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Filemaker slowness on Macs


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Hi all,

I recently joined a company that runs file maker 8 and 9 (some clients have 8 other 9) I believe the server is running version 7.


Well currently mu job is at stake because of the performance difference between pc and mac.


Everything on a pc is pretty snappy. Pages and tabs run fast. Only some queries and reports take some time to load. but still acceptable.


The problem is on intel macs. what is snappy on a pc is slow on a mac. Pages take up to 5 seconds to load, reports can take up to two minutes to generate. and calendar requests ( this is mostly used for scheduling and billing) can take upwards of 10 seconds or more to load.


Management is unhappy with performance, and this is my first time dealing with the filemaker beast. Any solutions besides polishing up the resume? I inherited this mess, and with a new remote office trying to get connectivity over a point to point the issues have become worse. One user even created a brand new database and set it up on a new network of a server a pc and a mac, and once again the a p4 2.4 ghz pc with 1 gig of ram was outperforming a brand new intel xeon mac with 8 gigs of memory.


Any tweeks, patches or advice?


Thanks all,


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There are a number of things that affect performance, so it's good that you have the problem somewhat isolated.


In general, on the Mac, layouts should be very quick to load, once the layout has been visited. The first time, things take a little longer, depending on the speed of the network and the complexity and graphics on the layout. The speed of reports is generally about the efficiency of the algorithm (finds on unstored calcs, sorting, and looping operations take the longest), and to some respects, the speed of the network and of the workstation.



Some suggestions on things to check or fix:


• Upgrade the server to Server 9. This should perform better than Server 7 and be more stable.

• Check that the client machines have the most recent FileMaker Pro updates applied.

• Check the network speed of the slow clients. For best results, a 100Mb or faster network will run reports reasonable well. Set manually to Full Duplex if possible.

• Set the cache on the clients to be 12MB or 16MB, rather than the default 8MB.

• Make sure the server machine is not used for services other than FileMaker (no File Sharing).

• For more than 50 concurrent sessions, Server 7 should be run on a server OS, like Mac OS X Server (rather than regular OS X). I don't think this requirement is still there in Server 9.

• Check if the problem is specific to the layouts/graphics in your solution. Does the same thing happen with another solution?

• Perhaps it's a DNS problem. Are you connecting to the server via an IP address or a domain name?

• It could be an issue with a specific switch on the network (yes, some switches act differently to different workstations). Does the same problem occur with a mac on the same switch as the server (or connected directly)?

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Thank you for the super quick response.


The file maker server is a fairly adequate windows server 2003 box, 4 gigs of ram , gigabit Ethernet connection, we connect to the database via ip address, it is internal only and at most the are no more than 30 consecutive users.


I don't think it is related to graphics / layouts because we made a small test database with new assets and it also had speed issues.


across all mac's across the organization.

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Are you running FileMaker 8.5 or beyond on all of your Intel Macs, or are you running 8.0 or earlier instead?


FileMaker 8.5 was the first Intel-native release; older releases have to run in Rosetta and take a nasty speed hit for doing so.

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The file maker server is a fairly adequate windows server 2003 box

Would this Windows Server 2003 box be doing anything else at all besides running FileMaker Server? Directory services? SMB sharing?

What's performance like if you have solely Macs connected?

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