1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2014 12:10 PM by GlennSmith

    FileMaker database crashing


      We have a database that is continually crashing on Macs. Window users do not appear to be affected. We have over a dozen crash reports from this past week. It doesn't happen on any specific layout or when performing a specific action; sometimes it crashes when it is just running in the background. It is running on FM 13 server. Some of the users are using FM Pro 12 and some are using FM Pro 13. We have switched them to our server to see if there was a problem with server, we have recovered file without any errors, we have uninstalled all plugins to make sure there wasn't any conflict. We are at the point that we do not know what to try to get this working. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker database crashing

          Glenn, one thing to check is the power settings. Make sure the hard drive never goes to sleep.


          • 2. Re: FileMaker database crashing

            Thanks, John.  We've hosted the database from two different server configurations, one a Mac OS server, and one a Windows 2008 server setup -- and neither had an issue with power settings.


            But thanks again for the thought. We're certainly interested in anything folks can think of!   (Although, at this point, we've tried everything that is standard and so we're trying to take things up with FileMaker support.)

            • 3. Re: FileMaker database crashing

              No.problem, I was referring to the mac workstations.


              You say crash. Does fmp hang with a beach ball or does it close down? Or do you get a message that you have been disconnected from the host?


              John Morina

              O: 631.549.0969

              C: 516.443.0966



              Sent from my Windows Phone

              • 4. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                Thanks, John.


                The crash happens while folks are actively using their systems -- so no sleep there.


                The crash is a sudden quitting of FileMaker Pro and then Mac OS offering to send a crash log to Apple.  It's not related to a particular layout, record, or script.  We've even had FileMaker do this when the program is running in the background and the user is using another app.  It's quite wild.  We've been doing FileMaker development for about 20 years (since FileMaker 2.1) and this is the first client we've seen this with!

                • 5. Re: FileMaker database crashing
                  Stephen Huston

                  Keep in mind this compatibility caution from the KnowledgeBase [11929]:

                  • FileMaker Pro 12 and FileMaker Go 12 clients cannot take advantage of features introduced in FileMaker 13 such as importing and exporting themes, use of slide panels, or popovers.

                  There have also been reports of  script steps  failing in 12 once they have been opened in 13.


                  For these reasons, it hs been strongly recommended that all file development work, even the opening and looking at script steps, be performed only using FMP12 when working in a mixed-version environment. It is entirely possible that something in a script was modified by 13 and is now causing 12 clients to run into execution issues. Do you have any log indicating what was being executed when these errors happened?

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                    Hi Stephen,


                    Would you be able to provide me with a link or reference to a discussion of script steps failing in 12 after being opened in FM 13?  We had been holding off on upgrading to FM 13 until a few bug fix versions were out, but accelerated the upgrade for a couple of test users to see if it helped with the crashing issue (perhaps a mistake!)  Main development has been done on FileMaker Pro 12, but I can't guarantee that no scripts have been viewed in 13.  Of course, the crashing pre-dated our trying out 13 with this solution, so hopefully that's not the issue.


                    We have user reports of what actions they were performing when the crashes occured, but they run the gamut of all actions.  We haven't seen a pattern.  It's not a script, a layout, a record, or anything we can yet pinpoint.  And, as previously mentioned, we've even had one of these crashes while FileMaker was running idle as a background app while the user used another app.



                    • 7. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                      What OS version are your Mac clients using? There have been many issues with Mavericks and of course the initial version of any new OS is buggy and causes problems, as well as Filemaker Pro, until version 3 or newer.


                      There is also the issue of some of the new 13 functions generating errors when opened in 12 and these errors may be a cause of crashes (theoretically).


                      The mixture of 12 and 13 may be a problem child.

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                        And, there are two issues often overlooked. One is updating Filemaker Pro to the latest version and the second is after doing so forgetting to adjust the memory variable from 64 to 256 or 512 in 13. Insufficient memory in the preference settings causes problems.

                        • 9. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                          ...and having lots of RAM on the client computers. Running in only 1 meg is bad news.


                          I had one client blame ME when his Filemaker Pro began crashing and freezing. I asked him to restart and reopen Filemaker. It took him 30 minutes to shut down his XP machine. He had dozens of windows open doing Stockholder graphs and reports, etc.


                          After I explained life to him, he bought the latest and greatest i7 with 725 gigabytes of RAM, if I can exagerate.


                          And one thing to look at is 2008 or so Macs running Mavericks in 2 Gigs of Ram...

                          • 10. Re: FileMaker database crashing
                            Stephen Huston

                            I don't have a reliable list of specific script steps with reported problems due to differences between 12 and 13. There have been specific reports of Custom Menus disappearing from files modified in 13 and then opened with 12.


                            Part of the issue is that 13 has changes is some script operations, as well as in the overall Calculation Engine, what with new Functions having been added. It has been suggested (quite believably) that FMP/A13 actually rewrites some of the file's code when opening the file, similar to conversion from FP7 to FMP12. This and the new features (which one suspects also require revising code) is why v13 has reinstituted the option we saw in v11 of allowing the developer to specify the minimum version which is permitted to open the file (this was removed from 12 because it was a file format change from the earlier version, but its back in 13).


                            The Manage Scripts dialog itself has been revised, with possible impact on script structures:



                            It seems safest to not do any level of development on 13, regardless of perceived compatibility, if the file will be opened later in 12.


                            However, you indicated that this problem began pre-13 completely, so something else has to be the base cause. The mixed development environment is simply an additional risk in a situation which had already gone bad.

                            • 11. Re: FileMaker database crashing



                              I would highly advise against using a file in FM12 after it has been opened and thus modified in FM13.  There are things that may be handled differently "under the hood" by each version.  By allowing FM12 and FM13 clients both to connect and make changes, underlying code could be corrupted or dropped entirely.  The FM12 engine will have no way of knowing how to interact with elements that came later in FM13.


                              As I have stated in other posts, this applies to many applications, not just FileMaker.

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                                Since Filemaker as well as other database software is employing minimum wage CEOs and Managers to make and oversee these decisions, maybe I could get a job there in order to build up my resume?


                                Anyone remember System 7 and its read me file with the Beautify Rock Solid Graphics that lasted as long as the first bug update??


                                I would think Filemaker would know that these problems would occur yet still permits 13 to be sold and the mixing of apps in order to keep the revenue stream flowing. Would it be too difficult to prevent the mixture of versions opening a file?


                                I am really concerned now that I have allowed Filemaker Go 13 to open a clients db to take pictures. It seems that an import routine for photos has begun to exhibit a few problems.

                                • 13. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                                  Where you there for the upgrade from 6 to 7 and all of the silly attempts to getasnumber() and such that just didn't work? I had to remove almost every instance of these inserted calcs. I am convinced that no one in the Filemaker, Inc. organization uses Filemaker.

                                  • 14. Re: FileMaker database crashing

                                    I have been with FileMaker since FM 2.1, and I think the change from 6 to 7 had the most problems.  However when I got FM8 the conversions of the same FM6 files went pretty smooth.



                                    jackrodgers wrote:


                                    I am convinced that no one in the Filemaker, Inc. organization uses Filemaker.


                                    While there are many things I love about FM,...  without getting into specifics and hi-jacking the thread,...  when it comes to the FM "user interface", I often find myself wondering the same thing.

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