|By Ben Forta||
|January 31, 2003 12:00 AM EST||
Which is faster, <CFQUERY> or <CFLOOP>? Which is faster, CFML or <CFSCRIPT>? Which is faster... ? If you're a ColdFusion developer, chances are that you've asked (or have been asked) these questions and others like them.
So, Which Is Faster?
Okay, so which option is actually the faster one? Honestly? I'm not so sure. Once upon a time (pre-CF4) we were told that <CFLOOP> was very slow. Then (when CF4 shipped) we were told that <CFLOOP> had been optimized and outperformed <CFOUTPUT>. And now, well, CFMX changes everything. So, which is faster?
Of course, performance-related questions are legitimate. We all keep looking for ways to tweak just a little more oomph from our code. But the truth is that this is not just a CFML syntax concern; this affects all sorts of code, database calls, design considerations, reuse implementations, and more.
ColdFusion debugging helps us out a little here. Execution time (for a complete page or parts thereof) provides an invaluable peek under the CF covers. But for more granular performance comparisons, for detailed benchmarking, and for ascertaining definitive performance data, debug output falls a bit short.
Enter ColdFusion MX
Ever since ColdFusion MX shipped I've been trying to better understand exactly what the product is doing internally so as to be able to write better code. And like many of you, I've discovered that an interesting side effect of ColdFusion's new processing engine is that many of the tips and tricks I lived by don't really apply anymore; some have negligible effects on my code, and others are just plain wrong. So I created an application, a really simple performance comparison tool, using good old ColdFusion. This tool has proven so invaluable that I feel compelled to share it with you. Read on.
Measuring Execution Time
The key to measuring any execution time in ColdFusion is an intriguing little function named GetTickCount(). GetTickCount() takes no parameters, and returns a number that is, in and of itself, rather useless. So what makes GetTickCount() so intriguing? The number that GetTickCount() returns is a value in milliseconds, and invoking GetTickCount() exactly one second after a prior GetTickCount() invocation returns a value exactly 1000 times greater than the first returned value.
In other words, to determine exactly how long a line of code takes to execute, you could do the following:
... some CFML code ...
Measuring a single execution yields no usable data - a single invocation may run faster or slower at any time based on lots of other factors (ColdFusion factors and otherwise). To really measure execution time, code must be executed repeatedly, and each iteration must be measured individually and stored. Then an average execution time can be determined by processing all of the saved values.
The simplest way to do this in ColdFusion is to loop through the iterations, saving each measurement to an array, perhaps like this:
...some CFML code...
<CFSET ArrayAppend(timings, end-start)>
Then to obtain the average execution time you could simply use:
Similarly, total execution time, slowest iteration, and fastest iteration could easily be determined using array functions like this:
To compare the processing of two options you'd simply repeat this process twice (saving the data to two arrays, one for each option), and then compare the results.
Detailed benchmarking data is useless unless it can be presented in a format that makes it clear and understandable. <CFCHART> (and related tags) makes it easy to plot the data in a highly usable and readable format.
<CFCHART> is usually used to chart database query results, but as this code snippet demonstrates, individual data points can be passed explicitly using the <CFCHARTDATA> tag. In this example, two arrays (named timings1 and timings2) are being charted in individual data series in a single chart. The inner loops loop from 1-100, and on each iteration, passes the appropriate array value (from both arrays) to <CFCHART>.
<!--- Graph it --->
Putting It All Together
SERIESLABEL="Option 1 Title"
<CFLOOP FROM="1" TO="100" INDEX="i">
SERIESLABEL="Option 2 Title"
<CFLOOP FROM="1" TO="100" INDEX="i">
Over the past few months I've found myself using code much like what I described above over and over. So to make testing quicker and cleaner, I created the "Which is Faster?" application. The app is actually incredibly simple; the idea is as follows:
For my own testing (to test <CFLOOP> versus <CFOUTPUT>) I used three files. Here they are:
ORDER BY LastName, FirstName
These are simple, crude, and not real-world at all. But they are perfect for this type of testing - you wouldn't want lots of other processing included, as that could skew the results.
FORM.CFM (Listing 1) contains the code for the form, a simple HTML form as described above (see Figure 1). One checkbox worth noting is the "Exclude first iteration" option; as ColdFusion may have to compile the code on the first execution, you may not want to include that in the collected data (as it will skew the results, creating a much slower first value).
PROCESS.CFM (Listing 2) processes the form. The code first uses <CFPARAM> and a series of <CFIF> statements to validate and prepare passed values. If a preprocessor file was specified, it is then executed. Next, if the "Exclude first iteration" option was checked, each included file is executed once (using <CFINCLUDE> tags) so as to force a compile if needed. Then comes the test itself; <CFLOOP> loops from 1 to the specified number of iterations and, within each iteration, both files are executed and the timings for each appended to one of two arrays (one for each test). Finally the results are displayed in five graphs (see Figure 2). The first shows the execution details, and the next four show total processing time, average iteration processing time, as well as fastest and slowest iteration processing time. (In case you were wondering why I used two arrays instead of a single two-dimensional array, these last four graphs are the reason; functions like ArraySum() and ArrayAvg() work on single dimensional arrays only).
Where to Go from Here
Of course, writing all this down has gotten me thinking. It would be nice if instead of just including files with <CFINCLUDE> the application would give you a choice and also allow:
- <CFHTTP> calls to complete pages, local or remote
- <CFINVOKE> calls to Web services or ColdFusion Components
- <CFMODULE> calls to Custom Tags
So, which is faster, <CFLOOP> or <CFOUTPUT>? Answer: <CFLOOP> seems slightly faster, but there is so little difference it's essentially insignificant. Which is faster, CFML or <CFSCRIPT>? Answer: almost no difference (unless I ran ridiculously large tests, as in 10,000 assignments per iteration). Which is faster? Now you can find out yourself - and not just with CFML language elements, but whole blocks of functionality, pages, SQL statements, and more. Enjoy!
|ramaa rajan 12/03/03 11:09:27 AM EST|
I would like to capture the execution time of each page as it displayed in the browser. GetTickCount() function gives a slightly different result. Can you pls tell me how. Thanks a lot
|07/24/03 12:51:00 PM EDT|
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Jun. 30, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 506
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jun. 30, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 413
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jun. 29, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,054
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jun. 29, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 482
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 29, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 451
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Jun. 29, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 413
UAS, drones or unmanned aircraft, no matter what you call them — this was their week. Our news stream was flooded with updates on the newly announced rules and regulations for commercial UAS from the FAA. So, naturally we have dedicated this week’s top news round up to highlight some of our favorite UAS stories.
Jun. 29, 2016 03:02 PM EDT Reads: 319
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jun. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 683
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jun. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 425
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jun. 29, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 391
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jun. 29, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 575
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Jun. 29, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 607
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
Jun. 29, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 545
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jun. 29, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 516
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jun. 29, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 575
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 29, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 529
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Jun. 29, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,310
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jun. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,284
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jun. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 965
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Jun. 29, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,474