Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, IoT User Interface, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

Microservices Expo: Article

Part 2 | Five Steps to Improve E-Commerce Performance for Increased Sales

Back-end performance

In my recent article, "Five Steps to Improve E-Commerce Performance for Increased Sales: Introduction" I discussed problems encountered by our client TescaraHats (name changed for commercial reasons), a European market leader in manufacturing customized hats. The company quickly realized that e-commerce performance is critical to the success of an e-commerce platform and that sales will not increase just because you have an application online.

We argued that while improving search engine ranking is important, you should never forget about the performance and usability in an e-commerce application. In this episode of our e-commerce performance series, we will analyze the impact that the back-end performance has on your online sales.

Improve Back-End Performance
The effort put into building a visually appealing and easy to use e-commerce site might be lost if you do not manage the performance problems at the backend.

The e-commerce site at TescaraHats consisted mainly of two tiers: TescaraHats Front (see Figure 1) and TescaraHats DB (see Figure 2). The APM tool used by the Operations team indicated that both tiers had performance problems. The front-end tier (see Figure 1) had most of the operation time spent on the back end; the DB tier (see Figure 2) indicated that most of the time was spent on the network.

Figure 1: A lot of time spent at the backend processing

Figure 2: Most of the back-end time is spent on transferring data with database query results

To understand the cause of the performance problem the Operations team initially analyzed the DB tier and discovered that one of the stored procedures was always slow in delivering results (see Figure 3). By looking at KPIs of all DB operations (see Figure 4) the team confirmed that the high network time component reported at the DB tier was, in fact, contributed by this single stored procedure: [Update_GalDisplayedhats].

Figure 3: One of the stored procedures is always slow in rendering results

Figure 4: Only one stored procedure introduces delays on the network

The Operations team wanted to further understand why this stored procedure was so slow. They drilled down to PurePaths representing slow stored procedure to analyze the transaction flow where this stored procedure is executed. The report in Figure 5 shows that most of the time is spent on acquiring a connection handle, which usually means that the connection pooling is improperly configured or there are transactions that block the connection.

Figure 5: Transaction flow representing slow stored procedure indicates problems with acquiring connection handles

The team opened another report showing database calls (see Figure 6) and drilled down through the slow stored procedure to a report (see Figure 7) showing PurePaths where this stored procedure was called. With that report the Operations team could determine which transactions were affected, i.e., where this slow stored procedure was called from. This information helped the team to resolve the problem faster.

Figure 6: Report showing the most affected database calls at TescaraHats: the stored procedure [Update_GalDisplayedhats] ranks at the top

Figure 7: Report showing PurePaths affected by the slow stored procedure: by seeing where this query is called from we can speed up the problem resolution

What About the Front End?
When it comes to back-end performance problems caused by the database calls there are some problem patterns that you should check for:

  • When the query execution takes too long you notice higher database time (see Figure 5).
  • When the query produces a lot of data that needs to be pushed through the network your APM tool will show large network time contributing to the database operation time.
  • When there are connection problems you will see them on the database report (see Figure 6).
  • Finally, you will see in the transaction flow report (see Figure 8) when there is a single query called multiple times unnecessarily.

Figure 8: For each transaction the same query is called too many times

Once we weeded out all potential causes of problems from the back end, it was time to move closer to the customer and check a number of potential network-related performance problems; continue reading our mini-series on e-commerce performance to learn more.

More Stories By Sebastian Kruk

Sebastian Kruk is a Technical Product Strategist, Center of Excellence, at Compuware APM Business Unit.

Latest Stories
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...