Learnings and tools for customer experience design
Smaply

About software performance

10. October 2016

About software performance

Hello from the developer’s cave!

We decided to crawl out from our biotope to get some human interaction from time to time. 🙂 So from now on, we will occasionally provide you with some input and updates from a rather technical point of view.

The topic we to talk about today is software performance.

About software performance

Performance is crucial for every piece of software. No matter if it’s a mobile, a desktop, or a web application. When we work with software we have certain demands we want fulfilled: we want it to be easy to use and fast.

There are three key factors that influence a web application’s performance:

  • hardware power (the capacity of the servers the software is running on)
  • network latency (the connection speed)
  • software quality (the amount of resources the software needs to complete its tasks)

Since hardware power is not an issue in Smaply, during the past weeks we focused on the improvement of network latency and software quality.

Network latency

We addressed the aspect of network latency with some clever infrastructure decisions in order to reduce the physical distance over which the data needs to be transferred. Of course all those changes need to be measured in order to see if the expected results were achieved in terms of network latency. As you can see in the following charts we managed to get some considerable results.

image

Software quality

We also applied some important fixes to further improve software quality. We reduced the number of database transactions Smaply needs to do to accomplish its tasks. Since each transaction needs time we boosted performance by avoiding unnecessary ones. Sounds easy, but is a quite challenging task when it comes to the details of implementation.

In the past, one of the most time consuming parts has been PDF generation. Therefore we decided to introduce background processing. By that the journey mapping workflow isn’t interrupted anymore while some time consuming tasks like PDF generation and journey map duplication are running in the background.

Future steps

Performance is a permanent issue and never solved for good, so we keep improving constantly. The more data needs to be transferred over the internet, the longer it takes to receive the data. Therefore, we’re currently developing a solution to optimize the response data to keep response data as small as possible without affecting anything besides performance. We will give you an update on that soon.

Our goal is to keep and improve the look and feel, and the Smaply user experience. We hope we achieved this goal.

Klaus is co-founder of More than Metrics. As an IT manager with entrepreneurial spirit, equipped with knowledge about service design, software engineering and agile project management, he takes care of managing the development strategy for our products.
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