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FM7 file size getting smaller

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This looks strange to me last day when I found that our backup copy size just getting smaller recently.


We host our databases using FMS 9 and schedule daily backup at non-peak hour over the night.


One of the database file size is pretty large, which overs 2.5G in size. Our usual backup practice is to use FMS to run scheduled backup task and run script to zip the backup copy to a zipped file and copy it to an remote storage using some simple OS script.


I found that the zip file size is reducing quite a lot recently, say from 1.92G to 1.86G. I thought my users must have deleted records with container fields content. After checking around, they said no major records deletion be carried in last few days and I actually found the number of records is increasing.


So, would someone here can give me some light on what can this be? Would FMS do database optimization itself when file growing to certain size. This is the first time I aware such behavior. 


Or would someone suggest the step that can help to reconcile if the data in the file is intact.








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I have never know Filemaker to optimize by itself.

Things that can effect it are not just the data but the calculations can effect it as well, have you made any changes to any of the calculations? or relationships ?

Check the pre-zip size to see if it is correct. could be an update effecting how it zips

if not, then I would take an old backup  that was 2.5 gig, export to a text file, then export from the new file  and compare the 2 either manually or with software to compare text files.

We can go from their if the answer does not show itself

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For my case, it's actually the fp7 file. That's what worrying me a bit.


It's quite a big job or a tedious work for a big file with lots of tables without some automation tools. I will go from there and see if any findings pop up. 


You suggestion is  much appreciated.

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I finally found out the cause is container field related. One day, my users had uploaded some very big images to the container fields and just put in another set of much smaller image recently. This contributed to the size reduction of the fm7 file. 


Wow.... it's something not that easy to dig out in direct. Fm7 file format does not allow limiting the container field size in use which can make file size very large in size.


Any ideas on how to fine tuning this limitation? Or has this be addressed in FM12?



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FM12 and FMS12 support 'Remote Containers'


This can significantly reduce the file 'bloat' you can get with internally stored containers.


Have a look at the FM web site for documentation.

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