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After a busy year of development, we’ve decided it’s time to sit down and do some annual code ‘house cleaning’. ProWorkflow has been well established for a few years now and over that time we’ve continually developed the application thanks to great customer feedback.

However, times and technology have changed – we develop all code to a high current standard, however, some older code in the application is being rewritten or optimized to perform better or to take advantage of new technologies.

Over the next month or two we’re focusing on speed and performance! We’ve just released the first maintenance update last Friday. This was rolled out to all subscription accounts seamlessly over the weekend with the new ProWorkflow v6.3 update. You should notice it’s running faster already! Below is a list of the speed enhancements in this update.

Optimized code on these pages
The  following pages have had code rewritten to remove spacer GIF’s, make better use of CSS, or to remove/trim old code. Over time we’ll work through the entire application.

    – Invoices Page (& Past Invoices)
    – Quotes Page (& Past Quotes)
    – Projects Page
    – Tasks Page
    – Invoices Page (& Past Invoices)

Improved the Audit Log
More events have been added to the Audit Log. We’ll continue to add further events with each update.

Improved Calendar Loading
The way the small sidebar calendar loaded used to slow down the page redraw as it was processing ALL tasks prior to displaying. We’ve changed this so the whole page loads, and THEN the calendar loads. Sounds trivial, but makes a huge difference!

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Added a ‘Live Alerts’ notifier
Although there is currently a ‘ProWorkflow Updates’ blog built in, it wasn’t prominent enough, so many users would miss important updates, ie: Scheduled Maintenance Downtime’. We wanted to improve communication between users and the ProWorkflow team. So we’ve now added an extra ‘ProWorkflow Updates’ bar that appears at the very top of the screen ONLY for the ProWorkflow Updates we flag with the ‘Show In Header’ option. So if we need to let users know about a maintenance period or important update, we can do this easily. 

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Added a new ‘Tasks Archive’ page
Most users have huge tasks pages. At the base of this page is the ‘Task Archive’ which actually slows down the page loading speed. This has been separated out to a new page called the ‘Tasks Archive’.

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Added ‘Shared Images’ directory
Each account is currently a separate installation on the server and it has it’s own “/Nav_images/” directory. Every account has a copy of this same images directory. We’ve now pulled out all the generic images, ie: buttons, nav icons etc into one shared directory which all accounts access. This account’s images are cached on the server. This means when these graphics load in the application they’re already cached – so load very fast!

Added a ‘Speed Tips’ link in the header
We’ve added a new link in the header called ‘Speed Tips’. Clicking this will slide down a panel with tips specific to your login view only. These are just tips to fine tune your ‘Personal Settings’ to increase speed. ie: Clearing Updates and Alerts regularly, Hiding the small sidebar calendar under the left nav etc.

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Introduced server caching for static data/images
Previously, images and static data would be cached according to your browser settings. This has been changed so that common images and static interface parts will be held in cache on the server. This makes a huge difference in page loading speed!

Server optimization for better performance
The developers have been monitoring and adjusting settings in ColdFusion, SQL and IIS on the servers to minimize heavy and repeat processing issues.

So what’s next?
Heaps! But the next key areas we’re working on now are:

– Project Details Page (Optimizing the code)
– Optimizing other pages throughout
– Upgrading all servers to  the latest ColdFusion 8 (Huge speed increase)
– Eliminating page refreshes
– Easier creating/editing of projects, tasks and time

 

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About the author:
Julian Stone, CEO – Project Management Software visionary for: ProActiveSoftware.com, ProWorkflow.com & Julian101.com
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About The Author:
Julian Stone begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is the CEO of ProActive Software, developers and creators of the leading web based project management software http://www.proworkflow.com.