Click here to close now.


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
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, al...
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of...
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes.
In his session at DevOps Summit, Bryan Cantrill, CTO at Joyent, will demonstrate a third path: containers on multi-tenant bare metal that maximizes performance, security, and networking connectivity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. Migration to cloud shifts computing resources from your data center, which can yield significant advantages provided that the cloud vendor an offer enterprise-grade quality for your application.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
In their session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, co-founder and the VP of Product at, and Tomer Levy, co-founder and CEO of, will explore the entire process that they have undergone – through research, benchmarking, implementation, optimization, and customer success – in developing a processing engine that can handle petabytes of data. They will also discuss the requirements of such an engine in terms of scalability, resilience, security, and availability along with how the archi...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...