6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2013 6:44 AM by RubenVanDenBoogaard

    Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?

    hugall1998

      Hi all,

      I have the current setup:

      My database is hosted on a filemaker server 11 (for win) on a dedicated server machine. My clients (in various countries in europe) connect via remote desktop to an another netserver (2003 win) where they start a FM 11 client and access the database on the FM server machine via Open remote.

      All users are in windows environment, the (international) connection speed is reasonable and the database has around 4-5 users simultaniously active at any given time. The database has around 4000 records (increasing rapidly) with one main layout with a tab, under which are several related tables (portals). Most fields are entry fields (edit) but on a couple of tabs, the fields are predominantly radio buttons or check boxes (perhaps 15-20 fields).

       

      My problem is as follows:

      Some users have the (apparantly known) problem that when they click a radio button it does not fill until after 1-3 seconds (sometimes longer time) forcing them to enter data "blindly", that is selecting a couple of radiobuttons and then have to wait until the circles fill out. This problem of "latency" or delay only seems to affect radio buttons and check boxes, not fill in fields or fields with drop down menus etc.

       

      I have tried to search for similar problems in the forum as well as on the net in general have not found any conclusive solutions. In some posts I found, the relative small size of the radio button means that they fall within a "grid" unit on the layout so the refresh needed does not happen soon enough, another post listed the main cause is the hardware specs of the remote server (where the clients start the FM), especially cpu speed and RAM.

      In only one post did I find a suggestive solution, mainly to turn all the radio buttons to field with a drop down menu (or a popup menu), thus eliminiating the problem. This would be my last resort as I selected the radio button approach as it fitted the data being entered.

       

      At the moment this is not a critical problem but may rapidly become so as number of records and user will increase in the coming weeks and months.

       

      Has anyone encountered this problem with FM 11, using a similar remote server setup, and if so, how did you solve it?

       

      Thank you all in advance

      Larus Jon Gudmundsson


        • 1. Re: Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?
          taylorsharpe

          The fields load first on the layouts, which you are seeing happen.  Then load all the graphics.  Is it possible you have some large graphics on the layout that have just be scaled down instead of properly resized with a graphics application?  I would test a layout removing all the graphics and slowy adding them back in to see what is slowing it down.  That would be what I would try first. 

          • 2. Re: Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?
            hugall1998

            Hi all again,

            I'm trying to solve this problem myself and want to put a suggestion to stimulate discussion.  It is a rather un-elegant solution and involves using a Set Field script for each of the value descriptions, so when clicked upon (i.e. "yes") the coded value for that category is set to the field (see the image enclosed).

             

            The pros of this solution is that the user can continue to click (instead of selecting from a drop down menu) thus speeding up the data entry but the cons is probably that the action is not intuitive but can be learned quickly.

            Another con is that this probably will not be applicable to a checkbox (unless a "deselect" category is added ?)

             

            Also, the interface implementation could be more pleasing.

             

            All comments and tips are very much appreciated.  Has anyone tried this before (on a remote setup)?

             

            Thanks in advance,

            Larus Jon Gudmundssonradiobutton_slow.JPG

            • 3. Re: Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?
              hugall1998

              Hi Taylorsharpe,

              Thank you for the tip, I will check this out, there is a logo (from a website) and some button icons (from a FM graphic package).

               

              Lárus Jon.

              • 4. Re: Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?
                KevinSmith

                Hi Larus. Its a tough one. I too have experienced confusion clicking on checkboxes with high latency connections. You end up clicking twice and of course that means the checkbox does not get set at  all!

                 

                You're definitely in workaround territory. Getting users to enter numbers instead of clicking the options is far less intuitive. I'm guessing that users of your system are not casual visitor but have to access it fairly frequently. If this is the case, presenting them with a bit of a learning curve is still a viable option.  In that case the number coding seems a satisfactory option.

                 

                For checkboxes you'll need the same, 1 - Yes, 2 - No, 998 - Unknown.

                 

                Here's another idea to speed-up keying in answers to batches of questions. Instead of keying in the digit for each one, the user enters a batch in the blue text box which then triggers the filling in all the separate fields. It makes for a slightly faster interface as there's less tabbing between fields. (see image)

                screenshot_0853.jpg

                 

                Finally, seeing as you're needing to do a bit of working-around; you may want to consider the option of pushing the user to a web form (Instant Web Publishing) for keying-in just the page/tab with all the checkbox questions. I'm hoping that as its a web page the input response takes place locally with no delay.

                • 5. Re: Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?
                  hugall1998

                  Hi Kevin,

                  Thank you for the suggestion and my apologies for not replying sooner (was on vacation).

                   

                  Your idea has its merits but as you point out it requires some mindbending from the users. Also, it might be argued that typing in a row of numbers has more risk of errors than clicking a radio button with an immediate visible result (I guess that was the original reason for the radio button :-)

                   

                  I'm thankful for your input.  I'm still pondering this problem but our first action was to increase the power of the server and our client is working increasing the bandwidth so this problem may solve itself.  I guess I may face this again when the number of records in the database has multiplied.

                  Thanks again,

                  Lárus Jon

                  • 6. Re: Slow radio buttons in database on a remote terminal server - any tips ?
                    RubenVanDenBoogaard

                    Hi Lárus Jon,

                     

                    An other solution might be if you use a picture to indicate the status of the field, I use a picture of a Mac checkbox to show the status of a checkbox because I better like this

                    version over the standard FM version. This might be a solution for you.

                     

                    In my case i have a field 'Status'   and a field  'Status show'  with the calculation  if(Status="";_picture;_picture[2])  (unstored)

                    The 'Status show'  has a button attached to it with a set field[ Status:  if(Status="";1;"")]  to set or unset the field Status, this will trigger the Status Show field to display the right

                    image.

                     

                     

                    If that does not work you could trigger a script to set the Status field AND the Status Show field with the corresponding picture.

                     

                    Hope that helps,

                     

                    Best regards,

                     

                    Ruben van den Boogaard

                    Infomatics Software

                    ruben@infomatics.nl