5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2016 6:39 AM by NickLightbody

    Ability to Measure... or rather the need to measure!


      I have discovered over the last few years … I am one of those people that can’t stand dull knives ( they drive me nuts ), loves to park backwards, and loves to measure things. A recent article in Arstechnia ( that has nothing to do with FileMaker ), caught my eye because of this statement at the begging of the article.


      "That means that when you want to think about what to do next, you need to consider how a measurement can be made more sensitive."


      Article: Interferometers that produce clearer signal by getting rid of light


      It caught my eye because many times when we say want want to improve something, then we need a way to measure it. Mark Scott wrote a great blog post not too long ago titled: Performance Optimizations Make Compelling Case for FileMaker 15 Upgrade


      And you guessed it, he needed some way to measure it. Fortunately for Mark, he doesn’t need to measure small things like Protons but unfortunately there still is no built in way to measure anything with FileMaker. And from my point of view this is a big disappointment when your a developer and need to know, among the many development decisions you are constantly making, that next decision is going to be your undoing.


      • Adding that unstored calculation to your portal
      • Using a value from a table that is 6 hops away
      • Not fully taking advantage of what Perform Script on Server can do


      Its not to say that we have common sense and I would know better to not put an unstored calculation in a portal. And with the improvements in FileMaker 15 it would not matter much anyway. But the point I am trying to make is that as a community this is a must. Especially if FileMaker takes the community seriously and wants us to build top quality solutions then a comprehensive built in way to measure things would be a huge benefit to the community.


      As developers we are constantly making decisions on how we architect solutions, and it would be great to have the insight early on that a recent decision might not perform well on a WAN or with larger record sets etc. And every year at DevCon, one speaker or another, will get up there and say that this is faster or better and here is how they tested it.


      I submitted this in the product idea section a while back: Comprehensive Solution Profiling


      Thanks for reading and please vote on this if you think its important.



        • 1. Re: Ability to Measure... or rather the need to measure!

          NickLightbody  has a very interesting new performance testing tool called DS benchmark. Please have a look at it. He will be speaking this year at Devcon.

          • 2. Re: Ability to Measure... or rather the need to measure!

            Look forward to hearing more about this at DevCon... but my point is that we need something comprehensive. Internally Steve did something really amazing, I'll see if we ever published it.


            In Safari under the menu Develop, choose Web Inspector - then you'll see what I mean.


            I opened it while looking at this page...

            Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 3.41.16 AM.png


            Imagine you could have a view like this when you are trying to troubleshoot just why your layout is rendering so slowly. sort all objects by load time and presto you have located the culprit. And not only layouts by value lists and relationships, and field calculations, and scripts... and on the topic of scripts.


            Why is it that only scripts that run on server errors logged for them. Now that we have had PSoS that is great as more scripts are running on server. But I have iOS users and desktop users and when they run those scripts I'll never know what errors those users are encountering.


            So yes we can roll our own for some areas of the solution. But we need built in tools - comprehensive ones.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Ability to Measure... or rather the need to measure!

              Hi Vince

              While I could make good use of such a profiling tool, I'll opt for a comprehensive update mechanism first.


              • 4. Re: Ability to Measure... or rather the need to measure!


                That's true when we have asingle threaded model for drawing layouts, but the new world will become increasingly multithreaded.

                That's not an arguement for not fixing slow things, but rather that optimising it becomes a litttle more tricky as we no longer have to contorl of when things are darawn or caluculated.

                • 5. Re: Ability to Measure... or rather the need to measure!

                  dsBenchmark is a free, open source tool, for the community which we released June 2015 at dotfmp Berlin.


                  It has now been translated into Chinese, Spanish and French.


                  It creates an increasing load of virtual clients on FMServer in order to test a deployment's capacity and can also be used as a remotely accessible tool displaying a performance log.


                  dsBenchmark showcases the single core ultra narrow data table technique I have developed, using virtual fields together with several other useful aspects of building fast Apps for mobile.


                  Here is my slot at DevCon - which will build on the existing material written by Mark Richman SkeletonKey published in the FMI Design: Performance Guide.

                  THU 21

                  9:00 am
                  10:15 am
                  Building a High-Performance Mobile Custom App
                  Belmont 3/7

                  Cheers, Nick