Network users – speed of processing

Network versus PC performance

For normal data entry (i.e. when you enter data into the software), you won’t notice much difference between running the software on a PC or over a network.

However, when the data is activated, the speed of the network becomes a factor. You will see this because the same model will often take longer to activate over the network than on a PC. The speed of software operation is a function of the speed of your network. Also, your virus checker can have a significant influence (see below).

Suggestions for speeding up performance

Citrix / Terminal server

If your network is Citrix or Terminal server, the speed of activation will usually be as good as on a PC, and often better (because usually one has better hardware on such a server).

For other servers, here are some suggestions:

1. Turn off indexing of the folder on the server

If the server is running Windows, turn off indexing of the VCF8 folder.

For example, for Windows server 2008, in Windows Explorer, find the VCF8 folder, right click on the folder and select Properties. This is what you see:

Click Advanced.

Make sure “Index this folder for faster searching” is unticked.

Click OK twice. 



2. Temporary file location

During activation the software does a lot of processing and needs to work with a lot of data. That is why on a slow network it may take a while. Also, if TEMP files are configured to a network share, everything will be slow. You can speed things up by telling it to put its working files onto a local drive. That should speed up processing because some of the data is used on the fast local C drive rather than the slower network drive. How to tell the software to put its working files onto the local drive Do this:
  • Create a new folder on the local C drive.
  • Call it say c:\work (or c:\temp)
  • Open config.fpw with notepad. This file is in the application folder (e.g. VCF8 for Visual Cash Focus).
  • Near the top change TMPFILES, for example:
* Temporary file location: * Can change this to a faster drive. Example: TMPFILES=C:\temp *TMPFILES=SYS(2023) TMPFILES=c:\work If the folder you are using contains spaces, then put it in quotes, example TMPFILES=”C:\steve work area” Don’t leave spaces around the equal sign, and remove the asterisk in front of TMPFILES (if it exists) as shown in the example above. All user must have this directory. If on a network, all users must have the working directory. In the example above c:\work must exist on all the workstations. This technique should speed it up. However, one can never expect the same fast speed as when operating the software on a local drive, as the speed of moving data over the network is limited by the speed of the network itself. Where are the temporary files being stored? Right-click here for a program that can be used to show the current location of the temporary files. Then choose Save target as or Save link as to download the file showt.exe. Note: Using Windows Explorer, put showt.exe into your VCF8 folder and then run it. If you change config.fpw, you can run it again to check the temporary folder location.  

3. Speed of hard disk and speed of network

The network speed and server hard disk performance are performance factors. You want the fastest hard disk you can get.

Also the network itself can often be the bottleneck. The (GigaBit) LAN device and hard disk speed on the server should be as good as possible for optimum performance.


4. Virus checking

During activation a lot of data is processed, and your virus checker can cause a significant slow down. To speed it up, these are some options:

Tell it to exclude the VCF8 folder, and all its subdirectories.

Alternatively, tell it to exclude checking of the following files:

  1. *.DBF
  2. *.FPT
  3. *.CDX
  4. *.IDX
  5. *.DBC
  6. *.DCX
  7. *.DCT

Also, tell your virus checker not to check any files in the temp folder (E.g. in c:\work as discussed above). This has been reported to result in a significant speed improvement.

Peer to peer network

If you have a peer to peer network rather than a real server, with one of the clients holding the data, then such a setup is inherently slow at data processing. It is fine for data entry or word processing applications, but for data activation it will be slower. The techniques described here will help, but if you work with large models, then running the software locally instead of over the network may be a good solution for you.


5. Other suggestions

If you have big models, and want better performance, then consider running them on your local PC. For backup purposes, you can then zip the models and store the zipped files on your network if required.

The techniques discussed above should help you achieve better performance.