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How big can a Filemaker system be (tables, relationships, fields)?

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maybe not totally the right sub forum, but I couldn't find a better place... 

I have a client with an already complex system (60 tables, around 6000 fields total, 477 relationships, 1315 scripts, 400 layouts, file is 900Mb) and he is now asking to add a quotes module, which, due to the technical nature of their business, will also contain a lot of tables, calculations and relationships and so on. 

Before I start building this quotes module I would like to know if there is a limit to what you should or can put into one file. 

I'd prefer to keep everything in one file because some tables in the main system will be used in the quotes system as well, but only if this is advisable. 

So if anyone knows anything about maximum relationship or table count, I'd like to hear from them...

Thanks in advance,



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Your performance may be increased by separating your solution by area of concerns. You could put all things in one file but there is a point depending on how it's architected that you will experience a performance hit.

Area of concerns  or audience can be by departments or users who need portions but not all portions of a solution. In some cases I have an Advance Reporting file that branches out to other files because it creates data warehouse or aggregates data for solely reporting purposes.

In one case I have a file that is an interface just for a web direct access that works with files that in house folks use. 

There are theoretical limits but it's just a number as there are so many variables that will play a factor how useful a system is ( number users, deployment, bandwidth, bare metal on server, complexity of graph, legacy left-overs, themes and fonts not optimized etc ) 

If your already using external authentication then a separate file isn't that hard to add on. otherwise you have to manage users and permissions across files. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Wim and Ocean West

thanks a lot for the feedback. (and sorry for cross posting, but I like both forums) I'll take all these points into consideration. I see the pros and cons of both options, and tend to lean towards two separate files.

I just wanted to know if FMP itself would kind of force me to this decision due to technical limitations, but that is not the case. And that is good to know. 

They are not in a hurry, so I have the time to give it some thought. 

Thanks again, Daniel


EDIT: sorry, I forgot to mention that in the other forum someone pointed me to this page: 



Edited by DDDan
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