Layout Design To Increase FileMaker Performance (potentially)

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
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There have been a number of discussions through the years in regards to increasing the performance of a hosted FileMaker solution. There are many tried and true tips and there are some tips that change over time. It is true that computers continue to get faster and networks continue to get faster. So some of your design guidelines or hardware guidelines may become less important. However, there are best practices in which you will always want to be aware of.

LIMIT THE NUMBER OF LARGE GRAPHICS ON A LAYOUT
Large graphics can take awhile to load as you navigate from record to record. In some cases, it cannot be helped because the graphic may be an essential part of the information you need to convey. However, if the graphics are more for eye candy, you may consider a more basic user interface to speed performance.

LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PORTAL ROWS ON A LAYOUT
Portals allow you to see a number of related records. The more rows in a portal, the more potential information FileMaker may need to lookup as you navigate from record to record.

LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PORTALS ON A LAYOUT
Once again, portals allow you to see a number of related records. The more portals on a layout, the more potential information FileMaker may need to lookup as you navigate from record to record. FileMaker 8 added a new feature called tabs and this can help you with your portal count. You can have a different portal on each layout and then only view it on a users need to know basis.

SEPARATION MODEL
I’ve heard recommendations of separating the interface from data, and install the interface file/s in the client computer. I’m not sure this is all that productive and does introduce a lot of extra work if you need to update the interface on the solution.
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