12 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2012 4:09 AM by huconn

    FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…


      Two particular deal-breakers:



      Most of our layouts contain many hundreds of stacked objects. When in layout mode we can no longer click in the center of transparent objects to get to objects underneath. We can only select the frontmost object, transparent or not. I can't imagine what this will do do our productivity.



      We use conditional formatting extensively. In one case we highlight a portal row, passing the record id as a parameter from a button calling a navigation script. We conditionally format the highlight on that particular record. In v. 11, this takes about .33 second, even with loaded portals.


      In v 12, we clocked this same script at just over two seconds, with only three records in the portal, making it essentially unusable.


      We are very concerned.


      (We develop on MacBook Pros v 10.6.8)


      TIA for feedback.

        • 1. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

          As far as selecting an object on the layout, on a mac using the command key and the mouse it will select everything in the shaded area the same way it would just using the mouse in 11.   I have found this very helpful.  On a windows system, I believe that this would require the control key.  Anyway this should select your stacked objects.


          As far as conditional formatting goes,  try removing it and see if that speeds things up.  I have a setup that is similar with a much larger number of portal rows and am not seeing this as a slow down.  I am seeing other issues when working with large data sets even on blank layouts and loading large numbers of records into a list view.




          • 2. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

            Just to confirm, yes, use the CTRL key on Windows to revert to the old (FM 11) selection methodology. Note that you can press/release CTRL after outlining a selection rectangle to have FileMaker automatically switch between the two selection methodologies. (You can watch the selection handles for objects alternate between those wholly within the rectangle (FM 11 methodology) and those touched by the rectangle (FM 12 methodology).




            Peace, love & brown rice,


            Morgan Jones




            FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy


            Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11


            <http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony 


            Austin, Texas • USA



            • 3. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

              Hi Donald


              I haven't had any performance issues but I think it's because I started a new solution in FM12 from scratch.


              All speed reports I've seen so far are on converted solutions.


              Same story with FM6 to FM7...




              Ibrahim Bittar Torres

              Director General

              Eikonsys, S.A. de C.V.

              FileMaker 10 Certified Developer


              FileMaker Business Alliance

              • 4. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…
                Stephen Huston

                In FM 12 you don't need the script or conditional formats to highlight the active record/portal row.


                FM12 offers background colors with the option in the layout setup to "delineate" them only on the active record. You can also use the state of an object to control its color using the "button" state on a non-button object. These are now native functions in FM12 which should be even faster than the  scripted work-arounds of earlier versions.

                • 5. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                  Thanks for the tips, Stephen.


                  I tried the option to delineate fields. This helps somewhat to distinguish the active field.  That was useful.


                  I tried the alternating background colors for the body.  Unfortunately, this enormously increases the CPU usage and slows down Filemaker when I drag the scroll bar up and down.  It causes the rendering of records to be jerky and appears slower when scrolling - despite now being a native part of Filemaker.


                  My primary computer is a MacBook Pro 17 i7 quad core with 16 gigs of RAM and an OWComputing SSD.  It was interesting how quickly the fan becomes loud and at full speed and the CPU usage goes up as I manually dragged the scroll bar up and down to see the listed records in Filemaker when using the alternating background colors feature in the part setup.


                  I quickly turned off alternating background colors. I prefer a quieter computer and a faster Filemaker.


                  There are significant rendering problems with Filemaker 12.  Good ideas but bad implementation from where I stand.


                  I tried recovering the database with the setting to rebuild the file from scratch.  No real change in speed.

                  • 6. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                    It is puzzling that some people report no speed issues and others are finding FileMaker 12 almost unusuable due to poor performance. If the issues are due to conversion, perhaps FileMaker can improve this - people won't want to spend huge amounts of time to get their solutions back to where they started. However, in my (limited) experience, FM12 is certainly slower, even with a brand new file.


                    A simple, practical example: I am frequently sent Excel files to look at for various reasons. Typically, the first thing I do is convert them to FileMaker. Yesterday I was sent three such files, each containing about 2000 records and about 20 columns. I converted them to FM7 and FM12 formats - no other changes. Manually scrolling from top to bottom took about 60 seconds in FM11 and in Excel and almost twice as long in FM12. Scrolling was best in Excel - very smooth; in FM11 it was smooth but slightly flickery (this was a Windows machine - not that this worried Excel); in FM12 the movement was juddery and erratic, apart from being slow, and not easy or comfortable to view.  It would be interesting to hear from someone who is experiencing no problems if a simple test like this results in no performance loss.


                    I don't think FM12 is unusable, particularly for users who have no experience with previous versions. However for existing users, at least for mine, I think the novelty of the rounded corners etc. will wear off in about two seconds once they start using a reasonably complex system. General navigation sluggishness will be apparent immediately (I rarely just use 'Go to Layout') and they will be tearing their hair out by the time they get to some list views; I have one which scrolls at about 1 record/second. Admittedly this particular list view contains tabs, portals and conditional formatting, but it works fine and is very useful in FM11.


                    It is suggested  - and it may well be true - that the slowness might largely be due to the amount of CSS that FM has to process. CSS can certainly slow down webpages in a browser - but not a lot. The forum page into which I'm typing this message has almost 20,000 lines of CSS (almost twice this number including blank lines) and once cached, this doesn't seem to have any noticeable overhead. I appreciate that FileMaker is not a browser, but  I am hopeful that if this is the main issue, FM engineers will be able to come up with some dramatic optimisation. The CSS as stored in the templates and in the extracted layout XML can be reduced by about 40-60% if optimised.

                    • 7. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                      It is interesting to see where Filemaker 12 slows down.


                      I find that Filemaker 12 does not handle multiple windows very well compared to Filemaker 11 - particularly if the windows are in list view.


                      For example, I like having notes for several patients open in separate windows in list view so I can multi-task between patients.  This is different from EMRs which often show only one patient's records at a time.


                      To create a new note/record, based on data from the most recent note, a script simply duplicates the most recent note, updates the date and time and empties fields for which I do not want to retain data, then opens the new note in Form View.  Filemaker 11 handles this very well. The script runs instantaneously with numerous windows open.


                      Filemaker 12, on the other hand, runs the script instantaneously if one window is all that is open.  However, the more windows that are open, the SLOWER the script runs.


                      With 2 windows open, the script takes 10 seconds to run.  With 4 windows are open, the script takes 30+ secons to run.  This is unbelievable.

                      • 8. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                        The performace issue in FM12 are not exclusive to converted solutions. I have had performace issues with new solutions and even solutions that were created from the FM12 starter solutions (with no modifications).

                        • 9. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                          I have only had a very brief "play" with FMS12 and FMP12 but it appeared to be faster on my tiny sample of converted solutions. Disclosure: my total time using FMS12 and a converted FMP12 solution is only about 2 hours. I was able to convert 3 databases to the v12 format, install FMS, upload the 3 databases to the server and quickly navigate the database interface to test.


                          For the past 6 months I have been closing the "big" database (128 tables, 1.5 Gb file, 15 users) and performing the Save A Copy As... command every week. If I did not do that, the performance degraded to unuseable across the network for the users. The converted v12 file is faster as a local file and as a hosted network file. For example: viewing a Member record, there are portals for the past 12 years. Each portal retreives related records from a separate financial year table and each table has 300,000 - 500,000 payment records. I can skip through the tab panels (separate portal tables) quickly - much more responsive than FMP7-11, on a Windows 7 box (via Remote Desktop Connection).


                          Now if the Server Admin Tool can actually stop/start database hosting without requiring the entire server to be restarted, I will be much happier than I have been with FMS11 for the past 2 years!


                          My $0.02


                          Michael Richards

                          Brisbane (Australia)

                          • 10. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                            Okey, I have done my first conversion of a few files too an I'm not exited and glad at all.


                            1- the fontcolors and size of the Tab Control tool has changed. Can't be changed back to the original type and color . Now I have to create those Tabs again'

                            the seconds one is really a serious problem.

                            2- I have several script that creates large MS Word *.rtf documents by using an xsl-stylesheet. In FM9 matter of seconds in FM12...1 minute...... with our 60 consultants....can you emagine what that will cost


                            Does anyone has a solution for this problem.



                            • 11. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                              Similar issues to others in that my projects initially appeared much slower with FM12.  However, I found a significant improvement in speed by swapping some of the previous conditionally formatted fields (dependent on data from related tables) with unstored calculation fields to colour the desired area.  Depending on values in fields from related tables, the unstored calculations resulted in the field being completely filled with a certain colour.  This was a text value (the letter "g") of large size (500) and in "Webdings" font ... and with the TextColor function providing the desired RGB values for each condition.  Making this change resulted in the FM12 converted layout performing faster that the FM11 equivalent (with the conditional formatting). Before I made the change, the FM12 converted layout was 3 x slower than the FM11 equivalent.


                              Still experiencing choppy scrolling though.  It would be great if anyone has any ideas on how improve this aspect.


                              Forgot to mention... the above approach won't work in FileMaker Go as Webdings font isn't supported in iOS.  I haven't had success in finding a character that could be used in place of the Webdings "g".  Does anyone else know of an alternative character of similar technique that could be applied in this case?  I'd rather not sit around waiting for the next filemaker update.

                              • 12. Re: FM 12 - Serious concerns with new interface and rendering speed…

                                I have just opened a rather complex solution in FM12 when it comes to the design of the layouts (developed from scratch in FM11) and was chocked by the decrease in performance. Selecting from a portal to the left showing 5 records with filtering and rendering the data part to the right takes in FM11 less then 1 second - but in FM 12 4-5 seconds! Making it completely useless for normal work.


                                I then started to remove things to find the reason for the slow-down, but it still took much longer to switch between records. Finally, I created an empty layout with just a button that opens a dialog where I can enter a customer number, and the name of the customer in a merge field without conditional formatting. Thats all. And the result...?  3 times longer in FM 12 then in FM 11! Less the a second to 3 seconds.


                                This said, I should mention that I am building a data separated solution working through session tables with all interface and graphics in a local file on the client side, and almost totally clean data files on the server. And when a customer is selected a dashboard is updated that has a calendar and a order portal using the virtual list technique. (Been working as a full time FM developer since 1988).


                                So I expect overhead time, but not a 3 x increase because it is opened in FM 12 instead of FM 11! And it also worries me extensively that it doesn't necessary has to do with the rendering...


                                I will continue to test and see if there is a simple fix (which I don't think there is), but wanted to share my experience with you and hoping FileMaker will address this issue as fast as possible.