9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2014 12:16 PM by DougRawson

    FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open

    DougRawson

      We have recently been getting complaints that the longer a user has our files open the slower they get. When they first open the database things are nice and snappy but as they use it or even let it sit open in the background it gets slower and slower until it is unusable. Then they can close out and reopen to a nice snappy environment. Our clients are using the same database an hundreds of offices so we have a mish mash of systems. I have attached results from a survey we asked our clients to complete where we asked about their systems and software (the attached only contains data from those who said that they were experiencing the slow down issue). I want to kick up the performance of our solution and we will be .fmp12-izing it this year as it is a nearly direct port from .fp7 so we have not yet taken advatage of css and other sped enhancing functions.

       

      In the mean time, does anyone have any clue as to why it would start out running well and get slower and slower and slower the longer it is open?

       

      About the attachment - Quesions 8+ are in reference to their FMServer Computer.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
          Mike_Mitchell

          Doug -

           

          My first guess would be memory caching / fragmentation. I'm assuming this is a multi-user environment with a hosted database. In such a situation, FileMaker maintains a cache of record contents on the local computer (ironically, to improve performance by avoiding frequent record fetching back to the server). As a user accesses more and more records, the size of the cache will grow. Also, each user will periodically receive a refresh of his cache based on what other users are doing (so if one user makes a change to a record, the other users who have accessed that record will see it).

           

          If, hypothetically, a user were to be running other, memory-consumptive applications at the same time, then the cache might be come fragmented over time, and might therefore end up having to page back and forth to disk (virtual RAM) more and more as the physical RAM became more fragmented and consumed. Also, the larger the cache, the more likely that a record in it will require updating from the server (simply by probability - more records, more likely someone will change a record in it).

           

          You can attempt to adjust the cache size in the Preferences dialog under Memory and see if that has any effect to test this theory. Other tests you can try would be to have a subset of users not run anything else on their machines and compare their results against those users who have other applications running, or directly comparing the experience of users with less memory against users with more.

           

          Good luck!

           

          Mike

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          • 2. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
            wimdecorte

            DougRawson wrote:

             

             

            In the mean time, does anyone have any clue as to why it would start out running well and get slower and slower and slower the longer it is open?

             

             

             

            What you don't say: are all clients complaining about this?  If not, what is specific about them?  Any plugins, any features that they use that others don't?  Are these larger clients with more concurrent users?  Are you using 3rd party software on the server like SuperContainer,...

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
              usbc

              I saw the following comment a while back and wonder if this is really so:

              "If your script goes to preview mode and then prints, memory consumption of Filemaker Pro increases, and does not go back down until Filemaker Pro is closed.  If you do a lot of printing this way, you end with a LOT of wasted memory.  We've seen up to about 700MB of memory used by one Filemaker process (instead of the normal ~160MB with default memory reservation setting).  I've observed this behavior using Filemaker Pro 11 on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced on Windows Server 2003."

              https://fmdev.filemaker.com/message/68374#68374

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              • 4. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
                gdurniak

                When it is slow, ask them to open the Activity Monitor ( or Task Manager )

                 

                On my Mac Mini, FileMaker slows to a crawl,  if I have no free memory

                 

                greg

                 

                 

                > We have recently been getting complaints that the longer a user has our files open the slower they get

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
                  DougRawson

                  Our system does a ton of Preview to Print. Every print script stops and pauses in preview mode.

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
                    DougRawson

                    Yes we have them complaining. I haven't yet had to get ear plugs but it is getting close. 90% of our client have 8 or fewer licenses so the concurrent usage is not high.

                    Our system uses a few plugins: Troi File, SMTPit Pro, POP3it Pro, and FMBooksConnector (QB integration usually only installed on a single machine).

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
                      DougRawson

                      Activity Monitor (Task Manager) will be a next step. We will have them get us screen shots when experiencing sloooooow performance.

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Slows Down the Longer it is Open
                        SBerger

                        Greg,

                         

                        is it only lack of free memory?

                        What about inactive memory?

                        In theory inactive memory should be available to processes as well.