We’re constantly looking to improve our product and customer feedback suggests we focus on performance. This article explains the process of improving performance and why progress can seem slow. Topics covered include:
What our main areas of focus are when working on performance issues
A few easy steps you can take to improve performance in your ArbiterSports account today
How you can help us pinpoint performance issues and improve overall performance
We understand that this article may not address all of your performance needs, but we want you to know that your feedback is being heard and that we are actively working to improve the performance of our product.
Our main areas of focus
Our efforts to improve performance can be grouped into three main areas:
Average page load
Occasionally we hear from clients something that goes like this: "Normally the site is really fast and I'm clicking along and it seems to lock up." You may have seen this and it is when you are accessing a page that doesn't do much. How can that happen?
When you or someone else hits a page that has a performance issue or start a resource intensive process, such as a large auto assign, the site can spin and spin. By having that page run slowly, other clients who are on the site at the same time may have to wait until the slow page loads before the server can handle their request.
There are a few solutions to this problem. We have servers with multiple processors so typically if one process is running slow then the other requests will be rerouted. But it will still put more load on the other processors and may impact all clients. Another solution that we are implementing is to put breaks in when long processes are running. So when a long process starts, it will pause every so often to allow other traffic to run through. And finally, we are working on making the processes and pages more efficient so that instead of using a processor for 5 seconds it completes in 1-2.
Average Page LoadIt's nice to have the biggest slow spots out of the way, but we also want to focus on the average page load time. We are looking at ways to make each and every click a little faster. Many of the performance enhancements we've made so far fall into this category. As we get all of the requests processed more quickly, you won't be left waiting for the server to finish someone else's work.
ReportingSome clients have told us that some reports take a few minutes to load or don't load at all. They just 'spin.' Like above, we want to improve the user experience for clients and save our servers from the load.
Steps you can take
Nearly every aspect of our product contributes to its overall performance in some way. Even though a page may run quickly every time, if it's run millions of times the resource cost adds up. Because of this, as we make performance improvements they may be imperceptible. However, it allows the site to run well even under heavy load.
There are a few things that you can do to improve performance. Many of these involve reducing the amount of data that your account requests from ArbiterSports servers, lowering the amount of time that it takes for a response by fractions of a second. None of these tips are cure-all solutions, but they might give you a slight performance boost.
- New! Don't display game counts for officials: Each time you click on the list of officials, we calculate the number of pending, published, notified, and accepted games for each of your officials. This feature is wonderful and makes distributing games easier. However, if you want to speed up the officials page, you can change your preferences to not display game counts (Settings >> Preferences >> Show Game Count Column). If you want to see the game counts later, you can change the preference.
Limit the number of items per page: Any time a page loads we pull back the data to display. Some pages require calculations in order to display the proper details (such as the games column on the officials page). The more rows you display at once the longer it will take to load the page. We recommend 50 or fewer and then using the quick filters at the top of the page.
Use an optimal browser: ArbiterSports is optimized for certain web browsers. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari are all recommended. If you want to use Internet Explorer, use IE 9 or above. In addition, make sure that your browser is up to date. We optimize for the latest versions when they are introduced.
Limit mass updates: When mass deleting games, updating games, updating officials, creating paysheets, etc. the more items you are applying the changes to the more time it will take. These unnecessary resource intensive processes can affect other clients while the servers are being utilized. We are working hard to reduce the impact of these processes by fine tuning them for performance.
Limit your filters: The more inclusive your filters are, the more data they retrieve. By filtering for smaller groupings of games or officials, the amount of information returned is significantly less.
Hardware: ArbiterSports is not a very resource-intensive application, but it is worth noting some minimum hardware requirements in case you have to use an older machine. Our hardware recommendations are based on the minimum requirements of your Operating System, so you’ll need to look up those requirements online. You can easily find the name of your operating system by going to www.supportdetails.com. We recommend that you have at least 2GB of Ram more than is required for the OS and at least a dual core CPU. The Ram and CPU should be the only hardware components that could affect ArbiterSports performance.
- Internet connection: It is also possible that issues with your internet connection will cause a less than perfect experience with ArbiterSports. As for the exact speed of your connection, a 1MB upload and download speed is a recommended minimum. In addition, the ping of your connection can affect ArbiterSports performance, causing your data request to be routed to several unnecessary locations before reaching our data center. You can visit speedtest.net to find out your upload and download speed and pingtest.net for your ping. Your ISP will be able to work with you to reduce your ping and you can upgrade your service package to increase your upload/download speed.
How you can help us
We need your help in identifying performance issues and slowness in ArbiterSports.
If you encounter a performance issue, just letting us know that your ArbiterSports account is slow doesn’t help us narrow down the root cause of your issue. If you can give us the following specific information, it will empower us to help you.
These are a few things you can do to help us help you when you’re submitting a ticket:
Provide your system settings: This will help us rule out any hardware or external software issues. Visiting www.supportdetails.com and taking a screenshot is a quick way for non-technical people to get their technical stats.
Tell us exactly what you did: General slowness when assigning a single slot can be very different from mass updating 10,000 officials. By telling us the specific actions you took, we can narrow down the possible issues and find a fix more easily. Don’t feel like you’re being too specific when letting us know the actions you took, as this step is arguably the most important. The better we can pinpoint an issue the better.
Tell us what has changed: If you're adding a game and it's taking 10 seconds, let us know that it normally takes 3 seconds. This gives us a frame of reference for your issue and allows us to compare your report with the reports of others.
Give us a timeframe: If you've been experiencing a slowdown, let us know how long this has been occurring. We release patches and updates every couple of weeks. If your issue started around the same time a patch was deployed, we can greatly narrow our focus.