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    File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server

    Jeffesmi

      Hi,


      One of my customers has a custom developed FMP application that manages most functions in his veterinary office.  We had some problems with the old version of this program running on FMP9 and had the vendor upgrade us to the newer version with FMP11. The old problems are gone, but a new problem now exists.  When they select a record in this FMP application, they get the spinning circle for 10 seconds or so and a "not responding" on the top of the window. It eventually goes away, but this is very irritating and slows down their ability to move quickly around the program.  This seems to happen mostly when more than one user is in the system. At first, the developer thought it was a network connectivity issue, but after some testing thinks that is less likely and has asked me to disable anything I can on the server to make sure nothing is interfering with the application.  Has anyone else seen this behavior?  Any ideas on how to troubleshoot this?  The setup is as follows:

       

      3 workstations

           4GB RAM

           500GB HD

           dual-core 3+ Ghz (I believe)

           All hardwired to server

      1 Server

           8GB RAM

           480GB SSD HD in software RAID-1

           XEON 3+ Ghz (quad I think)

           Active Directory Server (but single AD server, less than 10 users and few AD objects)

       

      Server Software looks Like this:

      Installed Programs that have an active component:

      1. Bonjour <-- Required for FileMaker
      2. Carbonite <-- We can temporarily for a very short period turn this off
      3. FileMaker Pro 11 <--Not sure if this counts as an active application
      4. FileMaker Pro 14 (x64) <-- Not sure if this counts as an active application
      5. FileMaker Server 14
      6. IIS URL Rewrite Module 2 <-- Not sure what this is
      7. Java 8 Update 131 (64-bit) <-- Required for FileMaker
      8. Logmein <-- Required for Support
      9. Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 <-- I think this is a required AD component
      10. Microsoft Application Request Routing 3.0 <-- not sure what this is
      11. Microsoft External Cache  <-- Not sure what this is
      12. Microsoft Silverlight <-- Not sure about disabling this
      13. Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable <-- I think this installed as part of FileMaker

      Roles:

      1. Active Directory Domain Services
      2. DHCP Server <-- Required for Active Directory
      3. DNS Server <-- Required for Active Directory
      4. File Services <-- I think I can remove these
      5. Web Server (IIS) <-- Requiredfor FileMaker

       

      If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them before I start randomly disabling server components.

       

      Thanks,

      Jeff

        • 1. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
          CarlSchwarz

          Investigate what in particular on the layout is slowing the records down.

          Remove elements from the layout until you find what is doing it.

          There are some tips on a blog I wrote about this https://schwarzsoftware.com.au/blogentry.php?id=5

           

          Just for a quick test remove ALL layout elements from your layout and flick between records, you should notice no slowdown.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
            gdurniak

            I saw a similar problem in one office,  with 15 concurrent users on Mac OS and FileMaker 10

             

            Every so often, throughout the day, users would get a spinning Beachball, for no apparent reason

             

            I even logged all the scripts, and layouts used, by user, and found no pattern

             

            FileMaker Server Statistics showed nothing unusual

             

            The only thing they did not try, was Network Software, to Log the traffic, and look for Broadcast Storms

             

            It is very unfortunate, that the OS does not offer a BeachBall Log, to show what it is looking for, or waiting for

             

            AFAIK, it was never resolved

             

            greg

             

            > they get the spinning circle for 10 seconds or so and a "not responding" on the top of the window. It eventually goes away, but this is very irritating and slows down their ability to move quickly around the program.  This seems to happen mostly when more than one user is in the system

            • 3. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
              FileKraft

              try also using a new user account on the client computers.

              also change the cache settings

              run some maintenance on the client computers

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                Jeffesmi

                I will try using a new user account. If that fixes it, I guess I'm looking at a profile issue, but it's unlikely since it's happening on multiple computers.  I might try a local profile and see what happens.

                 

                Which cache settings are you talking about?  Windows virtual memory settings?  Or are there some type of cache settings within FileMaker that can be adjusted?

                 

                First thing I did was a full maintenance:

                • CCleaner
                • Check Fragmentation
                • Checked that all updates were applied
                • Did a half-hearted check for new drivers
                • Checked log files for any relevant errors

                 

                That is my standard full maintenance sweep for computers. You have anything you'd add to the list that may help in this situation?

                 

                Thanks,

                Jeff

                • 5. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                  Jeffesmi

                  Most of what you are talking about is way over my head. I'll share this with the developer and he might be able to do some of the things you suggest with the FileMaker application. OTH, the glasswire tool is new to me and it looks pretty awesome. At very least I should be able to confirm if the FileMaker app is spiking the network and if the product works on Windows Server products, I can watch it from both sides, so thanks for that tip!

                   

                  Thanks,

                  Jeff

                  • 6. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                    CarlSchwarz

                    Jeffesmi wrote:

                     

                    I'll share this with the developer and he might be able to do some of the things you suggest with the FileMaker application. OTH, the glasswire tool is new to me and it looks pretty awesome. At very least I should be able to confirm if the FileMaker app is spiking the network and if the product works on Windows Server products, I can watch it from both sides, so thanks for that tip!

                     

                    Thanks,

                    Jeff

                    Sounds good!  I had a solution that I thought 'slowed down' just after a version update, turns out that the users only started complaining after the version update.  The gradual increase in records had been slowing down the solution over time.

                    • 7. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                      Jeffesmi

                      As a tip for anyone else trying the glasswire product, be EXTRA careful if you are using it on a remote system like Amazon EC2.  I loaded that product on my EC2 server to help find which IP addresses were trying to login to my server using common credentials. I accidentally clicked on the little fire-icon to the left of SVCHOST. Ouch!!! It completely blocked my ability to remote into my system. I ended up using the EC2 recovery tool to go to a last known good configuration, but it had me sweating there for a bit. It's just my virtual test server, but I didn't do a snapshot any time recently and I have a current project I'm testing on it. Even with that self-created problem, it's a GREAT tool. It lists the flag next to the IP address of incoming traffic so you can easily pickup Russia, China, and other hacker hot-spots. Thanks again for the tip, this tool has many uses and while I normally avoid 3rd party firewall products in favor of MS built in firewall, this one has enough to make it worth implementing in some situations.

                       

                      Jeff

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                        wimdecorte

                        Jeffesmi wrote:

                         

                         

                         

                        Which cache settings are you talking about? Windows virtual memory settings? Or are there some type of cache settings within FileMaker that can be adjusted?

                         

                         

                        both FMS and the FMP clients have cache settings of their own.  However, I would suggest not fiddling with anything until you have better picture of exactly what is going on.  FMS has the ability to keep a statistics logs, it's off by default so make sure it is turned on and let it run for a day or two.  Then inspect it or get help to inspect it.

                        It will log information about the 4 typical bottlenecks for any deployment:

                        - memory (and cache)

                        - processing power

                        - network throughput

                        - disk i/o

                         

                        By seeing for which of these FMS is constrained you can then target that specific bottleneck.  It won't help to add resources to an area that is not a bottleneck.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                          Jeffesmi

                          That is some excellent info. I've already checked the server logs, but looking at it from FM's perspective is a much better way to go. I'll figure out how to turn on the logging and after I get an okay from the developer, I'll see what I can find out.

                          Thanks,

                          Jeff

                          • 10. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                            Jeffesmi

                            Hey Carl,

                            I did some sniffing with glasswire, but I'm unsure what would be normal traffic and what would be excessive. I'm attaching some screen captures. Can you tell if this seems excessive for FileMaker?  The initial load is 5+MB, but the smaller spikes are opening a record and closing a record at 421KB.snapshot 1 (002).png

                             

                            glasswire 2 (002).png

                             

                            Sorry to ask such basic questions, but I'm clueless when it comes to FileMaker. I'm more of a network & PC IT technician.  I did talk to the developer and he told me that he already ran log files on the filemaker server and everything was within norms, so I'm skipping doing that.  If this looks like normal and appropriate traffic, any other ideas?  Yes, I know that asking if this is normal is a bit vague, but to give you context, this is a veterinary office management app.  If you've worked on any medical office management application, I would expect the data kept for a patient to be similar and hopefully less for a four-legged patient than a two-legged with all the gov't crud tied into keeping that kind of info.  The primary screen comes up and it's when you click on a patient record that it hangs for 5 or 10 seconds and says not responding on the Filemaker window before bringing up the record.  I upgraded the server to software RAID-1 commercial SDD drives, so the lag isn't on disk throughput. This workstation also has a Samsung EVO 850 SDD in it, so there should be no problems with disk throughput on either end. It's a basic 100Mbps network. I could try putting in a GB hub, but they are only using CAT5 wiring... but with short runs well under 100m, so they may be able to get away with GB.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Jeff

                            • 11. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                              wimdecorte

                              Jeffesmi wrote:

                               

                              Hey Carl,

                              I did some sniffing with glasswire, but I'm unsure what would be normal traffic and what would be excessive. I'm attaching some screen captures. Can you tell if this seems excessive for FileMaker?

                               

                              There is no telling because FM is just the platform; it is what is build on FM that generates the traffic and nothing about that is generic.

                               

                              With monitoring the only good comparison is having the same numbers from a time that experienced no slowdowns or performance issues because then you can see where the difference is and work backward from there.

                               

                              I wouldn't skip checking the FileMaker Server logs.  Nothing wrong with trusting the FM developer but this is the time to do a bit of 'trust but verify'.  It will give you a chance to learn how FMS logs things and if things are within norms in that log then at least you will know what that looks like.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                                CarlSchwarz

                                Jeffesmi wrote:

                                 

                                Hey Carl,

                                I did some sniffing with glasswire, but I'm unsure what would be normal traffic and what would be excessive. I'm attaching some screen captures. Can you tell if this seems excessive for FileMaker? The initial load is 5+MB, but the smaller spikes are opening a record and closing a record at 421KB

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                That initial load is fine, that traffic is small as to be expected.  The initial load should be smaller on FileMaker v15 and v16 because more of the file is cached.

                                I did talk to the developer and he told me that he already ran log files on the filemaker server and everything was within norms, so I'm skipping doing that.

                                That will only show if the server or network is struggling, what you have sounds like a problem with the FileMaker application

                                The primary screen comes up and it's when you click on a patient record that it hangs for 5 or 10 seconds and says not responding on the Filemaker window before bringing up the record.

                                It sounds exactly like there are problems with the layout that displays the patient record.  It sounds like a summary field, unstored calculation, calculation in conditional formatting, etc. is performing once you go to that layout.

                                I bet that if you take all of the UI elements off of the layout that going to a patient record will happen straight away unless the delay is in the script that goes to the layout.

                                If you want to see that the network is performing fine then have glasswire open when you click on a record, you should see the bulk of the data come through straight away and then the client will have the 5-10 second lag while it processes whatever calculation it must to display that layout.

                                 

                                Does the application open fine, and do other operations fine, but is only slow when going to a client record?  If so then it's that particular layout / script that is the problem.

                                 

                                I suggest that the developer removes all layout elements from that layout, and slowly re-introduces them until he sees which layout element is triggering the calculation that is slowing it down.  Or runs the script that goes to that layout with the script debugger to see if the script is the problem.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                                  CarlSchwarz

                                  Because it happens when there are more users it is likely that another user is updating a record that is making the client re-perform a calculation that would otherwise be cached when going to the patient record.

                                  Perhaps when sending an invoice or some other operation.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: File Maker Pro 14 slow response and not responding during query to server
                                    Jeffesmi

                                    Hi guys,

                                    Thanks for the awesome information, but it is so far over my head that I feel like I'm in a Charlie Brown cartoon, "Wa Wah Wah Wah wa wah."   I'm going to e-mail the developer this conversation link and see if he can utilize the excellent information to help address the issue we are seeing.

                                     

                                    CarlSchwarz - I guess I could have them do some testing to determine if it's a record contention issue.  Have them test the process with only one in the app, test with two users in the app, test with two users accessing same record and such. Any ideas on the best way to best implement that type of testing.

                                     

                                    A question more along my expertise line that someone with some cross-expertise may be able to answer for me. I was tempted to get a Gigabit hub and throw it into place to see if that made a difference for this situation.  I'm pretty sure this won't help as the data spike when opening a record as show above is a short burst of <500KB is well within the range that a 100MB/sec network can handle.  Is there any reason to think that a GB network would handle this small amount of data traffic better than a fast Ethernet network or would I just be spinning my wheels?

                                     

                                    Thanks,

                                    Jeff

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