Overcoming WebFacing performance problems

There are a few key things you need to remember when WebFacing applications.

Have you ever WebFaced an application hoping to improve the application only to find performance declines? You're

then left wondering if WebFacing is even worth your while.

One unfortunate user ran into that problem recently. After WebFacing an application using WAS Express 5.0, there was a long delay every time the application was launched and a login was required. There was also a long delay the first time each screen was loaded. After the first load of each screen, performance picked up to an acceptable rate.

What was going on? Web development expert Jim Mason took a look and said there are key things to consider or do to improve performance:

  1. Pre-compile the JSPs.
  2. Pre-load frequently used WebFacing applications in WebSphere Application Server (WAS).
  3. Minimize the number of interactive jobs launched to one per user. Based on a user or group profile, bring them to a single menu with their application options on it to ensure only one interactive job is created for each user session in WAS.
  4. You may need to do some sort of load balancing by creating other instances if WAS is having problems with the number of sessions.

Mason said you can also try profiling the application using a profiling tool to figure out where the hot spots are in WDSC Advanced version 5.

"It sounds like the problem is on the initial activation of the interactive job, and you need to look at the system configuration to ensure that the system is properly tuned to start any interactive job quickly," Mason said. "Check the priority of the WebFacing interactive jobs vs. other jobs on the system."

"I've had good luck getting WebFacing to run well after it's loaded, and preloading the application may do the trick if it's slow only for the first user signing on," he said.

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This was first published in January 2004

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