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MIS Systems Thread, Sims Server Performance Benchmarks in Technical; nailed it in one! Originally Posted by bossman Probably because Sims is not a true relational database more a patchwork ...
  1. #16
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    nailed it in one!

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Probably because Sims is not a true relational database more a patchwork of tables cobble together and data extracted with rather long SQL code which is possibly why it is slower than most databases of the same ilk.

    I could be wrong but then again I might not be too far off the mark, as Capita add more and more functionality by way of more features it actually makes it slower.

    What do you all think?

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    bossman (10th November 2013)

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    Yup, the data is so far from normalised it might as will be in text files. The excuse I heard was that it is due to legacy programs and support.

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    bossman (10th November 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Yup, the data is so far from normalised it might as will be in text files. The excuse I heard was that it is due to legacy programs and support.
    'Legacy programs' being the polite term for the Windows 9x-era excrement (Nova, Options, Exams, etc) that should have been either rewritten in .NET or (better) integrated into the core codebase. Yes, rewriting an app from scratch is often not the best way to go about things from a software development point of view, but sometimes you have little choice.

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    Re-writing the code that deals with the data wont make it any faster, it might look a bit prettier but it will still access the data in the same way. I think SQL Express is definitely worth checking, short of that try profile what your SQL server is doing - you might just find it's obscenely complex queries to get minimal data out as localzuk & bossman have said.

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    Absolutely right, but rewriting the data access code may allow you to use better back-end methods for storing said data (normalized tables, etc), which is what I think @localzuk was getting at.

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    Indeed. This is why using an MVC programming architecture is a good thing when making data handling programs - even if you get the database massively wrong at first, you can fix it without major changes to your presentation layer!

    So, effectively, you can massively improve ancient programs without much effort.

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    bossman (10th November 2013)

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    zag
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    I really wish they would update options, nova and exams to use proper SQL and have the new interfaces

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Indeed. This is why using an MVC programming architecture is a good thing when making data handling programs - even if you get the database massively wrong at first, you can fix it without major changes to your presentation layer!
    This. Although in the case of Capita, I think "This is why using a ... programming architecture is a good thing when making ... programs" would be a good start for their dev team!

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    Issue is Capita motto is, if it ain't fix, don't touch it, unless you can sell it. The benefit of not upgrading everything and leaving some bits in an old version is you don't have to re-tender because it's not a "new" product. Still that's become more popular in "cloud" world as you can do faster build cycle. Plus side of being in the UK is that the government cloud allows you to see what people are spending money on in the cloud - Sales Information - G-CloudG-Cloud

    That's assuming they go down the proper paths of course.

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    CAM
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    Am I the only one who feels they are taking some unfair stick on here lately? Discover was provided free and even then it had to answer a challenge from other providers over anti-competition laws. Performance Management was also meant to be free but had to be charged due to the same issue.

    Some parts do need a serious update, I can't see why we have Windows 3.11 era programs like Options still kicking around in the admin back-ends. But I have been watching SIMS improve considerably over the last few years for teacher facing parts of the system as the MIS market has opened up.

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    My client load time is 26 secs. It seems alot higher than everyone elses. We have SIMS Server on a VM with 16GB RAM and 4 vCPUs. We have full sql. Our clients are Core2Duo 2.80GHz Win 7 64bit 4GB RAM.
    Once SIMS is running it seems to be ok. 4 secs to find "smith".

    Loading SIMS first time takes 26 secs, close it and log in again and it takes 8 secs.

    Anything I can do to improve that first load time?

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    @CAM I think the stick comes from people being sick of issues. We've almost gone back to the same era of annoyances as 5 years ago - where each update was a nightmare. How many of the latest updates have been withdrawn or re-released?

    Combine that with the fact the underlying database is *still* a mess, however many years after SIMS .Net appeared, and the fact that there are still modules which are, as you say, 3.11 era stuff, and people get a bit annoyed.

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    150+ student school (SQL 2008 R2, Solus 2, Discover)

    Sims server
    HP ML370 G5 (6+ year old H/W), VMware ESXi 4.1, Win 2003 STD SP2, 3GB RAM, 2 Cores Xeon @ 1.8GHz, 2 x 72GB 10K SAS drive (RAID 1+0), 2 x Gbit NIC

    Client machine
    Intel i3-3220 3.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD @ 7200 RPM, Win 7 Pro SP1 x86

    Sims Benchmarks
    2.31 Seconds Client Load time
    5.52 seconds Reports >> Students >> addresses >> Year 7 >> 1 Reg Group
    0.76 Seconds Search "Smith" student name in main screen search box


    Sims Database
    Sims.mdf - 1.85 GB
    Sims.ldf - 184 MB
    Simsdiscover_Primary.mdf - 73 MB
    Simsdiscover_Primary.ldf - 69 MB

    Thankfully, for us, ours is relatively 'fast'.

    Edited bit: I should add that at first run time, the load time is 18 seconds - less on the server. Any subsequent client runs after the first run time loads in < 5 seconds.
    Last edited by Chuckster; 11th November 2013 at 12:03 PM.

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    @CAM agree about Discover, whoever got that pushed though Capita needs a medal.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Performance Management was also meant to be free but had to be charged due to the same issue.
    Not sure I believe that. Don't think any MIS provider would complain if Capita started developing for free! If they would, let me know and I'll go issue some "customer feedback"

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    @CAM agree about Discover, whoever got that pushed though Capita needs a medal.

    Not sure I believe that. Don't think any MIS provider would complain if Capita started developing for free! If they would, let me know and I'll go issue some "customer feedback"
    They do complain to be fair. As it means adding new features, outside the tender, which due to the dominant market position could be claimed to be anti-competitive, as they would be 'forcing' their way into a new market. Kinda like Microsoft bundling Media Player and Internet Explorer into Windows etc...

  19. Thanks to localzuk from:

    vikpaw (11th November 2013)

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