How big...How many...etc.?

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The maximum size of an individual normal Catalogue (FDB) file is 4 GB (it was 2 GB in Portfolio v4). You can exceed this size constraint by using the SQL Connect version, allowing Portfolio to store catalogue sizes of over 4 GB. Since SQL has a virtually unlimited maximum file size you simply create a database in SQL Enterprise manager and then use Portfolio as your front end to the SQL database. The technical requirements page lists the SQL database vendors supported.

The 4Gb limit is most likely notional, being the maximum supported volume size on either Mac or Windows OS versions of the time. You're unlikely to get to that size as before then performance issue mean an upgrade to SQL Connect is a necessary step. One user has reported that a 250,000 image Catalogue equated to about 2 GB but note that the number of Galleries, Custom Fields, choice of thumbnail size/quality, etc., all add towards the overall Catalogue size. However, once you get above about 100k - 150k records you should monitor performance and either move up to SQL or if that is not an option you should split your catalogue. Don't forget, Portfolio can search across multiple catalogues (any that are open, that is.). The point at which you notice performance fall off as record numbers increase depends on your hardware, number of users, etc., so there are no hard and fast rules but also see "Why/when should I consider using Portfolio SQL Connect?".

When might you need to move to SQL? In a multi-user scenario 100,000 records seems a popular yardstick but there's not firm point as it is a combination of:

With a fast desktop PC/Mac, as a PC user you can move to larger catalogues especially if you don't go wild adding saved galleries and FS watched folders. Conversely, you might want to move early to SQL for ease of back-up of served catalogues (FDBs must be temporarily unserved during back-up). Whether a user already has SQL software/expertise/support is another factor to consider. "Just install SQL..." is not a trivial suggestion for those without it, both in terms of cost (esp. for small users) time and expertise needed.

If your Catalogue is growing fast and hitting performance or size constraints, do remember that Portfolio clients (except v5 Desktop users) can open and do searches across more than one Catalogue file. If you have a lot of changes to your Catalogue and are permanently deleting the records you may be able to compact the database and recover some space that way.

There is no stated maximum for the number of Galleries but clearly, the difficulties of scrolling large lists means that from a user perspective, very large numbers of saved Galleries may be counter productive. Catalogues will be slower to open with many Saved Galleries (I've seen 100s used). So, don't use them as a proxy for your storage folders, that is what Folder Sync is for. As of v7 where galleries are saved by default, having large numbers of galleries (as in high 00s/00s) will have performance hit, especially on opening the catalogue for the first time.

You do not have to have any saved Galleries, Views or Finds, nor defined keywords to use a Catalogue, though clearly it is less easy to operate this way.

The text Description Field can hold up to 32,000 characters per record/field; in addition, you can only view up to 20 lines at once when doing subsequent editing. Where possible you should normalise your data and provide appropriate custom fields to store known types of data - don't just dump everything in the Description field because you can do so. Putting data in to appropriate fields will greatly aid searching and use of your catalogues, especially when shared by many users or served via PortWeb.

The number of concurrent clients in use on the network is limited by the number of licences. These may be either single, e.g. a Portfolio Network client, or multi-user as part of Portfolio Server or purchased as top-ups directly from Extensis. Each physical Server installation requires its own licence. The number of concurrent clients accessing a server is limited by that server's licence(s), e.g. normal shrink-wrap Server comes with a licence for 5 clients, 1 Server, 5-user Server access. (For more on licences).

Question: How big...How many...etc.? [FAQ00029.htm]
Last Update:- 21 January 2008

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