Here’s a list of tricks to boost the application performance by Nirav Sanghavi, a Java Enthusiast and a GM of Technology and Solutions at TestingWhiz. Explore what it takes to make your apps sustain in the market and delight users as he shares insights from his professional experience of 10 years.
Being in the field of application development for more than a decade and having experience of managing more than hundreds of development projects, I have noticed that no matter how diligently your app is developed, it loses user’s interest at some or the other point of time due to non-performance.
In my opinion, any amount of media push, press releases, email blasts, promotional hypes, recommendations from experts or millions of views to spur the downloads is not worth it unless your app succeeds in meeting the performance standards and users' expectations. Forget about the long term results, your shiny masterpiece dies shortly if it fails to perform in the first instance.
For all those who have experienced any kind of app downfall at any point of time or are struggling to stabilize or boost their app performance, here are the best practices that I have analyzed over the years and would like to share with you all:
1 Define Requirements
This might sound obvious, but defining requirements is necessary for an app to be successful. Here I am not talking about functional requirements, but non-functional requirements. In almost 80% of my engagements, I have noticed that teams fail to recognize non-functional requirements and cannot define or document any concrete requirements such as how fast the application should run, how to measure the performance time, etc. It is very important to have knowledge of what is actually required from the application of functional and non-functional perspective to avoid future app dissatisfactions.
2. Set-up Performance & Functional Benchmarks
Well, this is much needed before the app reaches the market. Setting up performance and functional benchmarks will help in knowing whether the app is performing up to the desired level and if not, identify the problems and resolve them before giving it to users. These benchmarks will also help when your app undergoes any changes so that your app continues to perform at the same level and the users do not encounter any issues during usage.
3. Optimize Code
Consider optimizing the codes to avoid imbalance and unnecessary consumption of memory and resources. It also helps in delivering high-speed by utilizing techniques such as efficient programming, restructuring as well as compiling code, elevation of dead and duplicate codes, loop unrolling, function inlining, strength reduction and more. Being a Java enthusiast, I would recommend optimization tools such as JProfiler and Eclipse Memory Analyzer that help with performance tuning of apps.
4. Scale the Application
I would also recommend scaling your application both horizontally and vertically to make your application compatible across different environments. While horizontal scalability is all about adding more nodes, operating systems or computer network to your application, vertical scalability is moving your application up by adding more environments or memory to support a number of processes and load capacity.
5. Tune & Update Periodically
This is also one of the ways I follow to boost application performance from time-to-time. Tuning of application from repudiated and limited infrastructures and platforms can prepare your app to meet the latest demands. While updating the application technology and configurations can guarantee high-performance and make it more compatible. It also helps you pursue innovation and remain competitive in the market. Also, version upgrades allow taking advantage of newer technology, which enhances the overall performance of your apps.
6. Add Abstraction via Reverse Proxy Server
Sometimes applications require interacting with different data, networks and codes which make the performance of the application slower. In this case, I prefer adding a reverse proxy server which acts as an intermediate between the application and the server behind the firewall and direct requests to the appropriate server. This is how it accelerates the communication and thereby improving underlying processes.
7. Secure Application
It is also important to secure your application from possible threats and attacks. By using proper code encryption and data protection practices, you can safeguard it from malware attacks, data manipulations, and spoofing, which further ensures that your app performance is not degraded.
8. Cache Content & Compress Data
You must be knowing that data retrieval is a costly and time-consuming affair so caching is a great way to maintain the speed and performance of your app. By caching the content of your web application, it can access the existing library of resources and the app no longer needs to download information remotely.
Further, I also follow a practice of compressing data of the application every now and then to take off the unnecessary load off the application and boost its performance.
9. Test, Test, & Test Again
This is my favorite mantra! Although I look more on the development side, I stress on testing to make sure whatever I make doesn’t break. From functional to security and from user acceptance to load testing, you can utilize various ways to verify your app constantly. Also, regression testing is the best way to ensure application quality and performance metrics for continuous delivery.
When the team is under pressure to release apps in the continuous delivery cycle, they have no time for testing and analysis. In these scenarios, it is best to automate testing. By automating, you can free-up resources to concentrate on important tasks and also speed up the app evaluation process. I use many test automation tools like Selenium, TestingWhiz that help me find the issues quickly and easily which can be fixed at a later stage in production.
Hope you like the list of tricks although it is not exhaustive. However, they can be followed to address your app issues and boost its performance. If you think I have missed something, you are also welcomed to share tricks, suggestions, and experiences about enhancing application performance in the comments section below.