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Helix Server Activity Animations

Helix Server uses animated icons in the splash screen to provide program-status information for Helix Server under macOS.

These icons provide significantly better feedback than the OS 9 cursor change mechanism. Cursor changes for program status (like the watch wait icon) are discouraged under macOS, even though many applications continue to do it. The recommended way is to define a status area, like a window Status Bar, where program status can be displayed, and we have implemented it now, rather than wait for cursor changing to break once and for all.

Observing these animations can help you identify precisely what is consuming your Server’s time and provide hints regarding areas that would benefit from optimization.

Network Activity
Helix 7 network
Helix 6 network

This icon represents network activity.
The upper arrow indicates ‘incoming’ data received from Clients.
The lower arrow indicates ‘outgoing’ data sent from the Server.

Data Input
Helix 7 data
Helix 6 data entry

This icon represents data input.


  • A Client enters a record on an entry view to add or modify records.
  • A Client initiates an action that triggers a post.
  • A Client deletes records.

During a lengthy search or data entry the Data Input icon may stay illuminated for the period another client is waiting for a safe moment to break into that long operation.

During lengthy data entry the Data Input icon may blink off briefly. This is normal and does not necessarily indicate the operation has stopped, just that the server is attending to other matters.

Search in Progress
Helix 7 search
Helix 6 search

This icon represents a search in progress.
When a Client requests data that Helix must search for (e.g: a queried list) this icon will appear.
Excessive display of the search icon is a good indicator that your collection is using unoptimized search techniques.

During a lengthy search the Search in Progress icon may blink off briefly. This is normal and does not necessarily indicate the operation has stopped, just that the server is attending to other matters.

Request in Progress
Helix 7 request
Helix 6 request

This icon represents a non-search/non-data-entry request in progress. The totality of all other generally short requests that the client must consult the server about are reflected here.


  • A Client in the process of visiting.
  • A Client opening an entry view that it does not have stored in its local structure.
  • Calculations
  • Data validations (Both end user validations and internal validations, e.g. ensuring that data entered into a number field is numeric data.)
  • Fetching specific fields for a record once it has been located.
  • Helix 8.0.1 and later: Rebuilding an invalid (e.g. a fragile) index. (See R7480)

Helix Server completes most operations so quickly that real-time changes would be invisible (or subliminally visible at best). Therefore, the activity icons do not display in real-time, but rather indicate an accumulation of time spent on an activity.

Indicators change only when accumulated time spent on an activity is at least 1/10th of a second.