- Do your DXP files take a really long time to load?
- Have you ever wanted to know why a particular file is taking so long to load?
- Would you like to improve long load times?
I am sure a lot of you are screaming — YES!!! — to all of those questions. TIBCO added a stealthy little improvement in Spotfire 7.9 to help you troubleshoot long load times. I say stealthy because this change wasn’t noted in any of the release notes, PDFs or websites that documented changes within the application. I noticed in when hitting the reload button in a DXP. This could mean that the feature existed pre 7.9, but I think I would have noticed it, having watched literally hundreds of DXP files load.
Before I get into the change, I want to note this is the first of a three part series on improving load times in the desktop client and web player. I will release one post a week.
Part 1 — Troubleshooting Long Load Times
And now, let’s continue. When a DXP is loaded, this dialog appears.
…but you can’t precisely tell what’s taking so long to load. In 7.9, when you hit the reload button, notice that the table names and their associated steps are visible, which allows you to see which information links (or other data sources) are taking the longest to load and/or which steps are time consuming. (Don’t forget to uncheck the ‘Close when finished’ checkbox).
Because this format isn’t terribly easy to analyze, I copied all of those details into a text file, loaded them into Spotfire, applied a few calculations, and now I can analyze which steps are taking the longest. You can download that DXP at this link and replace my text file with your own. Before you replace the text file, take a look at the Data Panel and the steps to build the DXP. I did put a few transformations in there that will be lost if/when the table is replaced.
This analysis should help you determine where the bottle necks are in loading. Before wrapping up, I want to the initial load time may vary from the reload time. The reload may go faster than the initial load due to information link caching or other database caching. However, if all of your data sources are information links or database connections, the time each step takes should be proportional, so the information is still useful, and the reload time really shouldn’t be greater than the initial load time.
Guest Spotfire blogger residing in Whitefish, MT. Working for SM Energy’s Advanced Analytics and Emerging Technology team!