A location based nightlife and entertainment company built on mobile smartphone platforms.
The website was sluggish, and performance of the mobile applications were running slowly.
We worked closely with the CTO and development team, discussed sticking points focusing on relevant areas of application and infrastructure. We drilled down to the different components of the application, such as the network, cloud hosting (amazon EC2), webservers, load balancers, and backend database.
We identified that the heaviest components were the complex mechanisms and code used to calculate location itself. Since this was an integral part of the service, users’ mobile devices would use GPS, identify their locations, and search the database for relevant venues and information around them.
We identified two possible solutions, one short term and one long term.
- Apply an advanced database indexing strategy which specifically addresses location based information. By utilizing this technology, we would eliminate and vastly simplify the code being used to search for venues and information based on location. Being the central component to the application, this would provide a dramatic boost in performance.
- Build a completely new and streamlined solution to the location searching functionality, by using square location areas, instead of the more intuitive circular location area. Since users really just want information about venues around them, they likely don’t have a specific, precise, or mathematical idea of what “around” means. Therefore a more loose definition can lend itself much better to computer database storage, and subsequent indexing of information.
By implementing the short term plan, and performing further benchmarks, the business was able to release it’s new mobile application on the blackberry carousel store. They were featured in the carousel store, highlighted as a new business bursting with exciting features and technology. As a featured application, they received huge spike in volume of ten times their previous average.
With the changes put in place, they sailed through this challenging period smoothly, and with confidence that their application was performing beautifully.
Their long term rollout of the more general high speed solution has been an even greater success, ironing out remaining bottlenecks, and allowing the application to scale and grow rapidly as their mobile user and customer base expands.