The need for speed

As I’ve written before, the main engine that we are using to provision users on our Exchange system is Microsoft‘s Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) framework.

I’ve had a few issues with it and various hoops that I have had to jump through. Many of which I have not had a chance to document on this blog. Those will hopefully come out in the coming months.

Today, I was dealing with a speed issue that we have been having in our customer portal that hits HMC. The page is pretty basic, it gives a listing of all the users, the name, login address, what package they are assigned and then some actions that can be taken on the user such as edit, delete, disable. This is all in house code that shows this information with calls being made to HMC to get the data.

Unfortunately, I made a mistake in my initial development. Originally, I got a listing of all the users and had 90% of the information that I needed. Another call was needed to get the assigned package for each user. If you have 5-10 users, this isn’t a huge deal. Try it with 100, or 1000. It gets really ugly really fast.

On one particular customer that I was looking at, they have 120 users. Their page was loading in 41 seconds. 41 freaking seconds!!! 7 seconds for the AD search to grab the users with mailboxes. Then somewhere between .1 and .3 seconds per user to equal 34 seconds of the page load.

The solution, remove the package display code.

What? But doesn’t the user want to see this data?!?! Maybe. But seeing as they have to go to the edit page anyway to change the package, it really isn’t needed on the account listing page. So why display it there. It slows down the user experience which is more of a negative than having it on the page.

It wasn’t an easy decision to remove this information. I thought of a whole bunch of ways where I could tuck that data away so I could grab it more efficiently. But in the end, less is less. Removing that data cleaned up the look of the page and vastly improved the load times. Its only been in the wild for a for hours so we’ll see what the users have to say about the change.

Matt Patterson avatar
About Matt Patterson
Husband, Father of 3, Programmer at heart, spends his days running ridiculously large data centers in the midwest.