Most software applications provide results through some form of interaction. The interaction may come in the form of large data sets being crunched behind the scenes on supercomputers or a user typing a query on their iPhone. Though the platform may vary widely, there is a common thread running through all useful applications. They facilitate the interaction of various entities to perform a procedure or supply information.
As with any craft, software developers attempt to design the best tools they possibly can. This implies enabling the entities interacting through the app to do so in an optimal way. The current business landscape that is dominated by eCommerce and mobile connectivity means that one side of the interaction equation is populated by a human. And they want results fast!
Why an Application’s Performance Matters
It’s quite likely that one of the main methods by which you communicate with your customers is through an application. Unless you have a total monopoly on a particular market, you will be faced with competition for these customers. Options will exist that allow them to dispense with your app if it does not provide them with their expected level of performance.
There are several reasons an application’s performance is intertwined with its utility as a business tool. Improving the performance of an app can:
- Help attract and retain users. Very small increments in the time required to load a webpage or provide a response often result in a larger percentage of visitors abandoning the page. Applications with better performance will benefit from return traffic as users are satisfied and don’t look for alternatives.
- Improve your conversion rate. The performance of a web application has a direct correlation on the conversion rate it will enjoy. You want your application to influence users toward taking your call to action, and fast response time is a big factor in determining its success.
- Create an enhanced user experience. An application should be enjoyable to use. Waiting a protracted length of time to receive the results of a query is not usually looked upon as a feature of your app. Better performance will lead to more use and an improved experience for your users.
As you can see, the main entities impacted by a boost in an app’s performance are the individuals who use it. Treating them well will often result in your business reaping the benefits of happy users using your application and spreading the word.
What Affects How an App Performs?
The impetus to streamline an application is fairly straightforward. You want people to use the app multiple times, get what they need from it, and tell their friends. Pretty simple.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to identify factors which can negatively impact the speed at which your program performs. Your application can be subjected to a wide variety of ailments that slow it down and drive users running for an alternative. Some of the more common performance killers for web applications are:
Network connectivity – Problems with your network, including the execution of DNS lookups, can slow your application to a crawl.
Spikes in user traffic – An unanticipated increase in the number of users accessing your app can cause it to perform below expectations. This can be extremely frustrating as the whole point is to attract more users. You might be successful at achieving this goal but at a certain point, the app may become unusable due to excessive user demands.
Slow servers and excessive page loading time – The physical servers on which your application runs may be the reason for its unsatisfactory performance. Hardware upgrades may be necessary to obtain the desired functionality.
Poorly written code – Many different code fragments and routines provide the power and distinguishing features of an application. From HTML code to SQL queries, they all combine to enable the program to fulfill its purpose. Inefficient code can kill your app’s performance and reduce its usefulness.
All of these potential issues with an application’s performance are further complicated by the hybrid infrastructure inhabited by many applications. The introduction of cloud services presents further hurdles to optimizing the way they perform. The issues that impact your application can now occur on-premises or in the cloud. More fun for the optimizing crew.
Finding Ways to Optimize Your Application
Wading through the variety of issues that can impact your application in a random manner may eventually lead to a viable solution. By that time, your users may have all migrated to a new platform, making your discovery a moot point. You need to have a process in place that can point to performance issues and drive your efforts at optimization. It should be able to provide a baseline from which to launch attempts at improving problem areas and also supply a mechanism for generating alerts when current performance is degraded.
The best way to gather the kind of information that allows you to make improvements to the performance of your app is to institute a monitoring program. The Precise Application Performance Platform from IDERA offers a tool that performs in-depth monitoring of your applications that enables you to identify where tuning the app can lead to better performance.
Precise provides complete visibility regarding application transactions so you can rapidly determine where issues are affecting the usability of your program. You can study trends and historical analysis to identify changes in how an application is being used and track changes in its performance. Enjoy monitoring your applications from an intuitive dashboard and save time by taking corrective actions that are recommended by the tool. If you want to find out how to make your applications perform better and create an enhanced user experience, this tool is just what you need.