Level: Advanced, Version: FM 12 or later

Fast Grid Displays on a WAN

Last October I began a series on Outer Joins, which explored a number of different ways to display summarized information in a grid, and at the time I concluded that the “fastest” method was to leverage the FileMaker relational model. And it was plenty fast, locally… and not too bad on a LAN… and technically, it was the fastest method on a WAN but only because the other methods we looked at were even dog-slower than it was.

I like to test solutions on a WAN, even if they’re only going to be deployed on a LAN, because it’s a great way to uncover performance bottlenecks. But recently I needed to deploy a summarized grid on a WAN, and was incentivised to come up with something faster… and after a bit (well, okay, a lot) of trial and error settled on the approach we’re going to look at today. To cut to the chase, with a million records in the test file, the previous best grid rendering time of 11 seconds on a WAN has been reduced by a factor of 10, to just over one second.

5-28-2013 11-11-16 PM

Continue reading “Fast Grid Displays on a WAN”

Chart, Level: Advanced, Version: FM 11 or later

Array Charting, part 2

Last week we looked at building a FileMaker 11 native chart based on data that has been parsed into a field-based array.

2011-07-11-b

I happen to like field-based arrays, for reasons I’ll get to in a minute, but is a field-based array really necessary to generate the above chart? Continue reading “Array Charting, part 2”

Chart, Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 11 or later

Array Charting, part 1

In recent postings we’ve looked at…

While these three techniques may not appear to have much in common, all of them are used as building blocks in today’s demo, line-chart-from-field-array. Our data set is a table of web site visits, by week and by state, beginning in March 2006 and running through June 2011.

Wouldn’t it be nice to to use FileMaker 11’s built-in charting capabilities to produce a line chart showing weekly visits per year? Continue reading “Array Charting, part 1”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 8 or later

Fast Summaries

Editor’s note: for additional thoughts on this subject see Fast Summaries Revisited and Fast Summaries Re-revisited.

Have you ever wished you could pull the values from a summary report, and use them in a script or a calculation? Back in the FileMaker 6 days, Mikhail Edoshin introduced a technique to do just that.

He called the technique Fast Summaries, and I came to employ it extensively in my own solutions. Continue reading “Fast Summaries”

Level: Beginner, Version: FM 8 or later

Unique Records Revisited, part 1

A while back I posted a technique to identify and count unique records. I recently discovered that while the technique is 100% reliable in terms of identifying unique records, under certain circumstances it will fail to count them correctly, due to what I believe is a bug in the way summary fields work. You can easily reproduce the bug by following the instructions in this demo file: broken summary field

Fortunately there are various ways to skin this particular cat, and today we’re going to look at one of them (demo file: broken summary field workaround).

The method for indentifying unique records hasn’t changed. Continue reading “Unique Records Revisited, part 1”