Browsers are ‘more than just a pretty face’ – a new look at client-side performance tuning
By Kem Butller-Oracle on Aug 16, 2011
By Chris Papineau, JD Edwards Senior Principal Engineer
I recently discovered what appears to be an excellent tool for collecting browser metrics while researching methods of JD Edwards performance analysis for the “client side”. By “client side”, of course, we no longer mean the “fat client”, but rather the so-called “thin client” or web-browser. Current JD Edwards trending methodologies do not measure any browser side metrics; they merely blast html traffic at a JAS server and measure the response times.
This, however, leaves an opportunity in the “thin client” part of the JD Edwards ecosystem. The browser includes the following very significant items which are arguably the cause of performance challenges just as often as server-side items.
1. Number of server roundtrips
2. Payload (size of data)
3. JScript runtimes
4. Network latency
5. Browser renderings
6. DOM related measurements
We can no longer think of the browser as merely some sort of “façade to a western town” which doesn’t do anything except look pretty. We cannot simply focus on the server side of interactive transactions, under the dated assumption that business functions are where the time is really spent, and the user interface layer is insignificant.
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”
In any case – the tool in question is called dynaTrace, and appears to be a one-stop shopping for answering the fundamental performance question on the web browser side: “Where is the code spending its time?” It is freeware, works on both IE and Firefox, is easy to use and install, has a very intuitive interface, and appears to provide data for all six critical performance metrics cited above. The premium version, which is available for a fee, is even capable of “Comparing Different Test Runs” per the claims on their website.
This appears to be right in the wheelhouse of what we need for client-side performance trending efforts. I will keep readers of this blog up to date on further developments. It may be a significant difference maker not only for client-side trending, but in our ability to resolve challenging performance problems more efficiently. Stay tuned…..