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Bug report: Performance improvements for large apps

Editing and running very large apps is now a much smoother experience. Our server now processes changes to such apps much more efficiently. Also, navigating to a new panel in a very large app should now be instantaneous for most apps.

We have recently concluded a major effort to improve performance when editing and running very large apps. We reported on some of these improvements in February. Back then, we enabled compression when downloading apps and worked to ensure that our server had to do as little work as possible when apps were requested.

Then, in March, a user creating a large app for his sales team reported getting intermittent error messages when editing apps. We only fully fixed this issue months later, when we enabled our server to process app changes made through Calcapp Creator significantly faster. The issue turned out to be the slow processing of Calcapp formulas, which we managed to make more than 50 times faster. The end result is that our server should now be able to handle very large apps with no issues.

We did have one remaining server problem, though. Some calculation panels created by users contain thousands of fields, buttons and text boxes. While we think that you should consider breaking up those panels into smaller, more manageable panels, we’d still like Calcapp to handle those huge panels well, and that just wasn’t the case a short while ago. The issue was that adding items to the very beginning of a huge panel would cause our server to stop responding, thereby producing an error message. We have significantly sped up processing of changes made to very large panels, meaning that this is no longer an issue. (Our testing revealed that we now process changes to very large panels a thousand times faster than before.)

Finally, very large apps could be sluggish to operate, especially on low-end mobile devices. Just moving on to the next panel could take up to 15 seconds, which was clearly unacceptable. We have made changes to the underlying technology we use to take advantage of improvements in web technology, making panel transitions much faster. Now, moving to a new panel should be instantaneous for most apps. It should not take longer than one second to change panels now, even if your app is very large.

Taken together, these five changes should make Calcapp a far more attractive solution for building very large apps.

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