Dave,

We are using FileMaker Server, I think version 5.0 or 5.5.  If you just use the muilti-user mode in FileMaker without Server, it does get unbearably slow after about three people log in to that database, but with FMP Server on a separate box and regular old FileMaker running on your machine and working as the client, one does not see that performance hit.

There is one database I work with almost every day, that at least six other people around the SU are simultaneously logged into, and I see no slow-downs unless the entire network is taking a hit.

I'll ask Diane Stacy, our Network Administrator, to give you details on how that server is set up.

I agree completely with Craig's horror stories on Scantron and bubble sheets.  Our experience at Spaulding matches his.  Inexpicably, somebody would invariably fill in the wrong bubbles (your favorite SAT nightmare, right?) The sheets kept jamming in the scanners, getting out of whack, and then your data was no good.  It turned out to be faster and more accurate to key the data in from handwritten attendance reports from the teachers.  If I remember correctly, their tech support was hard to reach and left quite a bit to be desired.

Good luck!

In a message dated 12/2/04 11:12:54 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:


Tommy,
We have several committees working on school improvement and they want
to survey the entire students body, staff, etc. In some cases they want
everyone to do the survey at once which prohibits doing it via a web
browser as we have far fewer computers than we have people in the
school.
I actually don't want to go down the road of bubble sheets but probably
don't have a choice. The leadership team, as a whole, is very keen on
doing this.
As far as FilemakerServer goes, are you sure it is a true client server
model?We run Filemaker version 6 along with the server (I forget the
version number one back from the latest). We have OK performace over T-1
quality lines; anything less than that it is a dog. We installed
Terminal Server to rectify the perfomance issues. We experimented with
web based solution in version 6 and were dissatisifed.
Ed Crelin seemed to suggest that this was greatly improved in Verion 7.
I agree with everyone, that Filemaker is hand down the easiest databse
out there for the end user and people like us that have to develop
databases when we aren't professional database developers but we have
had performance issues across slower WAN links and we have not always
been satisifed with Filemaker support. We were running it on a Linux
server. At one point I needed to talk to their Linux guys about an
access issue and they knew less about Linux than I did. It was a most
unsatisfactory experience. We wound up moving the Filemaker server onto
a Windows box because their Linux people were completely unable to help
us solve the problem. Their linux support at that time wasn't even luke
warm.
I searched Filemaker newsgroups and I found people with similar issues
to ours but no solutions. If these issues are resolved in version 7
great.
It was this experience with Filemaker support that caused me to start
looking at MySQL as perhaps being a better solution fo a central
databease that needs to be accessed by remote sites. Having to install
terminal server to service Filemaker seems like the tail is starting to
wag the dog.
Dave

David Tisdell. Computer Coordinator






Tommy J. Walz
Technology Coordinator
Barre Supervisory Union
120 Ayers St.
Barre VT 05641

Tel 802-476-5011