Business on a laptop

Do users expect too much of applications?

Today, users expect more and more from their applications (both mobile and web).

In terms of performance, 47% of users now expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. Apps like Instagram and Twitter set high expectations in terms of usability and functionality. And the cloud is everywhere – data is expected to be at our fingertips at all times.

As well as consumer expectations constantly rising, the expectations of businesses is also increasing. Now, anything that takes more than 3-6 months to start delivering real value is unlikely to get past the drawing board.

85% of businesses want to deploy apps within these time scales, but only 18% have processes in place to support this pace.

One solution Intechnica has recently adopted to meet and exceed these expectations is to adopt Rapid Application Development, which allows 80% of an application to be built using a drag-and-drop interface, leaving just 20% to traditional coding. This speeds up the development process to the point where a functional, useful web or mobile application can be deployed across various devices and delivering value to the business within weeks.

Case study – Delivering value within weeks

Intechnica, using Progress application development solutions, recently helped a leading European transport and logistics company to match the pace of business change by developing a mobile application to deliver new functionality within weeks, as opposed to the 3-6 months it would have taken using traditional application development methods.

The front-end of the company’s existing logistics, stock and order management application could not keep pace with the rate of change required to meet the new expectations of its users.

The solution was remarkably simple – but hugely effective. Today, smartphones are ubiquitous, so a simple mobile app was developed to replace several paper-based processes and mobilise the entire operation. GPS-based geolocation, time-stamping and photography functionality (all of which is available in almost every smartphone) was built into the app.

The business is now able to move with much greater pace and efficiency, enabling it to reduce costs and pro-actively manage its resource planning and invoicing functions with much greater accuracy.

The app was built, functional and delivering benefits to the business in just a matter of weeks.

Read more

Learn how businesses are addressing the increasing demand for faster development and time to value in an exclusive white paper produced by Intechnica. Head on over to the Intechnica website to download your copy now!

Web Performance Fails of the Week – April 10th 2015

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

GameStop – Latest amiibo figures go on sale

The latest collector craze sweeping the world is Nintendo’s amiibo figures, a series of toy figurines depicting popular characters, which can be used within video games themselves. The fourth wave of these figures was released for pre-order last week, with American retailer GameStop exclusively stocking a limited edition “Ness” character.

Rare, collectible and extremely popular, it was no wonder demand was high. The bad news was that this took down the whole site so that no other products could be sold until demand died down.

Owl Café – Ticket sale crushes website and app

Yes, that’s right – there’s a café in London where you can share the company of Owls. However, the café, Annie the Owl, is only offering this for a week to those who buy a ticket online – and demand was much higher than what they could actually achieve. This was reflected by the fact that the website just for those who registered for the pre-sale quickly brought the ticketing system crashing down.

There was some Twitter venom sent the way of ticketing site Billetto as well…

Mariah Carey – Caesar’s Palace website falls over

In case you didn’t know how popular Mariah Carey is, she’s actually the record setting solo artist for number 1 hits in the US. So it shouldn’t be surprising that her sending her fans to a website might crash it pretty quickly. In this case it was the Caesar’s Palace website that bore the brunt, having hosted a magazine cover featuring the singer, who will be performing there later this year.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services includeperformance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, andmanaged performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – March 6th 2015

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

V Festival – Pre-sale Woes

The Virgin Media customer-exclusive pre-sale of tickets to the popular V Festival was due to start from 10am this Wednesday. However, to this collective dismay of would-be ticket buyers, this was suddenly bumped back; first by half an hour, then until the afternoon, and finally until the next morning. It seemed that a technical glitch was the cause of the delay.

Kickstarter – Pebble Time Steel rush

Wish smartwatches growing in popularity, the announcement by Pebble of a premium metallic version of their trailblazing timepiece sent fans into a frenzy on the Kickstarter site. This seemed to slow the whole of Kickstarter down significantly, with some unable to access the site.

Forestry Commission – Forest Live ticket sales (ongoing!)

This is seems to be going on as I type this! The Forestry Commission is selling tickets for a “Forest Live” series of gigs across its wildlife venues, featuring acts such as Sam Smith and Robert Plant (no pun intended). However the servers didn’t seem to be able to cope with the demand for tickets, and visitors didn’t seem impressed with the unclear queue they were being placed in to get to the site.

Server busy - Forest Live

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services includeperformance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, andmanaged performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 27th 2015

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Adidas – Yeezy Boost flash sale

What happens when one of the biggest celebrities in the world designs a sneaker, unveils it at the Grammys and it goes on sale online? Well, for Adidas Originals, the online sale of Kanye West’s “Yeezy Boosts” went something like this:

Ahead of the European release tomorrow, those wanting a pair of the “extremely limited availability” shoes share the same wish.

Trainsplit.com – Press coverage overloads website

A new website professing to enable visitors to save money on train tickets launch this past week in the form of trainsplit.com. It uses a loophole in the rail ticket booking system to split journeys up into several cheaper tickets as opposed to one more expensive one.

It seems that the process of doing this is quite intensive on their back end systems, especially after press coverage drove more than enough traffic to the site to slow it to a crawl.

TrainSplit

Eventually the site went down altogether.

UK Antarctic Heritage Trust – Job advert crashes website

The UKAHT posted a job advert for four people to work at the Port Lockroy post office off the Antarctic Peninsula. Despite the description (“Can you enthuse to visitors when it is -5C° and blowing a blizzard as well as cook supper cheerfully after a long cold day and very little sleep?”, it cheerily asks), there seems to be plenty of people who find the prospect of living amongst the penguins of Goudier Island attractive, as the website went down.

Port Lockroy, Antarctica

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 20th 2015

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Amazon – Outage across Europe

Proving that even the biggest names sometimes slip up, ecommerce juggernaut Amazon suffered a brief but embarrassing outage all over Europe this week, although its US site seemed to be unaffected.

It even affected Amazon’s Fire phones, much to the user base’s chagrin.

VisitIthaca.com – Florida advert breaks website

Ithaca is a popular vacation spot in the state of New York, but with the recent weather not being ideal on the east coast of the US, this local travel website decided to admit defeat and suggest that would-be holiday makers choose to go to sunny Florida instead.

It turned out to be an effective publicity stunt, but a flood of new traffic caused the website to get snowed under.

BQ – Ubuntu phone flash sales

The first phone running the Ubuntu mobile OS was released across Europe today, and demand was so much higher than supply that the website struggled to gracefully cope with several “flash sales” promoted by retailer BQ.com.

It seemed that getting one of the handsets truly was a case of being one of the “lucky ones”, as there didn’t seem to be any queuing or intelligent traffic management systems in place to handle the influx of visitors.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 13th

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Spicejet – Low Cost Airfare Deal

Budget Indian airline Spicejet ran into problems this week after offering up super cheap flights on its website this week. It’s hardly surprising there was so much demand, with flights on sale for Rs 599 (£6.25).

spicjet-website-crash_142

Ticketmaster – ticket on-sales affected

Ticketmaster in the States apparently ran into problems this week, which caused disruption to people trying to get tickets to see the likes of AC/DC and the band Barenaked Ladies.

The issues lasted for about an hour and were reportedly caused by an unexpected glitch during a change to the site – but it reinforces the real, tangible impact IT problems can have on businesses (read more on that here).

Travelex – “Happy Hour” sale

Currency exchange website Travelex has a regular “Happy Hour” promotion during which times they offer special discounted exchange rates. This is promoted via social media and a newsletter blast that budding money savers can sign up to receive. This week however, Travelex had to extend the offer to make up for problems it customers had in accessing the offer.

This goes to show that even regular activity can sometimes bring in an unexpected spike in traffic and cause problems to a website, especially with time-limited offers.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 6th 2015

Welcome to a new feature on the Intechnica blog: Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

One of our most linked to and visited posts from a few years back is “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. But why are people so interested in reading about other people’s “fails” anyway? Part of it is schadenfreude – enjoying the misfortune of others – especially when it’s an established name that surely ought to know better.

But these can also be seen as cautionary tales. Everyone slips up from time to time, and we can all learn valuable lessons about planning ahead, reacting to mistakes and mitigating disasters in future.

So without further ado: Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Chelsea FC – Transfer Deadline Day

The sports media was buzzing with activity this week as the deadline for clubs to buy footballers came to a close. One of the biggest stories was that of Juan Cuadrado signing for Chelsea FC. So popular was this story that fans managed to crash the site due to overwhelming demand.

Chelsea FC website crash

BT Sport – FA Cup Live Stream

Manchester United clashed with Cambridge United in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, in a game exclusive to BT Sport. Unfortunately those trying to watch the game via the BT Sport website and app couldn’t access the live stream.

This isn’t the first “own goal” by BT Sport, as reported here upon the service’s launch.

Tottenham Hotspur – Capital One Cup Final Ticket Sales

It seems like football is the running theme this week. Tickets went on sale for Tottenham Hotspur season ticket holders to book their seat at Wembley Stadium, where Spurs will meet the aforementioned Chelsea. Despite there being more tickets available than season ticket holders to buy them, the site still became overwhelmed, frustrating hardcore followers of the club.

The club announced an extension of the ticket sales window on their website to make up for the problems.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.