Missing portal data, and measuring pings in Filemaker?

Is there any reason other than a slow internet that would cause FIlemaker on Windows to periodically simply not show portal rows?

I work from my home office on a Mac but my clients work in a school on VERY cheep Windows computers and despite having fiber, their (underpaid and underqualified) IT department throttles their interest significantly, and often incorrectly (i.e. 80Mbps limit for an entire hotspot, which might be serving 20 students and a teacher instead of 80Mbps. It's nothing malicious since other schools in the district have the same problem.

Unfortunately, it makes filemaker slow.

I've gotten many complaints over the years about them going to a record and getting blank portal rows. Students with missing transcripts, or missing attendance or other missing data.

It seems like quitting Filemaker and restarting fixes it.

I'm wondering if I can put any debugging in it to track it down. I imagine it's at least partially due to internet glitches, so I'm wondering about having a button they can press which records when the data is missing and what their PING and Speedtest results are.

The server is hosted through a 3rd party at AWS in Virginia and we're in Massachusetts, so Ping times aren't ideal.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Speed isn't so much an issue. Latency is. Packet drops too.
Speedtest in a web viewer can give you speed and latency. Not sure what tool available to FileMaker could help to determine packet drops.

I've tried to get people to use Speedtest, but most aren't savvy enough and even those that are are busy. They're often teaching a class in an intercity school dealing with lots of distractions and are in a conference with a student when viewing student records. They can't take the time to do some sort of speed test and then send me the results. I was hoping there was some way I could automate it within Filemaker. I know it's a long shot.

There's a technique that I have seen, which is not the same as a true internet speed test, but maybe it's along the lines of what you are looking for.

I first saw it posted by Greg Lane, of Skeleton Key. I encourage you to check out his post to the following thread:



Since you are on a mac, you may want to try using Network Link Conditioner which lets you artificially degrade your internet by capping bandwidth, adding latency, DNS latency, and/or causing dropped packets.

Here's an example where the DNS has a 3 second delay, but everything else is normal:

You could set this up on your mac, and play around with various settings, and see if you can simulate the same behavior that your clients are seeing.


Looking like the root of my problem (other than slow internet at the school) is a Windows-only problem that's been around for 5+ years and is "on the issue tracker" at Claris and which basically comes down to "yeah Filemaker portals don't always work on Windows if you don't have a decent internet connection".

It's been a known issue with Claris in their issue tracker for many years.


There was a pre-Filemaker20 solution which involved a ReleaseDebugOn.txt (referenced in the link above) but that no longer works... but thanks to @WimDecorte and HOnza sharing knowledge on the Soliant Consulting website it looks like the solution is to use the same:

{“extraflags”: “no_portal_drs”}

Line in a ClarisConfig.json file:

It's a temporary fix which involves touching every computer to manually install this fix, but since this "temporary fix until Claris takes care of it" has worked with one change for 5 years, it's possibly more of a "temporary 1970's building" that's still in service now sort of temporary fix... :slight_smile:

Also, @steve_ssh thanks for reminding me of my 2020 post to the Claris forum about this same issue when all my teaching staff was trying to work remotely with their inconsistent 20Mbps down and 3Mbps up internet speeds, where Greg Lane, of Skeleton Key offers a simple script that will work great for the logging issues:



@xochi Thanks for this. Good tip. I should be able to use this with Parallels to confirm it works before rolling it out to the entire staff.

Yes, this issue is really frustrating. We also have a client experiencing this issue where the ReleaseDebug.txt in FM 19 or ClarisConfig.json file in FM 20 do not always resolve the issue. Working with Claris support, but responses are slow… :disappointed: