BLOG. SMART PRACTICAL BUSINESS ADVICE

New Release: Performance Enhancements = Faster CRM Experience

A huge re-work of the way WORK[etc] handles and stores complex data results in a massive performance boost across CRM, Billing and Project Management modules.  Read about how we're making your business faster.

.rg

Cache Layer

Let’s talk about the caching layer first. For those that might not be aware what a cache is, the term is most often used in reference to web browsers where a cache is used to store a copy of the web pages and graphics you’ve recently viewed. By storing these items in a database on your PC it makes them faster to view the next time you return to view those web pages as your browser can just load them up from your PC, rather than having to pull them down again from the Internet.

What we have built is a cache that sits alongside your WORK[etc] account on the main WORK[etc] servers.

At the moment when you request a page of information from your account, our servers will take your request and pass it through to the application and database where a whole lot of calculations are actioned. Once completed, the returned data is used to create a web page and that is sent back down the Internet to your web browser.

It is a lot of work but mostly this all happens in milliseconds. Except what we’ve been starting to see is that on some pages where the information request is exceedingly complex or where an account has an extreme amount of active data, those milliseconds sometimes balloon out to seconds. And a second on the Internet can feel like an hour.

With this release we introduce a cache layer that sits between your web browser and the application server. The first time you request a page, that will request will push through the application and then the database servers to create the required data; pushing the completed page back to your web browser. However on the way through, the new caching layer captures all that information and creates a secure instance of your page.

Now, the next time you go to view that same page, the cache will step in on your request and within milliseconds determine if there have been any updates to that page. If there are no updates it will immediately send you back the page rather than go to all the effort in re-creating the page. If there have been some changes, then it will grab those changes, rebuild the page, save an updated version of the page for future use and send you back that most recent version.

It is important to remember that some of the activities you view on WORK[etc] might change hourly, for example a really active support ticket. Some information might only change daily, for example a hot sales lead. A contact list might only change weekly and contact details for a specific person might only change every few years.

Many pages that you hit frequently will now load instantly. But if you do hit an updated page, then it will load (the first time) as it normally would. For example, switching between the different tabs on a Project’s Activity Stream will now be almost instantaneous.

The Phase 1 release of the data cache has been built for

  • Main screens for Projects, Tasks, Support Cases, Sales Leads and Discussions
  • The Activity Stream across all modules. 
  • Discussion threads.

Cache layer = improved performance by recycling pages, rather than building new pages.

Pre-fetching

Closely related to the Cache Layer is our expanded use of pre-fetching information we think you’re going to want to view next. For example, if you load up the main Discussion page the odds are fairly good that you’ll want to view at least one of those discussion threads that you can see on screen.

Rather than wait for you to click on a particular thread headline before fetching the actual discussion, we now start downloading the contents of all the discussions you can see on screen. In the few seconds that you’ve taken to decide which discussion thread to view and moved the mouse to click it, WORK[etc] has already pre-fetched that entire discussion thread, allowing it to show instantly. This is a dramatic improvement on the old method where we waited for you to make a decision, then went off and fetched that discussion.

Pre-fetching = improved performance by anticipating what you will view next then downloading that data in advance

WORK[etc] Discussions

Data-Layer Enhancements.

WORK[etc] is now also better equipped to fetch multiple objects at the same time. So, in the old version of WORK[etc], if you need to request 10 data items to build your page, then WORK[etc] would have to request each item at a time. The application is now better at merging multiple requests into a single query to reduce the number of database calls. We’ve also refactored the code to reduce requests for data that won’t be displayed or used by the request.

Fewer requests = improved performance from more efficient data requests

Who is Eligible for this Release?  When will it be available.

This major Performance Enhancement will be rolling out across all accounts and all plans later this week (along with the other two surprise releases!)

If you’re jealous of the beta users who have had access to this new release for months already, don’t be. All you need to do is become an active member of our WORK[etc] Insiders’ program. We use this group to test product ideas and make available early beta releases. In the coming months we’ll be inviting top Insiders to beta test our upcoming design refresh and iPhone apps.

See all

Featured Posts

The Secret to Keeping Remote Workers Connected Using One App

From time tracking to collaborations, here’s how WORKetc helps you manage your remote teams. According to the latest State of the Remote Job Marketplace report by remote jobs search site Flexjobs, one thing is clear: The traditional office is dying; the future of business is remote. The report found that 43% of U.S. workers now […]

How To Handle 4X the Support Calls with One Simple Change

IT firm tekRESCUE keeps IT support at “a manageable level of insanity” with WORKetc. IT can be a messy business. Just ask Randy Bryan, the founder of San Marcos, Texas-based IT firm tekRESCUE. “There are a lot of emergencies; always a lot of unknowns,” he told us last year, “A lot of messiness comes out […]

The Secret Way One Small Change Can Save Your Staff 6 Hours/Day

Healthcare firm Wound Care Advantage uses WORKetc CRM to keep track of all client interactions. Many business owners think that getting a new customer is difficult, however, that’s the easy part. The real trick lies in keeping them happy and loyal. Customer retention is a massively important metric when you’re running a business, especially when […]

No Budget, No Problem: 10 Free Sites That Will Improve Your Small Business Marketing Material

Help your business leave a mark for no extra cost The human brain is a grey mystery wrapped in a squishy enigma. We can’t even really say with any certainty how much we know about it. After all, how can we be sure we know 10% about the brain if we have no idea what […]

This Firm Increased Revenue by up to $56K/Tech. Their Secret?

In the past ten years, Queensland-based telecom firm ECO Communications has grown from a handful of techs and sales personnel to a couple of dozen people. It’s now been a year and a half since they signed up for WORKetc Quickstart. In that time, they’ve seen first-hand how an integrated business management system can drastically […]

Exactly How Does A CRM Make Flying Safer?

WORKetc CRM helps ARA-I’s forensic engineers streamline their day-to-day processes. Growing up, Ivan Collins dreamed of working on cars as a race team engineer. That is, until he heard about a job where he could blow them up instead. “I was on a race team at NC State in the engineering department,” he recalls. “One […]