KathyMarieAnn sized it up correctly. I'm saying that FTM can and should be optimized so that its user base doesn't require better-than-gaming-rigs just to handle trees that contain thousands of people. FTM is dealing with text in tables. It isn't rendering 3D animation.
Access is a baby database. Once rows in its tables approach 100k its performance turns to poo. Most businesses in this situation switch to a real database at that point. If anything, they rewrite their database-driven applications to handle the data piecemeal so that performance remains acceptable.
FTM is also database-driven application. I don't know what database it uses. It doesn't really matter. The point is that it's highly inefficient and does not scale. In fact, I don't believe that scalability even factors into its development. It's hard for me to imagine that it's even tested with anything other than small data sets, because how else would you explain its performance version after version?
I appreciate what you're saying here, John. Your observations are helpful to the community to help people get a handle on dealing with the shortcomings of the software. I'm just saying that someone on that development team should write some functions that enable FTM to create reports without requiring gigs of RAM.