Specs of the platform

what are the known (real) specs and limitations of FM18 to be aware of?

Now recursion limit can be adjusted - what else? Substitute function still limited to process 999 substitute pairs? how long can SQL statements expression become? How about script parameter size?
PSoS differs with normal script call - how about script by name calls?

And many other technical specs would be great to know!


I did not try to install fm18 under not supported macOS (what could be interesting), but at the moment there are limitations

  • mailings (according to forum entries). Outlook on macOS seems not to work
  • if variables are included in the quick-search, quick search will fail
  • more on the not-so-easy-to-search fmi forums

We are working daily with fm18 and are quite happy with it - but we do not touch all aspects

I found this: FileMakerPKB

does at least a little bit more info about calculation text size etc …
still trying to find limitations for script parameters/results (PSoS, PSoC)

@FileKraft There are some other links in the FM18 Certification prep list you can look into, but as you point out, the documentation is not extensively covering every angle or telling us how some elements are equivalent to others regarding their limitations.

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most competent source for such questions would be Clay Maeckel. Or maybe Andrew Paulsen.
Clay can be reached via some Facebook-Groups OR by direct mails with the Salesforce SW.

Andrew no longer works there.

Substitute is still limited, no change there, that I know of. I tested this in early beta tests, but not in the shipping version.

SQL expressions are limited mainly by the calc dialog itself. I have never tested the length of pushing the actual expression in another way, because at that point, I wouldn't want to use ExecuteSQL, I imagine.

Script Parameter size is also limited by the calc dialog. If you are passing in a script parameter, I haven't found a limit. I believe there used to be a limit of 999,999 characters. But in recent versions, I tested up to 5 million characters and it works...it's slow, but it works.

On the server side, same thing. I haven't run into a limit. And I've passed parameters over 1 million characters.


thanks for your answers but they failed my verification on my copy of FMPA18v3.

When I pass parameters via PSoS call the limit is as you write still 1M chars. So how did you get to your unlimited result.

What has been improved from earlier versions that it returns an error 736 stating “Too much data to export to this format; data will be truncated” if script result exceeds 1M - therefor at least returns exactly 1M chars.

Parameter Passing accordingly except on exceeding Error 513 “No validation was specified but data cannot fit into the field” is omitted.

So my question how did you come to your results again?

thanks for the hint - I am not on FB though and also not in proximity to Mr Maeckel or Mr Paulsen. I requested this info via FM support / knowledge base Customer Care etc - without success apparently and not surprisingly.

thanks for your answer Bobino unfortunately there is nothing in regards of what I asked originally like “real specs” as outlined. FMI/Claris somehow is like Rolls-Royce withholding some underthehood specs …

Apologizes. Just read your reply. Here is the file. Throw it on the server. ( Admin / no password )

Throw some text in the field, and run the test locally and on the server ( PSOS ).

http://bit.ly/33Omd9x ( edited for correct file )

@jormond you didn’t understand what I meant by script parameter or script result length. what your script does is passing just a reference to a field which is a couple of bytes and will not work if files are separated.

Trying to explain this better: Context free script call without anything shared just exchanged script parameters. Did you get it?

Thanks for trying though. Or how do you define script parameter size/length??

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lol … WOW. Boy, did I miss that one by a mile. My bad. I was performance testing the 2 approaches and had named the files the same.

Local: It accepted the 2+ million character parameter.
Server: It throws the 513 error on parameters over 1 million characters.

Here is the other file if you want to look at it. http://bit.ly/33Omd9x

why shall I look at it? I don’t understand where you are coming from honestly. You finally agree with my statement and won’t add anything else new to it or do you?

thanks anyway …

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I choose not to decide for people if they want to look at something. I only posted it for anyone else that wanted to look at it., since I posted the wrong file the first time. The reply was short because I was on my way into a meeting.

Yes. I was confirming your statement. To have something context free, yes you are limited. You could encrypt it to a file, using the crypt functions, and pass the file itself then decode on the other end.

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Another spec: calculations can only have 30k characters with the define calculation box.
(Source ISO FileMaker magazine)

That one is listed in the KB article you pointed to previously. Just saying. :wink:

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I can confirm from experience that this 30k Limit is with every formula editor (Field, Script, HideWhen, CondidtionGraphicFormatting, CustomFunction).
Allow formulas with > 30’000 Characters


I just tested in the Data Viewer of FM18v3:

SetRecursion (

While ( [

i = 1 ;
end = 10018 ; // empirically increased to find max
expression = i
] ;
i < end ;
i = i + 1 ;
expression = expression & “+” & i
] ;

Length ( expression ) / 1000 & “k¶” &

Evaluate ( expression )
// expression
) ; 10 ^ 6


and it creates an expression Evaluate can evaluate and the maximum length of the expression:


so limitation for expression length is 49k char?

Are you hitting the “expression” limit, or the recursion limit?