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Terry Kilshaw

FM Server 5.5 speed issues

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Our product works fine in client server mode until the number of records grows.

The core of our application uses 3 Filemaker files;

Contacts, Units and Deals.

A Deal brings together a Contact and a Unit.

There are fairly complex scripts involved, there is some sorting, some finding and on the Contacts and Unit detail screens each has a portal with a list of Contacts and Units, respectively.

The numbers of records are rally not that large. For example:

Units 6,600

Contacts 7,607

Deals 6432

There are delays transitioning under script control from:

Deal to Contacts 6.5 seconds

Contact to Deal 4 seconds

Deal to Unit 5 seconds

Unit to Deal 3.5 seconds

Also, the Contact details screen has a portal that lists all contacts, sorted by last name. Clicking on a portal list item 3.5 seconds

The Unit details screen has a portal that lists all available units, sorted by Type, Model Code and Year. Clicking on a portal list item takes 4 seconds to work.

Also clicking on a field with a drop down menu that has custome value, for some reason causes 4 second delay.


Its not looking anything up

Anyway, the bottom line is that we need to speed this up without losing functionality.

The time quoted above are best times. For reasons that are unclear, sometimes things take up to four or more times longer.

We are prepared to pay for usable solutions.



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Speed issues like this are not uncommon with FM6 and below. You can try to improve things by not sorting portals, filtering portals and value lists so their related records sets are smaller, upgrading to a faster network, and/or getting a faster server and client machines.

FM7/8 do a much better job of caching layout and record information, making performance of portals much faster. If you can migrate to FM8 with Server 8, you will notice a big speed improvement in those areas.

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One simple solution is a faster hard drive, we saw a huge performance jump by installing a 15,000 rpm disk with UltraWide card. Filemaker is very disk intensive. This was on a G4/800 MHz Mac. That was a $1,000 CDN solution.


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Ditto for the advice to uprade to FM 7 or later.

At the very least make sure you're using the latest versions of FMP 6.0 client and FMS 5.5 server.

FMP = 6.0v4.

FMS = 5.5v3 I think (it's been a while).

Get the updates from the FMI web site.

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