Using WireShark to measure FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go Network Performance

A few brave souls hung out after my FileMaker DevCon 2011 session on Practical Techniques for Improving Application WAN Performance to see the WireShark demo. I promised to blog with step-by-step instructions or a video for how to run a WireShark capture. Here it is 🙂 First off, you need to install WireShark (or a similar tool that can capture network packets). A list comparing many of the available tools can be found here, on Wikipedia. Personally, I chose WireShark for five (5) reasons:

  • Familiarity – I used its predecessor, Ethereal, a long time ago.
  • Support looked to be widely available.
  • It supported both OS X and Windows.
  • It offered a GUI.
  • It was free.

Before you install the tool, you do need to take a few moments to consider where you want to install it. In my session I advocate installing the tool wherever you install FileMaker Server (FMS), so you can capture traffic to and from both FileMaker Pro (FMP) and FileMaker Go (FMG) clients. I also suggest you consider installing FMS on your local desktop or laptop, so you can isolate your tests from other network activity, work offline and have direct access to the captured traffic when exporting it for analysis. My last blog article on this topic outlined five (5) basic steps:

  • Decide which interface you need to capture.
  • Set the capture filter to ‘tcp port 5003’.
  • Display and export only the columns you need.
  • Export as comma-delimited for easy import into some sort of analysi.
  • If you want to gauge the volume of traffic in real time and/or in one direction, layer on a display filter, e.g. ‘tcp.srcport == 5003’.

The video below walks you through a simple test, shows you how to export the results and import them into a small FileMaker application for analysis. Want a copy of the analysis template? Here you go. Mark Richman is an Owner, the President, a FileMaker Certified Developer and a FileMaker Authorized Trainer at Skeleton Key. About Skeleton Key Skeleton Key is an accomplished team of technology consultants who solve business problems. We specialize in the rapid development of custom applications, integrating Macs and PCs in the professional workplace, and providing personalized training. Despite our end-to-end technical skills, we are consultant first and technologist second. We know that you don’t just need technology. You need to know that the technology you choose to deploy will provide the results you desire. Skeleton Key is a Platinum Level FileMaker Business Alliance company, an Authorized FileMaker Trainer, a member of the Apple Consultants Network and a Microsoft Registered Partner.