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FM7 Questions about image database Schema Design


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Hi all, I am a newbie to FileMaker, although I have some basic knowledge about what Database is.. (DB concept like relational DB .., SQL, etc)

I am creating an image library database(which also includes information on those images) consisting several tables.

The database is about food. The tables are like <recipe>, <package of food>, <restaurant>, <tableware> etc..

Each records in those tables has one or more images and each images might be around 800k and at least 10000 images total at the moment. I expect around 3-40000 or more images in the near future because we are planning to input much more data in the future.

I know that FM7 supports to include graphic images in records and I am using it.

Now I am creating schema and because this is image database, I am worried about speed of browsing each records. Since I'm newbie I have no knowledge what are the imporant factors concerning speed.

I should choose whether

1. to make each table include image

2. to make table not to include images, instead add table <image> and separate images from the other database as a separate table and show those images in a portal. (As you might know, I should create a relation(?) with <image> and other <data> tables)

3. or any other opinions?

In this database, Images are the most important part, and time to load image is important.

I will mostly use the database to find the images with several options like images of the same food cordinator, of the same colortone( I will save this information in data) and might result in hundreds or thousands of records.

If I include all the images in records, wouldn't it be too slow to browse? The database file size might be several gigabytes.

I expect the second option above to make separate table containing images need extra work, and I wonder it deserves such effort. I expect the second option might be better on the 'speed' aspect because there is no need to load all images in the table I use.. Am I right?

Also, if I separate image and data, and I include portals in 'data' table to show images. Will it be take a long time to find and display those images?

Or Do you think these two above options bad and I should find any other way like separating all those tables into sevaral database files??

Woo.. I have several questions. Sorry for my poor explanation because of my poor knowledge and english skills. Plz give me a hint...

Thanks a lot~~~ smile.gifyay.gif

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First off, I don't think you need to worry about the speed issue related to size. The only fields that would be searched/sorted and thus indexed are your descriptor (e.g. text)fields. Now, if you had a bunch of large, calculated, unstored fields, then these would slow you down.

I don't think you'll find any other slow down issues except for what you would awlays expect if you were passing imaged across your network or internet.

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Huh, I'm working on a similar project.

I created 2 files, a photo database, and a "file" database.

In the file database I put all the information about each image file--size, depth, EXIF info, save date, etc. I use Photoshop CS to extract this data and pass it over using AppleScript. I store a thumbnail as a 256x256x32 bit image. (Photoshop saves the thumb, and Filemaker imports the file).

In the photo database I have information about each "photo" (a photo can reference many files, as you might have saved different sizes, have an orginal and an edited version, etc.)

Among other things, this means that the "file" database has only cached information, and can be (theoretically) recreated from the original image files if needed. It also means that when you change the photo database (adding information), you don't need to back up changes to the file database.

Right now I have about 8,000 images. The file database is > 200MB. The entire project is about 300MB, but will zip down to ~120MB for archiving.

Some idea of the amount of time that things take follows.

There is a database of people, with a many:many relationship to the photos. For each person, I show a sample of the photos with that person, using a portal. The portal shows 12 images, each thumbnail reduced to a 96x96 pixel size. Scrolling around in the people view sort of feels like MS Word on an older PowerMac (slow Pentium). It scrolls about 2 pages per second. Annoying but acceptable. I have a dual 2 GHz G5.

I also have a thumbnail view that shows 36 images 128x128 pixels (using 9 portals, each 4 rows high). This page takes about 8 secs to display. This delay is annoying, and is proportionally worse on a slower machine.

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