7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2013 3:07 PM by ericjungemann

    FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow

    ericjungemann

      Just as a heads up:

       

      We're having multiple sites using our product reporting slowdowns. These sites are using FileMaker Pro 12v5 shared on Mac OS X Mavericks.

      The slowdowns are still occuring after Spotlight reindexing has finished. The machines involved have all done PRAM, Permissions and Disk Verifies after installation of Mavericks.

       

      Obviously, since they are sharing, these are low client numbers (typically three to seven).

       

      Energy setting on Computer Sleep have always been set to never on these machines (Mountain Lion and prior)

      Display sleep has been set to 15 minutes in the past (Mountain Lion or prior)

       

      On Mavericks, the slowness goes away by changing Display Sleep to Never and unchecking Enable Power nap.

       

      Early days but it looks like something in the new power management stuff in Mavericks (App Nap, Compressed Memory, Timer Coalecesing???)

       

      Since the sites are remote from us, we're trying to get to the bottom of if the workaround is necessary only on the sharing computer or on each of the FMP12 clients.

       

      Since there is a workaround, we're not terribly concerned about it but is definitely and noticably happening.

       

      Also open to any thoughts from the community.

       

      Eric Jungemann

      General Partner

      InfoMatrix, LLC.

      Home of VetFM, Advanced Veterinary Practice Management

       


        • 1. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
          taylorsharpe

          If you are having even 3-7 people simultaneously logged in, I would get FileMaker Server and run it on a server machine such as Mac OS X Server or Windows Server.  Right now FIleMaker Server will continue to run if you have it on Mountain Lion and then upgrade to Mavericks, but FileMaker Server is not ready for Mavericks yet.  Expect a fix soon.  Performance and multi-user access controlled by a very stable service without a user interface is significantly improved, provides for scheduled scripts/backups, and encrypts your connections between the client and server, which FileMaker Pro does not.  Also, not being an application, FileMaker Server is much less prone to crash and thereby is much less likely to have corruption issues build up over the years. 

           

          I recommend you upgrade one of your computers to Mac OS X Server.  Server does a number of things for server services like FileMaker, including turning off Spotlight indexing. The server doesn't put the cpu or drives to sleep, nor the ethernet connections.  The Mac OS X Server is designed as a server and really is what you need in my opinion. 

           

          FileMaker Pro as a peer-to-peer sharing is really not a good idea unless your data is not all that important and you are on a very tight budget.  I do not recommend peer-to-peer sharing for any of my clients, even the small ones. 

          • 2. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
            ericjungemann

            Hi Taylor,

             

            We fully understand the tradeoffs.

             

            Candidly, FMS lately (we have many sites using it) has been far less reliable due to Admin Console Java issues.

             

            Notwithstanding, FileMaker sharing has an issue with Mavericks power management.  These sites have been fast and reliable all the way through FMP 7, 8, 8.5, 9, 10, 11 and 12 (pre-Mavericks).  And those customers have been very happy with FileMaker sharing.

             

            As you point out, FileMaker specifically says FMS12 and Mavericks (or Mavericks Server) are not supported yet.  So those customers have been informed to keep their servers on Mountain Lion.

             

            We presume our Mac only customers (VetFM is a Mac product) would not like a Windows machine in the mix.

             

            We are now pretty certain that it is power management on Mavericks affecting the liveliness of the sharing computer but we're continuing to evaluate.  Again, changing the power settings from their pre-Mavericks settings 'fixes' the problem.

             

            Thanks again for the thoughts,

             

            Eric

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
              taylorsharpe

              I agree that Admin Console was a big security issue about a year or more ago, but I disagree it is an on going problem.  Keep in mind that the Admin Console is only access to the server service and it is not the actual FileMaker Server service, thereby having no impact on the stability of FileMaker Server.  But I acknowledge it was a headache while we had to figure out workarounds. 

               

              For security purposes, some people completely removed java from their servers and FileMaker Server runs just fine without java (I had to do this on some government computers due to security plan requirements).  It just means you need to have a client machine with java to launch the admin console to configure the service.  Also, I think FileMaker heard us developers loudly about the Admin Console issues and I would not be surprised if they have a much better solution in FM 13. 

               

              Your power management problem is only one of many issues that comes from trying to run server type apps on a client operating system.  If you're on the Mac side of things, the upgrade to server only costs $30.  I recommend you upgrade to Mac OS X server with FileMaker Server on a machine that is not used as a client.  Your database will be more secure, more stable, and you'll have less headaches going with such a system. 

               

              I personally swear by Mac OS X server.  But a Windows Server with Mac clients works just fine and your end users cannot tell which operating system the server is on.  So don't be afraid to run a Windows Server with a bunch of Mac clients.  It works just fine. 

               

              To be honest, I ran peer-to-peer FM databases for many years and was very happy with it.  But once I started using the server, found the stability, reliability, security, and extra features of server, I realized I had been missing out on a lot without even knowing it.  Since I started using Server, my issues with data corruption have diminished at least 10 fold.  And the bigger your database gets and the more users you have, the more this will be noticed. 

               

              Not being in the business, I had never heard of VetFM.  But I went and just looked at the web page.  It looks like a nice vertical solution for veterinarians.  Are you one of the developers?

              • 4. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
                ericjungemann

                Hi Taylor,

                I am one of the developers (and owners) of VetFM.  Our team here has worked together over 25 years, much of it using FileMaker but also C, Java, and SQL environments.  Today, we develop exclusively in FileMaker because of the speed of development/test and the field reliablity of FMP and FMS.

                I don't want this thread to get off track of the very important issues FMP sharing on Mavericks, but a couple of points:

                 

                1.  I do agree with your general comments on FMS and Mac OS X server but they do not apply in the veterinary world.  In our hundreds of vet hospitals, they have zero IT folks.  We have a specialized human medicine product also used by hundreds of hospitals and they can handle more complex environments because they are buried in IT folks, but our vets like sharing because they understand it (and the designated contact is frequently the receptionist).  And, it works well for them.  Additionally, we have competitors with zero cost of technology and FileMaker, while clearly worth it, raises the price of our product.  Our general impression over 15 years of FileMaker use is that sharing is very reliable and perfect for our smaller vet hospitals.  And our actual support costs are lower (in fairness, partially due to hospital size and complexity, but also because of #2 below).

                 

                2.  Our current issues with FMS 12 include some serious issues with failure after scheduled backups that either take the form of a full crash of FMS (with at least a consistency check and 10% of the time a recovery) or server going off-line (and coming right back up once started again with no issues at all, but a phone call to us).  This issue has been reported by others and also reported by us to FileMaker Support.  We're aware of FileMaker's efforts to correct these issues going forward.  This issue is far more prevalant with FMS 12 than 11 (we move our customer's forward briskly and only have about 10% of our installed base on FileMaker 11 products . . . the rest are on 12).  Based on #1 above, in our veterinary environment, it is highly impractical to do command line control of FMS.

                 

                Thanks for your thoughts, Taylor.  I love the generosity of the developers here.

                 

                Meanwhile, we'll be doing more monitoring of our customers next week to see if we can get more explicit.  This afternoon it is becoming clearer that Display Sleep seems to act differently in Mavericks but we'll see.  Clearly something is slowing down the shared environment related to energy management on the sharing computer in the FMP 12 environment.

                 

                Eric

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
                  taylorsharpe

                  Thanks for the discussion, Eric. 

                   

                  I am very surprised with #2 and I have not encountered this problem before.  If it happened to my clients, I would have a FileMaker SE out working on it and expect enterprise level support for FileMaker Server.  Sorry to hear you are having issues with FMS 12 and please don't expect anything less than full support from FileMaker. 

                   

                  Since most of your clients are unwilling to pay for FileMaker Server, you could improve your OS server performance by upgrading it to Mac OS X Server.  While it is not free, $30 is really pretty reasonable.  And it will turn off spotlight and give server level power settings, among other things.  The clients really can't tell the difference between the two and the only visual difference is the added Server.app in the Applications folder. 

                   

                  On an interesting note, we have compared some file sharing reads of file structures on Windows machines and find that are much faster in Mavericks.  I'm thinking Apple did some work with file sharing in this upgrade. 

                   

                  I'm still just playing with Mavericks and not upgrading any servers to it until FM comes out with an update for FMS.  But I do like what all Apple is doing with Mavericks, especially things like additional screen control features (e.g., full screen app on one window while working on the other screen).

                   

                  Are you a vet yourself? 

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
                    BowdenData

                    taylorsharpe wrote:

                     

                    On an interesting note, we have compared some file sharing reads of file structures on Windows machines and find that are much faster in Mavericks.  I'm thinking Apple did some work with file sharing in this upgrade.

                     

                    Taylor,

                     

                    This is almost certainly due to the switch in file sharing protocol. They have adopted Microsoft's SMB2 technology across the board. See this link:

                     

                    http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html#core

                     

                     

                    Regards,

                    Doug

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Pro 12 Sharing and Mavericks slow
                      ericjungemann

                      To close this thread off, the issue is when FileMaker (in the shared environment) is not the foreground app, performance drops off at least 10 to 1 in our product.  Massive beachballs.

                       

                      The problem is caused by App Nap, a new Mavericks feature that ordinarily would be great but not with a persistent database system like FileMaker).

                       

                      It can be defeated by doing a Get Info on the FileMaker App itself in Applications and click 'Prevent App Nap'

                       

                      The issue is colored a bit because Mavericks also installs a screensaver by default (regardless of previous settings and surprising folks).  When that fires off, it is the foreground app and puts FileMaker sharing into App Nap.

                       

                      Our earlier observation on Display sleep was a clue, not a problem.  Display sleep settings do not need to be 'Never'. 

                       

                      I hope that helps.

                       

                      Eric