Feeds

Tune your service oriented applications with SQL

Bottleneck, meet database

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Performance is one of the more insidious problems that a developer can face. We don't seem to have time for it with all work just getting an application's functionally correct.

The problem is that it's a non-functional requirement and as with all non-functional requirements the specification is often either vague or non-existent. It can be difficult to test performance until late in the development cycle and - trust me when I say this - late in the end of the development cycle is not a good place to discover performance problems.

With Oracle fresh in our minds thanks to OpenWorld, I want to look at the performance problem with regard to the database. Profiling and algorithmic complexity are - of course - important, but as the world becomes more distributed and service oriented we should consider if our performance dollars can be better spent improving our SQL queries. Does this sound crazy?

According to author and industry expert Gavin Powell, an order of magnitude application performance increases can be obtained simply by tuning the SQL and correctly optimizing the data access path.

This is an incredible figure and it begs the question: can developers afford to continue leaving SQL expertise to the DBA? After all, if such massive gains are regularly possible then doesn't this mean that a lot of developers are producing pretty questionable SQL? We can't argue that it's not important because it's definitely not cheap to scale the database that's for sure.

What's making it worse is that in our connected world performance bottlenecks are more likely to be discovered. In the past, barriers to integration such as obscure APIs and thick clients kept information within the application and only the most stubborn external aggregators could access it.

These days, web services and service oriented architectures (SOAs) mean we are no longer protected from scalability and performance issues. Increasing aggregation of information is pushing demands on software service infrastructure and any bottlenecks in the system will be exposed sooner or later. If the system grinds to a halt then the chances are it could spell project failure - and that does not look good on the CV!

We need to accept that application performance needs to be explicitly managed. It's good that we implement use cases and write tests that demonstrate functional correctness. Unfortunately, functional tests that use minimally populated databases do not tell us anything about the performance characteristics of a system under real world data volumes with parallel processes making simultaneous demands on the database.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.