|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|
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Jan. 31, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 3,566
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,733
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 3,889
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 31, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,699
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Jan. 31, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,052
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,960
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,784
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jan. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 8,154
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,796
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 3,701
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,838
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Jan. 31, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,391
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 3,309
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,540
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 3,435
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Jan. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 2,756
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 3,314
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,614
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,274
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,490