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Keeping Your Apps Running Smoothly As They Grow

By Brian Cafferelli posted 27 days ago

  

Keeping Your Apps Running Smoothly As They Grow

Quickbase helps companies to see, connect, and control their most complex projects. Innovative business users are creating Quickbase applications fit for their team’s unique needs. And the result? Business teams are sharing the right information with the right people, at the right time. Over the past twenty years, we’ve seen this story play out many times. But as companies begin to realize the benefits of a unified platform like Quickbase, word gets out. Apps built for individuals spread to teams. Apps originally built for teams are shared with other departments. Each of these expansions builds on prior successes. But it also adds more people, more apps, and more data. How do they manage this increasing load? We’ve created a set of advanced performance tools to solve this problem. Read on to learn how you can ensure your Quickbase apps continue to run quickly as they grow.

 

Background

Quickbase runs on a purpose-built, in-memory database which is optimized for speed and complexity. Many no-code tools available in the market are limited. They begin having issues with only hundreds of fields. However, Quickbase tables often have thousands of fields. And many of those fields are performing sophisticated calculations on their own, providing key business insights. Quickbase applications often grow to store millions of records. And with the power of our platform, your applications were born to iterate and evolve quickly. Most importantly, we enable this without requiring you to know how to write and deploy code. And Quickbase is free of many of the limitations that other, smaller, no-code solutions have.

We achieve all this by maintaining a consistent focus on speeding up your apps. And just like you, we are looking to get a little better at this every day. There are three ways we support enterprise-grade performance and scale:

  • First, we evolve the platform non-stop. We upgrade the infrastructure your apps are running on. We make sure the underlying network and operating systems are up-to-date. We tweak and optimize various aspects of how Quickbase works. We do this all the time, and your apps just get faster without you having to lift a finger.
  • Next, we invest in tools to help you manage your application. Everything from deep analysis, to automatic tuning, and a new view that watches your application’s traffic and makes actionable recommendations for improving performance.
  • Lastly, our organization scales with you. From tech support, to services and partners, we have the expertise to help you when you need it. And you can benefit from this expertise both at the planning stages, and as we grow with you over time.

 

The App Builder’s Role

Ensuring that your apps perform well is a shared responsibility. We make sure the app-building tools we provide are available, performant, and well-understood. We do this using the three methods listed in the previous section. On the other hand, app builders have a role to play as well. We want your apps to continue to thrive for as long as you need them, which could be months or even years. You can do this by making frequent refinements to your app, keeping things in line with the changing needs of your team. This amplifies the business impact your app has. It also helps to elevate you and your career personally, positioning you as a reliable problem-solver.

 

Routine App Maintenance

When it comes to ensuring that your apps run quickly, it’s important to be proactive. Fortunately, a little time spent tuning and maintaining your apps goes a long way. In our in the Enterprise, Evan Martinez offered a handy checklist. We recommend running through the list each month, for your most important apps:

  1. Audit your table home pages for messy and unfiltered reports​
  2. Set your report defaults to use the fields that are most valuable (aim for 10)​
  3. Check popular reports for or “some field contains” filters​
  4. Check which fields are searchable in your tables​
  5. Look for unused data entry fields and delete​
  6. Look for unneeded derived formula and relationship fields​
  7. Add formula variables to your formula fields where appropriate​
  8. Audit your formula queries to make sure they are efficient and remove any unneeded queries​
  9. Check for especially large forms and break them out for your roles like your table reports​
  10. Check User and UserList fields for default user lists and change to custom where possible

    For more information on the checklist, you can view the webinar recording here.

    The Limitations of Manual Performance Tuning

    Customers on any Quickbase plan get access to our powerful app-building platform. And consistently using the checklist above will help keep your apps running smoothly. But on its own, manual performance tuning may not be enough. This approach becomes insufficient as usage of Quickbase spreads across your company. As the number of apps you’re using grows, there is a time constraint when trying to apply the checklist to many apps. And the challenge of finding performance hotspots grows as your apps become more sophisticated and complex.

     

    Advanced Performance Tools

    Available exclusively on the Enterprise Plan, Quickbase’s advanced performance tools automate much of this routine app maintenance. We designed these tools for business users who don’t have experience managing software performance. They will enable you to effectively manage many large applications, even as they grow and span across your entire organization. They include:

     

    Putting it All Together

    With all these new tools in hand, app builders can keep their apps running quickly as they grow. There are many factors that can push an app to grow in data size, complexity, or users. Perhaps the business process your app serves has changed since you built that app. Maybe a new competitor is gaining momentum and you need to update your business strategy. Or maybe your top business goals are pivoting. No matter the reason, change is the only constant in business. And we are ready to grow with you to meet your next big challenge. We encourage you to take a few minutes today to try out the advanced performance tools above on your most important app. And for further guidance, you can open a support case by clicking ? in a Quickbase app, then clicking Manage Support Cases > + New Support Case.

     

    Not currently on the Enterprise Plan? Please contact your account team for more information.

     

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