Application performance used to be a topic discussed primarily by IT teams interested in solving application problems. This was their realm, after all. However, today, an increasingly bright spotlight is shining on application performance; it is no longer just an issue relegated to IT teams, but instead it has become an issue on the radar of CEOs and executive team members.
Improving application performance has become crucial in improving end-user satisfaction and employee morale — and in ensuring that the application is actually used and not abandoned in favor of a better performing application.
Geographic distances play a huge role in how well Web applications perform. For example, according to Aryaka, one of its clients, Oxford Economics which is based in the United Kingdom, noticed that its users in the Asia Pacific region encountered significant performance issues. Some pages took ten to twenty seconds to load. Keep in mind that research has found that most users abandon slow-loading pages after just three seconds. In order to deliver the best user experience possible, Oxford Economics had to solve this performance issue (and it did).
One tool in the application performance improvement arena was just introduced last month: Google Cloud Trace. Google Cloud Trace measures application performance and identifies issues such as slow response times. This tool is available to developers dealing with performance issues in applications that run on the Google App Engine.
Google Cloud Trace displays a table of recent requests, allowing developers to look back in time to analyze recent performance issues. Though not all requests are traced, this tool provides a snapshot. For each request listed, Google Cloud Trace show the time it took the application to process the request (latency), the relative URI that handled it, and the time the request was made. In addition to viewing trace details in a list format, developers can also view graphical analysis reports showing the latency distribution of requests and bottlenecks over time.
While developers and IT teams are likely to be the hands-on users of this particular tool, they’re also very likely to be under a mandate issued from above to improve application performance. Why? Just as Oxford Economics and other businesses have concluded: for the user experience.