13 Nov, 2015

Get faster page loading with on-demand thumbnail image retrieval

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 November 13th, 2015|Tips & Tricks|2 Comments

We recently had a customer concerned about performance when viewing certain albums in their gallery. After investigation, we saw that these albums had a large number of media assets. In one case there were 4,120 images. Since each thumbnail image required an HTTP call to the server, that album had at least 4,120 calls to the server before the page was fully loaded. In Chrome that took about 20 seconds. In Microsoft Edge it was dramatically better, about 5 seconds. But in either case that's too much time. Our best practice advice is to try to keep fewer than 500 or 1000 items in each album, but this customer had business requirements that made splitting up the album impossible. They turned on the paging feature, which helped speed up the screen rendering but under the hood those 4,120 HTTP calls were still getting made, triggering the spinning circle icon we've all seen that tells [...]

26 Aug, 2015

Experiments with SQLite

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 August 26th, 2015|Dev Insight|0 Comments

Long time fans of Gallery Server may recall that versions earlier than 2.5 supported SQLite as a database option. At the time it was a great choice because it was a file-based database that was robust, fast, required no extra software on the server, and required no maintenance. The only real downsides were that we had to distribute both a 32-bit and 64-bit version, and it ran only in Full Trust environments (no worky on GoDaddy). When Microsoft released SQL CE 4, we realized it would solve both of these issues, so in 2.5 we dropped SQLite support and moved to SQL CE. Overall it's been a great move - it just "works" and people who use it almost never have to interact with the underlying database. But it came with a price. It is slow. So slow that customers who use SQL Server often see a 20-fold increase in database performance.  If you're running [...]

4 Mar, 2015

Reduce your gallery’s drive space requirements up to 99%

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 March 4th, 2015|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

When you add a media asset to your gallery, Gallery Server creates a thumbnail and web-optimized file that is used for most gallery activities. For example, clicking the thumbnail image in an album shows the web-optimized version, not the original. By default, web-optimized images are about 640 px on the longest side and - for JPG images - created with a compression quality setting of 70 (you can change this on the Media Objects - Images page). A typical web-optimized image is about 30-70 KB regardless of the size of the original image. It is common for today's digital cameras to produce files that are 8MB and even higher. That's huge, so it's highly beneficial to use the smaller file whenever possible. It downloads and renders quickly and uses far less bandwidth and server resources than the original would have. The original still exists on the server and can be downloaded through [...]

15 Jan, 2014

Eliminate startup delay by suspending the app pool and using Application Initialization

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:42+00:00 January 15th, 2014|Tips & Tricks|4 Comments

[2015-10-19] This post was updated to describe changes present in IIS 8.5 (Windows Server 2012 R2): the addition of the Idle Worker Process Page-Out feature and the removal of the Start Automatically setting. It is well known that ASP.NET applications have a startup delay after they’ve been idle for a while. Every once in a while someone posts in the forum that the gallery is slow to load at first and then is quite fast. That’s because IIS is doing a lot of stuff when that first HTTP request comes in: Spins up an application pool JIT-compiles the code Performs view generation of the EF model Loads HTTP modules Runs initialization code in GSP, which connects to the database and loads application settings and other lookup data. All that takes a few seconds, which isn’t terrible, but first impressions are important. Wouldn’t it be better if IIS handled this before [...]

19 Nov, 2013

Gallery Server Pro 3.1.0 Released

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:42+00:00 November 19th, 2013|Announcements|0 Comments

Today we released 3.1.0, containing a number of significant new features along with a few bug fixes. The features are: Improved quality of web-optimized videos Images generated up to 3 times faster Auto-rotation of images and videos Synchronization up to 300% faster and uses less server memory Easier Active Directory setup and integration Improved performance for large numbers of user accounts On-demand rotation of videos Support for 3GP videos This release is a free upgrade to 3.0 license holders. Upgrading is easy – just copy the files from the upgrade package over your existing web application. Installations and upgrades for other scenarios are in the Administrator’s Guide. Video Improvements When the Gallery Server Pro Binary Pack is installed, web-optimized versions of video files are created when you upload a file or the synchronization determines that an optimized video is needed. GSP 3.0.X created H.264 MP4 files that were highly compressed, [...]

28 Jun, 2013

Gallery Server Pro 3.0.1 Released

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:47+00:00 June 28th, 2013|Announcements|0 Comments

Today I released 3.0.1, containing 35 bug fixes and 9 enhancements. They include fixes to the 2.6 => 3.0 upgrade process, performance improvements, media template tweaks, and more. This release is a free upgrade to 3.0.0 license holders. Upgrading is easy – just copy the files from the upgrade package over your existing web application. Installations and upgrades for other scenarios are in the Quick Start Guide. Upgrade improvements Several issues with upgrading from 2.6 have been addressed. Lost media type settings – The upgrade to 3.0.0 caused the list of enabled media object types to reset to the default values of .jpg and .jpeg. Upgrades now preserve the settings you selected on the Media Object Types page in the site admin area. Note that if you already upgraded to 3.0.0, applying 3.0.1 will not correct this – you still need to re-enable the desired file types. But anyone upgrading [...]

16 Feb, 2012

SQL CE performance improvements in 2.6.1

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:49+00:00 February 16th, 2012|Dev Insight|0 Comments

Galleries using SQL CE benefited from significant performance improvements in 2.6.0. Retrieval of data was up to 15 times faster than in 2.5. However, many users noticed that synchronize operations still were slower than both SQL Server and the now obsolete SQLite data provider (replaced by SQL CE in 2.5). This week I focused on analyzing the source of the difference with an aim to improve it. I am pleased to say that I succeeded in achieving about a 50% speed improvement with only a minimal change. I will soon be releasing 2.6.1, which contains this benefit as well as several bug fixes. Before I dig into the details, I want to mention that the upcoming .NET 4.5 runtime is expected to bring additional performance benefits to SQL CE users. The ADO.NET Team just announced some details that show a real world app running 67% faster under .NET 4.5 than [...]