Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Machine Learning , Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Agile Computing, Release Management , @BigDataExpo

Machine Learning : Article

Optimize Front-End Web Performance to Ensure Highly Satisfying Experiences

Deliver fast, feature-rich applications that lead to customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and sales

Today's end users demand highly satisfying and interactive web experiences, such as automatically populated search suggestions and dynamic menus. To make applications more engaging, technologies like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) have emerged. AJAX works by dynamically displaying and allowing users to interact with presented information - think of when you enter a Google search and results are produced as you type. AJAX does this by sending data to, and retrieving data from, a server asynchronously in the background, without interfering with the display and behavior of an existing page.

While AJAX can make websites and web applications seem faster and more engaging, it also results in more application logic sitting in the web browser than ever before. This produces a greater impact for browsers overall on end-user experiences, which makes it critical to measure and optimize the performance of dynamic web applications at the browser level.

In this article, we'll show how consumers increasingly find website and web application performance issues unacceptable. We'll discuss the evolution of AJAX, and why "server-side" solutions alone are no longer sufficient to manage performance for complex AJAX web applications. Finally, we'll highlight industry developments that are making it possible for companies to ensure high-performing AJAX web applications and, consequently, more satisfying and profitable end-user interactions.

Web Application Performance Equals Money
Poor web application performance directly impacts customer loyalty, brand and sales. As response times increase, end-user interactions begin to slow and dissatisfaction rises, resulting in a staggering business impact. Consider the following:

  • Amazon has calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year.
  • Google found that slowing search response times by just four-tenths of a second would reduce the number of searches by eight million per day - a sizeable amount.
  • Compuware's own findings reveal that increasing load times by two seconds increases abandonment rates by eight percent.

This is known as the "Google Effect," where customers expect all the web applications they interact with to be as fast and engaging as Google. For the average user, 0.1 seconds is an instantaneous, acceptable response, similar to what they experience with a Google search. Not surprisingly, companies are investing heavily to make sure they deliver highly satisfying, feature-rich websites and applications. One approach they are taking is adopting web development techniques like AJAX for the front-end of their applications.

The Evolution of AJAX
In 2005, Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, also known as AJAX, evolved as a means of delivering faster, more interactive and engaging end-user experiences with feature-rich applications. With AJAX, application processing is an "open connection" between the browser and the server, which enables information to be delivered to users dynamically as users request it. An AJAX application eliminates the "start-stop-start-stop" nature of interaction on the web by introducing an intermediary - an AJAX engine - between the user and the server. It seems like adding a layer to an application would make it slower, but the opposite is true.

Technically, AJAX is a method for exchanging data asynchronously between browser and server to avoid full page reloads. Instead of loading a web page at the start of a session, the browser loads an AJAX engine - written in JavaScript and usually tucked away in a hidden frame. This engine is responsible for both rendering the interface the user sees and communicating with the server on the user's behalf. The AJAX engine allows the user's interaction with the application to happen asynchronously - independent of communication with the back-end server.

With AJAX, feature-rich web applications can now be dynamically served up to end users much more quickly and efficiently than in the past. In contrast, in the 1990s, most web sites were based on complete HTML pages. Each user action required that the page be reloaded from the server, or a new page loaded. This process was highly inefficient, increasing end-user wait times due to excessive server round-trips.

Solving the AJAX Performance Management Challenge
The benefits of AJAX are clear, but AJAX technologies also bring with them some performance management challenges. "Server-side" solutions that monitor server response times are blind to the AJAX engine, because it sits in the browser. Every user action that normally would generate an HTTP request takes the form of a JavaScript call to the AJAX engine instead. Any response to a user action that doesn't require a trip back to the server - such as simple data validation, editing data in memory and even some navigation - the engine handles on its own. If the engine needs something from the server in order to respond - if it's submitting data for processing, loading additional interface code, or retrieving new data - the engine makes those requests asynchronously, usually using XML, without stalling a user's interaction with the application. So a lot more time and processing is being spent in the browser and server-side monitoring solutions do not capture this. Not being able to proactively manage performance across browsers could hamper the very speed organizations are trying to enhance by using AJAX.

Testing and optimizing "traditional" page-based web applications is not too hard to do; you simply test the individual URLs. This is great for traditional websites but doesn't work anymore for AJAX applications which provide most of their functionality on a single page or URL. Only a very small time is actually spent in the initial page load. The rest is spent in JavaScript, XHR Calls and DOM Manipulations triggered by user actions on the same URL.

To remedy this problem, new solutions are available that enable organizations to test and diagnose AJAX web application performance issues. Leveraging a new generation of application performance management (APM) centered on the end-user experience, these solutions provide organizations with a bird's eye view into how dynamic AJAX web applications are performing for real end users across a variety of browser types. This empowers organizations to pinpoint and address browser-specific problems that could be inhibiting a world-class, end-user experience, including long-running Java script code, excessive DOM calls, slow AJAX invocations or problems with rendering. In essence, organizations can analyze forensics on all activities within dynamic page components as they are presented to end users.

Conclusion
With more application logic sitting in the web browser than ever before, it is critical to measure and optimize the performance of dynamic web applications at the browser level. This is essential to keeping customers loyal and attracting new ones. Fortunately, today organizations can glean tremendous insight into client-side performance issues and immediately tweak performance for AJAX-based websites and web applications. By addressing the complexity created by multiple browsers at the edge of the Internet, organizations can truly leverage all that AJAX has to offer - delivering fast, feature-rich applications that lead to customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and sales.

More Stories By Matthew Zanderigo

Matthew Zanderigo is a product marketing manager with Compuware's Application Performance Management (APM) business unit. He specializes in market intelligence, business development and market research. Matthew can be reached at: [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...