When you have deployed your Custom App to your team and they have started to use it in earnest, at some point you will inevitably be asked to see how it can be made quicker.
Custom Apps can have very complex workflows and data models - something which was efficient enough when you had a few thousand of records, might need some significant optimisation when you hit hundreds of thousands or millions of records. While it is a common response in IT to solve performance problems with newer hardware, often a smarter approach is more economic (or may be the only option if you have just updated your hardware and it still isn't as quick as you would like). However, optimising Custom Apps can be technically challenging regardless of the experience level of the developer and so where should you begin?
FileMaker Server 15 now includes a feature called 'Top call statistics log', which in our opinion justifies the upgrade price alone if you want to speed up your Custom App performance.
Essentially, The log describes in detail the client requests (up to 25) that have the taken the longest elapsed time - from this you can get a good idea of which layouts, scripts and database tables are likely to benefit from some performance tuning.
Setting this up is a simple as one click in the FileMaker Server Admin Console:
Once this is done you can view the new log file in your server's log folder:
The log file can be opened in Excel or FileMaker Pro for further analysis:
It is important to note that this level of logging will itself be a significant performance hit and so should not be routinely enabled, but instead be used tactically to collect information only for short periods of time. Furthermore, you need to be aware that if you restart FileMaker server then this is automatically disabled by default.
Even with the detailed information that is provided in the Top Call Statistics, it can be an intimidating process to optimise your first Custom App if you are new to the FileMaker platform so if you are not sure where to start you can always contact our consulting Team for a second opinion.