Rarely do you want things in life to be smaller, naturally you always want bigger or more for your money. But when it comes to true cloud software, every additional megabyte counts and so smaller, in this case, is much much better. If a cloud software app is not lean, it’s costing companies and individuals both time and money.
At Paycircle, we strive to keep our application as lean as it can possibly be. But what does that actually mean and what does it involve?
Most people nowadays are familiar with their smartphone data allowance package, where everything you view over the internet involves consuming an amount of data. Whether it’s streaming on Netflix, which quickly eats into that allowance or sharing photos and videos on Instagram – It all adds up.
That’s why we chose an application architecture that consists of a single, highly interactive web page that only reloads the areas and data that are absolutely necessary (more on this in our next article about SPA vs MPA).
Technology is evolving at a rapid rate, meaning WiFi is getting faster, browsers are getting more efficient, everything is being cached to the hills and, in turn, this means that software developers can become complacent. What’s an extra megabyte here and there when it doesn’t have a drastic effect on load times over a decent WiFi connection?
It’s actually pretty weighty if you do the maths. Here’s an example:
At Paycircle, we have thousands of individuals logging in to our application in a given month and that number is increasing at a fairly rapid rate.
Our application code, when packaged and downloaded, is roughly 1.5MB in size – which is less than your average medium resolution photo. Say we were to be complacent, and that doubled, maybe even trebled to 5MB. That’s 3.5 additional megabytes worth of data for every 5000 people every month. That equates to 17.5GB per month – think of all those bolt-on data plans. Within 3 months you’d have used up a similar amount of data as what’s included with the latest model iPhone – that’s the equivalent of a lot of apps/music/photos just in one month.
Now let’s look at the time associated. Our 1.5 megabyte application takes roughly 1 second to download on a 10 megabytes per second broadband service. A 5 megabyte application will take 4 seconds and if we scale that up to 10 megabyte, you’d be looking at an 8 second loading time. You also need to factor in that this is just for the application code, so this is a minimum load time. Once you add images, other libraries and fonts this can all add up. So, doing the maths – 7 extra seconds * 5000 users would be costing our clients at least 9.5 hours per month.
This is essentially the equivalent of a web application’s carbon footprint. Every bit of data requires more memory, every bit of memory needs somewhere to live (be it in the cloud or not), those hard drives of data all need power to run and before you know it the cost to the consumer and essentially, the environment increases. So make sure this is included as part of your due diligence when choosing a cloud payroll provider.
Alongside the codebase itself, we also go to efforts to make sure every image is compressed, as few fonts as possible are used, the code is written efficiently and in a componentised and modular manner so that it can be re-used to avoid repetition. All our APi calls and database connections are streamlined to bring our customers the best possible experience, because we understand that their time is precious and because we care.
If you’re now curious, and want to do some of your own investigation, you can use Google Chrome’s built in Developer Tools to take a look for yourself.
- Log in to your cloud app using Google Chrome browser
- In the Chrome header menu click ‘View’
- Then click ‘Developer’
- Then ‘Developer Tools’
- Then click on the ‘Network’ tab (making sure the ‘All’ filter is selected)
- Sort by Size (descending) and see for yourself the size of the files that this application is using.
Written by Catherine Pinkney