1 2 Previous Next 24 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2012 9:40 AM by JeffEngland

    How does filemaker handle data in tabs?

    JeffEngland

      hello everyone,

       

      I was wondering if anyone knew how FileMaker handles data in tabs?

       

      For instance I have a layout with 4 tabs. When the user goes to that layout does filemaker load all the data for all the tabs at once? Or only what is visible? If FileMaker only loads what is visible when you toggle between tabs does FileMaker reload all the data even if the user had already been on that tab?

       

      Thanks,

      Jeff England

      jeff@nebsfunworld.com

        • 1. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
          Vaughan

          I *think* FMP is lazy and only displays data when required. I have one solution that is snappy until one tab is selected that has a heavilily filtered portal, and it takes a couple of seconds to display.

           

          FMP caches data so once a tab is viewed it should be quicker the next time. It might help changing FMP's preferences to increase the cache from the default value.

          • 2. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
            JeffEngland

            Interesting. I also have a tab with lots of filtered portals and it takes a few seconds to display. I have been contemplating using virtual value lists to display the data instead of the filtered portals.

             

            Do you think I would see a speed improvement using virtual value list or would you just recommend increasing the cache?

            • 3. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
              Vaughan

              I look at it this way: data needs to come down from the server to generate the display. There are no two ways around it, the data has to come from somewhere whether it's displayed in a filtered portal or a virtual list. So it then becomes a matter of WHEN the data gets pulled down, and whether it gets left to FMP to do it as needed, or whether the developer does something to intervene (say maybe pull it all down at some defined time like at file open).

               

              I tend to leave it to FMP because FMI has a team of very smart people working on this stuff so as FMP improves, I'll see the benefits of those improvements if I use the native features; also it's less work for me and less cost for the client because I'm not re-inventing the wheel.

              • 4. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                BruceRobertson

                Neither; at this point.

                 

                Instead, it will be better if you supply a lot more information about your file(s).

                 

                1. Filtered portals are not a good choice if the basic relationship is unfiltered and there are a lot of related records.

                 

                2. What exactly does "lots of filtered portals" mean?

                 

                3. Other things may significantly affect speed; such as the kinds of calculations that may be involved, and whether, for instance, you have set up filter correctly, and whether the portal or relationship sort uses a field that is not valid in the context of the relationship.

                 

                4. There is no such thing as a virtual value list. Perhaps you mean the virtual list technique. Probably won't help; but that depends on more info.

                • 5. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                  RayCologon

                  jeff_england wrote:

                  ...I have been contemplating using virtual value lists to display the data instead of the filtered portals.

                   

                  Do you think I would see a speed improvement using virtual value list or would you just recommend increasing the cache?

                   

                  Hi Jeff,

                   

                  It might be helpful if you could also explain what you're referring to with the term "virtual value lists". I've come across it used to mean several different things, and AFAIK there's no official or universally understood definition.

                   

                  Regards,

                  Ray

                  ------------------------------------------------

                  R J Cologon, Ph.D.

                  FileMaker Certified Developer

                  Author, FileMaker Pro 10 Bible

                  NightWing Enterprises, Melbourne, Australia

                  http://www.nightwingenterprises.com

                  ------------------------------------------------

                  • 6. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                    ian.moree

                    BruceRobertson wrote:

                     

                    Neither; at this point.

                     

                    Instead, it will be better if you supply a lot more information about your file(s).

                     

                    1. Filtered portals are not a good choice if the basic relationship is unfiltered and there are a lot of related records.

                     

                    2. What exactly does "lots of filtered portals" mean?

                     

                    3. Other things may significantly affect speed; such as the kinds of calculations that may be involved, and whether, for instance, you have set up filter correctly, and whether the portal or relationship sort uses a field that is not valid in the context of the relationship.

                     

                    4. There is no such thing as a virtual value list. Perhaps you mean the virtual list technique. Probably won't help; but that depends on more info.

                    Hey There BruceR. Just was wondering if not to use filtered portals , would one just show a list of the related data? or what other solution would you use besides a filtered portal.

                     

                    i understand the calculation filter takes time, but would one load data from the server in a $$global Variable in order to "VIEW" the data to increase the speed?

                     

                    thanks

                    • 7. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                      JeffEngland

                      Sorry I didn't enough information.

                       

                      In my situation I am using an SQL statement to pull the necessary data and store that info in a global variable. I am then using an unstored calculation to parse that data and show it on the layout.

                       

                      As for the filtered portal I have set it up correctly, the delay is only slight 1-2 seconds but I need it to be as instantaneous as possible. Here is a picture of my layout.

                       

                      Screen Shot 2012-04-01 at 12.42.21 PM.png

                       

                      Each box is a filtered portal and each portal has some conditional formatting, for when a particualr person is up,fouls,corrections etc. I have already stripped this layout down as much as possible, and there is still a slight lag, so that why I have been contemplating the above technique.

                      • 8. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                        BruceRobertson

                        That still provides very little useable descriptive information.

                         

                        What is the basis for the portal relationship?

                        What exactly do the calcs look like?

                        You mention "a" global variable.

                        Parsing return delimited data out of a global variable is expensive.

                        Using repeating variables ( $$var[N] ) is faster.

                        Conditional formatting is also expensive.

                        • 9. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                          DavidJondreau

                          >Parsing return delimited data out of a global variable is expensive.

                          >Using repeating variables ( $$var[N] ) is faster.

                           

                          Do you have any metrics on this? I'm wondering how much faster reps are than a single variable.

                           

                          Thanks,

                          DJ

                          • 10. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                            Stephen Huston

                            At the 2011 DevCon, one of the Under the Hood sessions reported  surprising results about data caching and tabs.

                             

                            If a tab on the layout contains a portal, even if that tab is neither selected nor the default, the table used in the portal will be cached to the client.

                             

                            So if you have 5 tabs with a portal each from a different table, that layout will trigger the caching of all 5 of those tables even if none of the tabs is the default or selected tab. This was contrary to popular belief that FM caches only what it needs to display.

                             

                            The delay changing tabs to one with a filtered portal would still cause  a screen refresh delay because the filtering is probably done when the portal displays, not when it is cached, so that is happening after you click the tab.

                             

                            So when designing layouts with tabs, we need to use some restraint in how many portals we place in the tab system.

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                              BruceRobertson

                              I don't have metrics but my impression is that it is roughly an order of magnitude difference.

                              • 12. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                                JeffEngland

                                Thanks Stephen that was exactly what I was looking for!

                                 

                                As for using repeating variables they may be faster but for my situation I cannot use it, becuase I would need to refresh the screen everytime to update the merge variable.

                                 

                                Thanks for the lengthy discussion, its been a valuable learning experience.

                                 

                                Jeff England

                                • 13. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                                  Oliver_Reid

                                  You can palce an object on a tab casuines a global variable to be set when it appears by using a let statement in the calcuation of conditional formatting.

                                   

                                  Then a unstored cacluated key field used fo  the potal can reference that variable, with result that the portal is empty until the tab us selected.

                                   

                                  You may need to force refresh for the portal to populate though

                                   

                                  With a little effort you can conceal the selction tab selection areas with an inert object, and use buttons to move from tab to tab with scripts that also make the realtionship for the portal valid, so the portal does not load until the tab is selected.

                                  • 14. Re: How does filemaker handle data in tabs?
                                    BruceRobertson

                                    The conclusion doesn't seem to follow. Where does the merge variable fit in? You have described filtered portals; and a process for gathering the content for the filtered portals. This does not conflict with the option to use repeating variables. But - again - it would be helpful to have more detail about what you're really doing.

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