Serious Performance Issues
We are using the platform (Partner Center, Vendor Center, Sales Center and the Business Apps) since almost 6 months. We have continuously experienced serious performance issues in all applications.
Often the pages don't load completely or time out. When i.e. the business app loads, often the dashboard graphs are not loading and remain grey.
Im many cases we have to reload for even hard reload pages in order to function properly. This is true for all applications we use.
Very often it seems you are having extreme cashing and cookie issues as we are constantly asked from support to clear cache and cookies. We can't do this as we run 100% browser based with all our other business apps being dependent on cookies and cache etc. Constantly clearing all of this out creates havoc for all our other applications.
It would be very beneficial you would migrate the apps to become PWA apps with a service worker and manifest to run most of the part locally in the browser to assist solving this issues.
Thanks for starting this difficult conversation. We have been a partner for 2 years and also have experienced issues with what we call "platform stability". I make a point of reporting them each time they happen with a service ticket and Vendasta always resolves them. However, they affect productivity and sometimes we just throw in the towel for the day because it's so frustrating. In Vendastas defense, I understand that constantly upgrading and adding features to the platforms causes other issues but that seems to be a little too often. This is also an area that no one really seems to want to talk about. But it needs to be talked about and I'd be happy to be part of a group of partners working to improve the situation with Vendastas development team.
Thanks again for bringing this up. It's the one thing about Vendasta that we aren't completely happy with.
Thank you very much @Doug Swan for your comment. I can only agree. There is not one day we are suffering from it. Last month we could not use eMail marketing testing for 3 weeks. Now we can't save new emails created for two weeks. This is the core of customer acquisition and we can't sell if that doesn't work. This are just to of the most prominent issues. Often our customers complain that the charts/tiles in the business apps are not showing anything just blurring around for ages. Not to mention all the other issues.
I agree that it is not easy to constantly update and upgrade and keep all in sync. But this is a general enterprise architecture issue that lies in t he foundation of the platform and which needs to be resolved. Another issue might be the DevOps processes, Test and QA and policies in place for new releases etc.
I would be very happy to assist and contribute for any beta or testing version to go through in order to get a more stable release version for general availability.
I am doing enterprise software for 30 years and I can see that this is a tough time where constantly new features are added and an existing in some areas legacy architecture need to be kept running and maintained.
So again, here is our offer to assist wherever possible. But we do need to jointly work on thoise issues as they are not only harm our business, but in the result the one of Vendasta as well.
Thank you very much for your quality and detailed response. This is very much appreciated.
If you need any assistance in terms of testing and evaluating, please feel free to let me know. I'm happy to assist.
As mentioned, I guess the issue lies a bit in kind of legacy architecture, new architecture, quality assurance and testing processes, CI and DevOps. That is always a challenge in such a company. I know that from my very own experience and have suffered from similar results in the past.
What I would suggest as well is to think of deploying PWA - Progressive Web Apps for the partner center, sales center, business app and vendor center. This would very much help with performance issues as all static content could make use of local store, synced by the service workers. Furthermore with the respective manifest, those apps could actually be installed on the computer, tablet or smartphone and will work similar to a native app (responsive behaviour of the app needed of course).
I'm one of the lead developers at Vendasta, and right now quite literally the only thing I'm working on, alongside many other individuals, is fixing so many of these performance issues that you mention. I'm currently on the Business App team, but many of our changes are platform-wide.
You're absolutely correct - we should be using PWA technology. I fully agree, I've even written the internal proposal on what we need to change in order to do so. The current hold up from enabling Business App as a PWA is that I cannot use the permanent-caching that it provides as a fix for the performance issues, without risking introducing even more severe issues for the other problems that you mention - session handling, cookies, etc. I was going to try, but I deemed it too risky because of exactly what you said - some of those session bugs require clearing cookies... I'd rather have the page be slow but work, over needing to clear cookies.
I can't give you a timeline for when we will hit our own goals, but I hope that you can watch the performance increase every single day for Business App. This week we made some huge breakthroughs:
- Decreased our main bundle size by 30%, with another 30% or more to be shaved off next week
- Enabled a global CDN, so that when browser cache misses, it downloads it from a server close to you, without ever hitting our backend
- Found that we are unnecessarily breaking client-side caching across deployments, even if the code for some features haven't changed. Hoping to fix this next week
- Putting far more frontend browser-based testing in place to not only assert that the code is working, but also that it's hitting performance budgets
... and a lot more. We are also working on removing the blockers to enable the PWA, but I'm hoping that the PWA will be enabled on top of an already optimized app without it, instead of trying to cover for it.
I am really happy you brought these issues up on a dedicated thread. Looking forward to returning to this conversation soon!
Thank you very much for your detailed, quality ,open and honest communication. This is highly appreciated as it really helps to see and understand the situation from a partners perspective. It is our joint goal to make all work perfectly and to a certain extend we can buffer customer complaints. However, this needs the open communication we now have.
It is great to see that the issues are actually addressed and that your are going clearly into the right direction. I can only offer our assistance and will to contribute whenever needed to assist you achieving your and our all goal.
What I discovered today when testing a trace route to see why we have a huge latency when using the app was, I see 14 hops from Germany to the US and back to Germany. So, in fact, the page is served from the Google CDN in Frankfurt but first takes a full roundtrip to your core server. But that might be the issue you mentioned you are working on already.