existing script by running another script quite easily if you try enough times.

                           

                          I've demoed this at a devcon about 10-12 years ago in a security session.

                           

                          Does that include scripts with "allow user abort" set to off?  I am expecting that a client side script with "allow user abort" set to off wouldn't let a user run something else in the middle.

                           

                          I think it's not a big deal breaker if it is possible due to the way I script anyway (e.g. generally pass long running scripts off to the server or call them in a way the user is less likely to interrupt them, and in a multi-user environment scripts are written to maintain their own integrity anyway) but still it would be nice to know, perhaps I am assuming too much in some cases.

                           

                          Thanks Wim

                          • 10. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                            gofmp15

                            Thank you for verifying what I said. Pausing/Interupting a script is an option in a button but stopping a script from running to run another is not multi-threading/tasking/simultaenous which is my point. You cannot run multiple scripts in multiple windows at the same time. I could do that in 4D almost 20 years ago. FileMaker only runs one script at a time no matter how many windows are open.

                             

                            PSOS is not multi-tasking or multi-threading any more than my running a script on my iPhone using the same file as is running a script on my laptop from a server.

                             

                            Example: in 4D those many years ago, I could perform a script that opened a new window and started a counter/loop and watch the numbers advance. I could perform the script again and again eventually opening 24 windows and watching each proceed with their loop. In FileMaker performing the script stops other windows scripts from running.

                             

                            This was on a single core Mac and maybe a 68xxx series cpu. Really slow compared to today by a factor of 1000 or more.

                            • 11. Re: Is FileMaker Pro 14 capable of multi-tasking?
                              gofmp15

                              You can test this question with a running script and a second layout with a button starting another script and the buttons option set to halt/pause other scripts.

                               

                              Have one window start the script, select the other window and click the button.

                               

                              Here's my test:

                               

                              Global Number field A

                              Global Number field B

                               

                              Two scripts

                              Script A loops and sets Field A to Field A + 1

                              Script B loops and sets field B to Field B + 1

                               

                              One Button Bar

                              Button A Performs Script A

                              Button B Performs Script B

                              Button C Halts

                               

                              Open several New windows of layout.

                               

                              Click A and it begins updating field

                              Click B and update to A stops and B begins

                               

                              Click in another window and you cannot click on buttons while loop runs.

                               

                              The global field will update in all open windows of the layout but you cannot perform Multi-Tasking or whatever it is caused.

                               

                              The only way to interupt the script is from the window in which the script is running. Buttons don't work in other windows.

                               

                              I cannot have another file open and click on a button in its window. FileMaker is locked into the loop and is single tasking.