6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2016 6:12 AM by Stu412

    Printing reports performance


      Hi there


      I've noticed some significant performance differences using two methods to print the same report.  My report is a sub summary report, 250 rows of data, plenty of sorting, hiding fields under certain conditions and a relationship to a second table which provides row names.  The report is 7 pages long in total with forced page breaks after certain filters.


      When I perform a script to print this report it takes around 6 minutes (either to paper or CutePDF).  The script is simple:


      Print [Restore:  ServerName\PrinterName] with options of Pages from 1 to 1. 


      The current testing I'm doing requires me changing it to Print All Pages and changing the printer to CutePDF.  It then sits for 6 minutes before rendering a PDF.  Same when going to paper.


      I have just tried the following directly from the report onscreen:


      Preview>>>Save as PDF (from the Filemaker toolbar)


      Dialog shows for Saving PDF file... and in about 90 seconds it's on screen (in Adobe Reader)


      There could be issues between CutePDF and Adobe here but I do wonder if anyone else has seen massive improvements when printing via the preview pane?


      I'm running this on a Windows network, FM has Server 13 on its on VM.  



        • 1. Re: Printing reports performance

          Why use CutePDF at all? Why not just use "save as PDF". I'm curious as to your reasons.

          • 2. Re: Printing reports performance

            From before FM (and others) offered the option to save as PDF, I always installed a PDF writer (Printer) on every machine.  (Though I don't use CutePDF.)

            The whole shebang is so simple, seamless, flawless, and easily understood by the users, that I just still keep on doing it.  Yes, we have scripts that drive out natively to a PDF, but the flexible option to print (in the language and methods the user is familiar with) are so attractive that we just keep on using them.  Kinda in the mould of 'If it ain't broke, etc'.


            That's my rationale, anyway.

            • 3. Re: Printing reports performance

              Have you tried, for purposes of comparison, other PDF "printers"?

              Have you tried comparing save as PDF to printing using CutePDF?


              The results might help narrow down the causes to being FileMaker or PDF Utility centered.

              • 4. Re: Printing reports performance

                Is the printer connection using WiFi perhaps? I ask this because I had an issue recently with a new printer which has WiFi capability, but is also connected via ethernet. On one print job (not from FM) it ran horribly slowly (something like a page every 2 or 3 minutes instead of 20 pages per minute) and the problem turned out to be that it had defaulted to WiFi.

                • 5. Re: Printing reports performance

                  How much time is spent calculating the report?


                  In my experience all the time in generating a report is spent during the sort process while the summary fields are calculated.


                  See if you can differentiate the time taken to sort and calculate, from the time taken to render the page for printing.

                  • 6. Re: Printing reports performance

                    Thanks for the input everybody.


                    @Phil - The cutePDF thing is one of those 'users have it and like to use it' kind of things, a bit like AlanGodfrey has said above.  On other reports it's fine, this report it does suffer though


                    @Vaughan - Yes, the report does a heck of a lot of sorting and sub summarising, taking a time to get to the screen initially and then to print, so in that respect I expect some delays printing.  6 minutes was a killer!  It feels like it's doing it all again for each page as it spools (that's a total guess and holds no water!)


                    I've taken a further look and I've not tried this yet, but I think I can script something like:


                    Enter Preview Mode

                    Save Records as PDF [Options as required such as a $$ClientID in the filename]


                    Hopefully this will automate the steps I've discovered and result in something quicker