Getting Dashboard Content Faster With Intelligent Caching

September 24, 2012
Performance, Security

Many NetCharts Performance Dashboards (NCPD) users have downloaded NCPD v2.5 to take advantage of its new features. Among them is intelligent caching. NCPD now has the ability to store and re-use database queries to improve dashboard performance for viewers, similar to the way that a website’s content is cached by your browser the first time you visit it. If your users request complex dashboards, or if your databases are under-resourced, caching can dramatically improve the user experience by reducing the time it takes NCPD to deliver a dashboard. Caching is helpful in a number of scenarios, including when a large number of users are accessing the same dashboard and when underlying data changes infrequently, which is often the case when dashboards are built from reporting databases.

NCPD allows each dashboard data source to have its own unique caching configuration. Caching on a data source can be done reactively, proactively, both proactively and reactively. Caching can also be disabled. Reactive caching occurs when NCPD keeps the results of dashboard requests to be re-used when the dashboard is requested again at a later time. Proactive caching allows NCPD to generate dashboard content automatically on a prescribed schedule. You can also proactively cache content for one or more view dates via a data source configuration.

Each of your data sources can have its own caching interval, allowing you to customize when the data is refreshed based on your business needs. For example, you might have a dashboard with one KPI based on a General Ledger data source that is updated once nightly and one KPI based on a Point-of-sale data source that is updating in real time. The data cache for the KPI based on the General Ledger data source can be refreshed once per day while the data cache for the KPI using the Point-of-Sale data source can be disabled allowing continuously refresh in real time.

For added flexibility, scripts can be created to invoke NCPD’s caching behavior from outside of the application. This is useful in scenarios where an outside program must run on data before it can be accessed by NCPD (e.g., in cases where an ETL process loads data into a warehouse).

NCPD’s new caching feature can greatly improve dashboard performance, saving your dashboard viewers time. In addition to caching, the following features have been added in NCPD 2.5:

  • Improved Performance
  • Added security features
  • Upgraded data export capabilities

A full list of NCPD 2.5 features can be found here. To take advantage of the caching capability today, upgrade to NCPD 2.5.

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