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Squiz Matrix Performance Mode

In 2011, Squiz Labs has been spearheading an initiative to improve and manage performance within Squiz Matrix. Earlier this year, our developers established a performance testing program, allowing us to investigate the performance of Matrix under a number of user-created scenarios. This tool has since been put to use to provide  performance results and recommendations to our users.

View the Asset Listing Page Performance Report. Our Caching Performance Report will be available soon.

As a part of our focus on performance management, Labs is proud to present Performance Mode for Squiz Matrix. This new mode has been developed to allow users to observe the load times of assets within their system, presenting this information on a detailed performance timeline chart.

Squiz Matrix Performance Mode 

Performance Mode is accessed by appending _performance to the URL of your asset in the same manner as you would when accessing the Administration or Simple Edit Modes. Please note that Write access is required to access Performance Mode.

When initiated, Performance Mode will analyse the performance of the currently viewed asset present its findings at the base of your browser, as shown in the above image.

These performance results will report the total time taken to load the asset and how much of this time can be attributed to system processing; the remaining time due to individual asset loading.

The individual assets that have been loaded will be listed chronologically, displaying their name, asset ID and asset type, as shown in the image below.

 Listed Assets in Performance Mode 

The following asset types are currently supported for analysis in Performance Mode:

  • Standard Page
  • Asset Listing Page
  • Custom Form
  • Calendar Page
  • Search Page (incl. Search Manager)
  • Asset Builder
  • Remote Content
  • Data Source Assets
  • Triggers

Please note that non-supported assets will still be included in the total load time results, however, they will not be included in the additional in-depth performance analysis. Additional asset types will be supported over time.

For each individual asset loaded on a page, a performance bar will be displayed, graphically outlining the total load time of the asset.  

This performance bar is presented as a series of dark and light segments, indicating when the asset was actively loading (dark) and when the asset was idle, due to other loading assets (light).

Performance Bar of an Asset  

At the top of the performance results graph, the Asset Count bar will display the total number of assets being loaded and display a graphical measure of the slowest five assets. The five assets that take the longest time to load will be highlighted in the performance result graph with the colours displayed in this bar (i.e. the slowest asset will be red, etc.).

Hovering over each segment of this bar will display the name and load time of the corresponding asset.

The Asset Count Information Bar  

Some asset types, such as an Asset Listing Page, can contain multiple steps during loading. Performance Mode allows you to analyse the performance of each individual step on these assets.

Expanding these assets will break down the performance of the asset into individual load steps, as shown in the image below. This will also section the performance bar of the asset into individual steps.

Analysing the Performance of an Asset Listing Page 

Along with Asset Listing Pages, both Search Pages and Asset Builder Pages will also provide a detailed performance break down of their individual load steps. Support for additional assets will be added over time.

Understanding the Performance Results

The results returned in Performance Mode are presented in a format that  allows you to identify which assets in your system are causing the  largest drain on performance and at what point during the asset's load time this is occurring.

In the above example, our URL is taking a total of 0.54 seconds to load, with 0.46 seconds (76%) attributed to individual asset load time.

As we can see from the colour coded timeline bars, the Inside - Customisation - EES Design Customisation (coloured red) is taking the longest time to load, by a substantial amount. This is followed by the Section Image Asset Listing Page, the Standard Page Format Paint Layout, the Right Content Asset Listing Page and the Scripts - Global Standard Page.

Looking at the performance timeline, we can observe that asset #698 begins actively loading first. It is idle for a short time while asset #174 loads (this is JavaScript content nested in the design) and then continues loading for a significant length of time (in regards to the overall asset load time). This large chunk of active load time can be attributed to rendering the main navigation menu and search bar design areas.

Disecting the Performance Timeline 

The design is again idle while asset #666 loads (an Asset Listing Page nested in the design to print the cartoon figure). This asset takes the second longest amount of time to load on the URL, albeit half the time taken to load the design. Expanding the Asset Listing's performance bar tells us that the getAssetList and printBody processes are taking the longest, while the filterAssetList, groupAssets and chunkAssets load time is minimal.

Once the Asset Listing loads, the design renders the design areas displaying the asset lineage and sub-menu and then asset #950 is loaded. This asset is a Paint Layout nested in our design, which prints the content of our asset (#509), as well as the Asset Listing (#921) on the right side of the page. This listing prints the content of asset #944 during its printBody step, seen when we expand the listing's performance bar.

Expanding the Right Content Asset Listing Page Performance 

Once the main content of the page is loaded, assets #657 and #2197 are both loaded. These are the footer of the page and a simple EES JavaScript plugin and are not significant to the overall load time of the URL.

From these results we can distinguish that the biggest hits to performance on this URL are the loading of the search bar and main menu design areas on the Design Customisation and the Asset Listing, listing our cartoon figure. If we were dissatisfied with the total load of the URL, we would know to target these areas when attempting to improve its performance.

When is it Available?

Performance Mode will be released alongside Squiz Matrix 4.4.1, available August 1st, 2011.

Squiz Labs

R & D division of Squiz Pty Ltd

Open source web experience management solutions

Squiz Labs is the research and development division of Squiz, the company behind the Squiz Suite of web experience management and development tools.

Our PHP and JavaScript developers are responsible for producing innovative enterprise-quality software while our interface designers and testing team ensure our products both look great and are easy to use.