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    DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10

    dennisstrain

      I've inherited a Filemaker Pro Advanced 10 database.  I'm not familiar - yet - with Filemaker but am reading everything I can get my hands on.

       

      The Filemaker app tends to crash once or twice each day.  I suspect there has been no database maintenance lately, possibly ever.

       

      Two questions:

       

      #1  What troubleshooting options are available to me to find why the app crashes?

       

      #2  How can I do regular database maintenance in this version of Filemaker?  It isn't obvious to me how this is done.

       

      DennisStrain

        • 1. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
          blackcat795

          Is the Server Running on Windows or Mac?

          Do you get any error messages as it crashes?

           

          Blackcat

          • 2. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
            blackcat795

            Usually the server I had on V10 was pretty bullet proof only crashed once in 2 years

             

            If on a mac, you may want to try moving half of your fonts out of the font folder, then re try, it still happens replace the ones you moved and mover the remainder.

            it only takes one corrupt mac font and you can get all sorts of issues

             

            On Windows check you only have the windows server running, memory leaks due to other recourses can cause issues.

            Check your available Ram and disk space. also check is the HD is highly fragmented.

             

            this is basic start point...

             

            make a backup of your files off the computer before you go further just in case you need to re format at a later date.

             

            Blackcat

            • 3. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
              coherentkris

              regular maint steps?

              There are none except backups and thats not really a maintenance step.

               

              All the tools in FM for maint (recover/save as compact) are geared toward fixing things when errors crop up (crashing all the time).

               

              There are many possible causes of crashing from being deployed on an incompatible OS to FM file corruption to mismatched plugins.


              We need more info to help diagnose your specific crash phenomenon.

               

              K

              • 4. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                coherentkris

                i would not reccomend running disk defrag on a drive where there is an open fmp file.

                when did the OP mention running on server?

                seems like your jumping to conclusions

                • 6. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                  philmodjunk

                  If a crash is predictable. If it crashes every time that you do a particular action, enable the script debugger in FileMaker 10 and then perform that action to see if you see any clues in the debugger as to why you are getting a crash.

                   

                  When it comes to a file that has crashed, you should keep in mind the following conundrum:

                   

                  Crashes can damage files. Damaged files can crash Filemaker. Which caused which (if you have a damaged file), is something that you may not ever be able to determine. (and don't forget that FileMaker can crash for reasons that don't involve a damaged file also.)

                   

                  Thus, you need to check the file for damage by running a recover on it. If you are hosting the file from Server, this still may be the case, but crashes on a client are much less likely to damage the file hosted on the server.

                   

                  Basic facts about recover

                   

                  Most of the time, recover fully and completely fixes any problems it detects, producing a file that is safe to use.

                  However, the key phrase here is "most of the time".

                   

                  Recover is not able to detect every problem in your file.

                  Recover is not able to repair every single problem detected to produce a fully usable file every time.

                  Recover can "repair" a file in a way that leaves it damaged or that changes its design in an unexpected way.

                   

                  Thus, the "best practice" recommendation is that: When you find that your file is damaged, get the most recent back up file that does not report as damaged when you recover it, save a clone of it (unless it's a clone backup to begin with), and import all data from your most recent, recovered copy of the file to produce a file that is "safe to use" going forward.

                   

                  The catch to this issue is that it assumes that you have such an "undamaged copy" with which to work. Hidden, unrepaired damage to your file may be found in all of your back ups or in so many of them that the very design of the file is different. In such cases, using the recovered copy may turn out to be your only practical option if the recover process does not advise against using the recovered copy.

                  • 7. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                    wimdecorte

                    dennisstrain wrote:

                     

                    The Filemaker app tends to crash once or twice each day.

                     

                    What OS?

                     

                    Describe the crash, what dialogs / error messages are shown?  What do the OS event logs say?

                    Is the solution hosted on FMS and clients accessing through FMP?

                    • 8. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                      dennisstrain

                      Thanks for all the replies.  I wasn't expecting so many so quickly: )  Below are some details received from the main operator.  I will attach the pics for further details.

                       

                      Filemaker Pro Advanced is installed on a Windows 7 Pro computer, which is where the main operator works, though two other workstations occasionally also access the app over the local network; not often, though.

                       

                      This is what the crashes look like. I will open a file, in this case I was attempting to record a payment. The box appears. When I exit it, the box will keep reappearing. Within seconds I race to exit the other windows so the program can close. (That mini box is very persistent!)

                       

                      crash1.png see

                       

                      Once I exit the program, this appears. If I can exit it in time. I let it load so the program closes smoothly.

                       

                      crash2.png

                       

                      This third image, is when I restart the program. I let it load and it lets me login again.

                       

                      crash4.png

                       

                      It has crashed twice thus far today, giving me the conclusion that Watermain, much like certain people struggle with simple multitasking. While I try to keep the processing to a minimum, like in any situation, there are everyday transactions like walk-in customers during another file being open... that Watermain just does not want to manage these days.

                       

                      What I am saying is that while the crashes seem random, they are most common when two files are open, or just one too many windows are open in the program... which isn't exactly avoidable.

                      • 9. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                        philmodjunk

                        OK, I have long supported a FileMaker 10 solution. I hope to convince them to upgrade soon, but I've seen a problem where your error message here rings a bell. I once spent a great deal of time trying to convince FileMaker inc. that version 10 had a problem managing windows on a windows system. I was never quite successful, but remain convinced that there is an issue there.

                         

                        The symptoms:

                        Over time, FileMaker becomes less and less able to manage windows and dialogs. early symptoms are that a FileMaker window or dialog will fail to open unless you close some windows or even some web browser tabs on a web browser. The problem gets worse over time with Filemaker failing to open windows correctly with fewer and fewer other windows open. Eventually, the system starts crashing when you do something that opens a window in FileMaker.

                         

                        The solution that worked for me was to uninstall FileMaker and then re-install it. That seem to "reset the clock" and FileMaker could be used for an extended period of time before the problem re-occurs. Then once again, we'd re-install to return things to normal. Newer versions of FileMaker do not seem to have this issue.

                         

                        This is worth a try. Your mileage may vary...

                        • 10. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                          dennisstrain

                          philmodjunk,

                           

                          I may take your advise and reinstall FileMaker on that computer.  The client plans to upgrade to the newest version in the next one or two months.  It would be great if your suggested solution "fixed" the issue until then.

                           

                          Thanks: )

                           

                          DennisStain

                          • 11. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                            philmodjunk

                            BTW, It was the 'unsupported operation' error that looked all too familiar here...

                            • 12. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                              wimdecorte

                              dennisstrain wrote:

                               

                              Filemaker Pro Advanced is installed on a Windows 7 Pro computer, which is where the main operator works, though two other workstations occasionally also access the app over the local network; not often, though.

                               

                              How do those workstations access the file?  Through "open remote" or is the file physically located on a network share where all 3 computers can find it?

                               

                              If the latter then that is a bad deployment.  OS-level file sharing should not be used at all, FM has a built-in sharing mechanism.

                               

                              As philmodjunk mentioned in his post: the fact that the file comes up as 'improperly closed' and does a consistency check is bad news.  Do that enough times and it will damage the file at some point.  And a damaged file will crash... so it becomes a vicous circle.

                               

                              The file should be put in a place where it is hosted through FMP (FMS is better) and everyone else - including the main operator) should use 'open remote' in their copy of FMP to access the file from that host.  The FM file itself should be on the host machine, not on the network and it should be in a folder that is not shared to the network.

                              • 13. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                                davidanders

                                Offered as information, not as solutions.

                                 

                                FileMaker Pro 15 Help

                                Maintaining and recovering FileMaker Pro databases

                                Power failures, hardware problems, and other factors can damage a FileMaker Pro database file. Although the Recover feature might be able to salvage a damaged file, it is strongly recommended that you perform regular maintenance on your FileMaker Pro databases.

                                Regular FileMaker Pro maintenance takes two forms:

                                Backing up

                                Saving a compacted copy

                                 

                                Saving a compacted copy

                                When you save a compacted copy of a file, FileMaker Pro re-creates the entire database, fitting as much data into each block as possible. This copies the logical structure, or arrangement, into the new file and reclaims unused space. Compacting can be time consuming if the file is large, and it might be best accomplished as an overnight task.

                                • 14. Re: DB maintenance in Filemaker Pro Advanced 10
                                  dennisstrain

                                  This customer's app was developed and is operating in version 10.  I see there is a free upgrade available to version 11.

                                   

                                  My question is: will the upgrade change the app?  Will I have to do a lot of debugging after the upgrade rewriting deprecated script, etc?

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