[Portfolio] Slow-downs

Maurer, Christopher Wayne chmaurer at iupui.edu
Tue May 19 10:59:41 PDT 2009

You guys have run the content conversion already, right?  So all your forms
should have the type pulled out into it¹s own column?  Well, not the form
type, but the fact that the resource item is a form?


On 5/19/09 1:56 PM, "Noah Botimer" <botimer at umich.edu> wrote:

> Marc,
> You've done a masterful job. I will only add that we are looking into this
> issue very seriously at Michigan. It's somewhat likely that we will end up
> engineering a new form finding mechanism for our Fall term. We will certainly
> keep the group posted.
> Thanks,
> -Noah
> On May 19, 2009, at 12:37 PM, Marc Zaldivar wrote:
>>  Sean,
>>  Teggin said that yesterday in the call you were discussing the ³form
>> searching slow-down² issue.  Yes, VT hit this one pretty hard this semester,
>> and I know Michigan has also been faced with a growing issue from this.  We
>> spent a couple of hours on the phone with Noah talking over some solutions,
>> and though I didn¹t talk to him, I know our dev group also talked with Chuck
>> Hedrick too.
>>  The breakdown of the issue came for us because we are using so many of the
>> ³UROP²-type portfolios for our templates, which are basically using form
>> pages for each tab of a final display portfolio, in our case sometimes as
>> many as 17 or 18 different forms for each complete portfolio (sometimes they
>> were limitlessly repeatable, so some students may have had upwards of 30
>> forms to put into different slots in the template).  Each time the ³Save
>> Changes² button is hit, it would search the database 5 times per slot per
>> form instance, making that sometimes 1000s of searches per creation attempt.
>>  When you do this in a demonstration with 25-30 kids in the room (ok, now
>> everyone push ³Save Changes...²), it¹s fatal.  Even without that, given the
>> activity ramp-up we are seeing, we were seeing an average of 60+ seconds for
>> new users, and for folks like me that own a lot of forms, it was often beyond
>> our threshold for database link-up at 10 minutes or something ridiculous.
>>  So, big big problem that is only going to get bigger as we expand.  (We had
>> at that time about 4k forms out of 250k items in the database.)
>>  Ultimately, we tested several solutions, with the big two being (1) a patch
>> that Noah/rSmart came up with that (I think) refined the search parameters
>> without limiting it to My Workspace, creating a cache that was searched
>> repeatedly rather than having to keep hitting the database time and again,
>> and (2) Chuck Hedrick¹s solution to limit all searching to the My Workspace
>> first.  Ultimately, #2 was faster on our test speeds.  We felt that maybe #1
>> would be a better long-term solution, but that it would take some real time
>> to refine that search protocol and build the cache effectively.  Hopefully,
>> we¹ll still work toward that ultimate solution.  However, we deployed #2 and
>> saw my admin account¹s wait time drop from 10+minutes to about 18 seconds.
>>  Average users are now 2-5 seconds tops.  Much, much better so far.  
>>  Do you see any potential for problems if presentations are being created
>> from forms created through a matrix?  Mostly, I¹d assume that these forms
>> would be located in the various Portfolio Interaction folders, in the MW.
>>  The one potential is for non-matrix portfolios, you¹d have to specify the
>> need to store forms in a folder in the MW rather than in a course drop box or
>> resource area.  
>>  Just thought I¹d share our perspective on the issue.  Noah, please feel free
>> to detail out my all to0 non-tech-savvy description of your patch and what it
>> does!  
>>  Marc Z
>>  -- 
>>  Marc Zaldivar, Ph.D.
>>                                                                 2210A
>> Torgersen Hall
>>  Director, Virginia Tech Electronic Portfolio Initiatives        Blacksburg,
>> VA 24061-0292
>>  Learning Technologies
>>                                                             540.231.8994
>>  Virginia Tech 
>> marcz at vt.edu
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