Serious InDesign Server slow down with Catalina
We are stuck with serious performance issues with our scripts for InDesign Server (mostly Applescripts) after upgrading from Mojave (macOS 10.14.6) to Catalina (macOS 10.15.7). The problems are alike with Indesign Server CC 2019 and CC 2020.
The current machine is a Mac Mini (2018) is used as development server for our current project. But when taken in production (very soon) the solution that is the outcome of the project must be able to run on a machine that demands Catalina or later. And this solution will rely heavily on high performance.
Earlier we managed to solve some permission issues that came with the upgrade (described in another post). But I’m afraid the current performance problems 'are much deeper rooted and can only be solved by Adobe and/or Apple.
We haven’t encountered any resembling performance issues with other applications than Indesign Server, or with scripts working with tasks that does not involve InDesign server on these machines or other macs running Catalina. The slow down with InDesign Server are abnormal.
The problems manifests themselves in several ways:
- The time it takes for a script to do its tasks have raised to unacceptable levels. In the very best cases, it has more than tripled.
- Processing time also varies a lot between executions of the same script – for no apparent reasons.
- Processing time is often even higher when initiated by a soap call than when the same script is run from a script editor.
For evaluation I have used one and the same script working with one and the same document. The test document (relatively light in our context) is opened from a template with around 350 empty text- and image frames. The script first analyses the document, recording all frames with a certain label content and makes a setting record for those frames based on the label content. Then it imports text and place images according to those settings.
Under Mojave it takes just above one minute for the script to do the job – both when started with a soap call and directly from an editor. Processing time is varying between 1:02 and 1:12, which I consider to be a ”natural” variation.
After the upgrade, the scores for editor executions have varied between 2:08 and 3:44. Started with soap the time varies between 3:30 and above 5 minutes
The increase in process time – at least 300 to 500 percent with soap calls – is of course unacceptable. The large variations is also a problem in itself
• The process time scores above referes to the time amount from when the script starts to work with the document until it’s finished with the document (so any delays outside of the document processing is not included).
• We cannot pick out certain actions that has slowed more than other. The recording of document content is heavily decelerated – taking between 40 seconds and 2 minutes and more, compared to taking a few seconds with Mojave. Likewise, the process to place text and images, fit images to the frame and so on have slowed down to the same extent.
• To confirm the problem, we have also done the same tests on a fresh machine delivered from Apple with Catalina pre-installed, a lot of RAM and no other installations than the necessary for doing these tests – with the same disappointing results.
Jörgen Stahle commented
*** PROBLEM SOLVED *** due to great help here: https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/serious-indesign-server-slow-down-with-catalina/m-p/11599775.
At least it is solved for us and can propably be permanently solved by Adobe
1. There is a simple workaround: Making InDesign Server the front application brings back good performance.
2. This workaround should be a pretty good lead for Adobe developers on what to to to permanently solve the problem.
Jörgen Stahle commented
There is one very puzzling thing, that we have observed after I wrote this post :
At some, very rare occasions the script suddenly runs as quick as it used to do before the upgrade – just above 1 minute.
This have happened two times – out of around one hundred tries with the same script. In both cases it was executed by a soap call (with otherwise has become the slowest method with Catalina).
Then, running the same script several times directly after such an occasion, gave us same disappointing results as usual: around 3:30 and sometimes more, from soap.
This tells me there is a potential to run InDesign Server scripts as fast with Catalina as with Mojave – but, in most cases, the script is heavily disturbed by something...