One of the most important apps on the MyUCDavis portal is Schedule Builder, which students use to register for classes. Schedule Builder borrows from common e-commerce interfaces by allowing student to select multiple classes and put them in a “shopping basket”. Students can even create multiple shopping baskets to compare schedules and then register for all classes with the click of a button.
Schedule Builder always experiences peak load on the first day of classes, when students begin looking at syllabi, rethinking their schedules and adding or dropping classes. While Harding was happy to see more students using the tool, the high load resulted in slowdowns during this peak period.
“Peak response time was up to one minute — an unacceptable wait for a modern web app,” says Harding. “We were excited when the Performance Monitoring Toolset was introduced with Adobe ColdFusion 2018 as it gave us the visibility that we needed to monitor Schedule Builder in real time and understand how we could optimise experiences for students.”
Using the Performance Monitoring Toolset, Harding took a closer look at how the application performed under stress. Analysis indicated that many simultaneous requests to the server were being forced into a queue. Increasing request limits instantly eliminated these queues and reduced slowdowns. Tests also indicated that CPU utilisation was reaching 100% for the Schedule Builder servers. With just a few clicks, Harding could increase CPU in the virtual environment, further boosting performance.
Harding then used the Performing Monitoring Toolset to take a closer look into the performance of individual URLs and queries. This allowed the application team to focus their energy on optimising areas with the slowest response times.
“Working with the Performance Monitoring Toolset, we reduced peak response time from one minute to less than 10 seconds,” says Harding. “Adobe ColdFusion made it very easy to discover and address problems. We were excited to report the lack of delays to our stakeholders when the latest term started.”