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Number Crunching?


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I am sure this has been asked before. I just didn't see a post that blatantly asked, is there any way to improve Filemaker's number crunching ability. This is what I have. I have two files. One is the database called "Datafiles". The other is the front end that everyone sees. Datafiles has fields that calculate averages and max values of numbers in Datafiles. The front end has a layout with fields that pull those numbers in from Datafiles. The problem is, when I go to that layout, it takes about seven seconds for everything to load.

So, is there a way to optimise the number crunching ability? Is there a plugin that gives Filemaker a boost?

Thanks for your time

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You don't say how big Datafiles is nor how many, and what, calculation fields you have in the front end. If you really do have two files as opposed to one file with two tables, you might do better to have the calculations in Datafiles and then just display them in the front end layout.

Yours sounds like a very basic simple application. There are plenty of examples in this forum about poor performance but only on complex and/or networked stuff. I have done a few very large calcs on my little standalone crappy Windoze PC and have had to really push things to get any significant performance hit - like 2 breaths instead of 1.

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Unfortunately, FileMaker is not designed for number crunching, and there is no plugin to help

The only optimization "trick" is to use only stored values, not unstored calcs. For example, run a script off-hours to calculate and store the values you need.

Averages, Max Value, and calculations based on a related field are all horribly slow

FileMaker number crunching is over 1000 times slower than a "real" database (e.g. Sybase SQL Anywhere), and FM7 is no better

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You might want to consider some design changes. You've only got 903 records, but you're experiencing a slowdown, which means that you've got something in your design which is a serious impediment to performance. I would bet that it is calculation and summary fields. If you're opening on a layout which involves a summary field, you'll have a serious slowdown. If you're showing unstored calculations, you'll have the same experience. The same holds true for showing related data, especially via a portal.

I feel I have to say something in response to Gregory's statement that FileMaker is lousy for number crunching. For a database with only 903 records, FileMaker is lightning-quick, if the database is designed thoughtfully. I have clients with files containing hundreds of thousands of records, and the response time is as close to instantaneous as you could want, because (and Gregory is right here) the systems do not rely on numerical functions which should not be used inadvisedly.

You may want to look into scripting all of your calculations - it is definitely a lot of work, but it makes for a grand upgrade in speed. When someone wants to see a layout involving the averages, etc., you've got, force them through a script which performs the calculations, and put the data into regular text/number fields. Performance will improve drastically.


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