Tag Archives: WebScheduler

Server Side Paging in WebScheduler Timeline view

Performance and scalability are among our strongest focus in WebScheduler v3 release. Since Timeline view is capable to show a wide range of data (from minutes to quarters), loading all the data at once will significantly degrade the server and client performance and ultimately slowing down the application responsiveness in overall. The problem is even more noticeable when the loaded data is relatively huge and when Quarter view mode is used.

WebScheduler 3 addresses the performance bottleneck from top to bottom by introducing smart client paging (EventPageSize),  ViewPort paging, and server paging. The smart client and ViewPort paging are designed to provide paging solution for the client-side which dramatically improves user experiences. I’ve discussed the client paging features in my previous blog post.

In this post, we’ll learn the new server paging capability in WebScheduler 3, and how you can implement it in your application. Let’s take a clear and deep down look at it.

Concept

Designed to be an enterprise-ready scheduling component, we’ve added numerous new features in WebScheduler 3 to control the data retrieval mechanism. One of the most powerful features is server paging.

Server paging is an innovative feature built to eliminate sluggish performance due to the large data download while working in Timeline view mode. With server paging enabled, WebScheduler will download only a small chunk of data based on the viewport during initial load and intelligently requests more data as users scroll downward. This means reduced page load time and increased overall application responsiveness.

Not only that – you can also combine the server paging with smart client paging, JSON serialization and other features to boost your Scheduling application performance even more.

The following screenshot shows the WebScheduler with server-side paging enabled. Notice that it will load data on demand as needed.

ServerSidePaging

Benchmark Result

To compliment this post with a more realistic performance comparison, I decided to do some simple testing and provided the screenshots that show the data and response time benchmark of server-side paging. In this benchmark, I’m using HighPerformanceScheduler sample which is included in the WebScheduler’s sample.

Also keep in mind that the HighPerformanceScheduler sample is using database with 3000+ records of events with 66 resources. All events are purposely recorded within 1 month to load test the WebScheduler performance in Timeline month view.

Using HttpWatch Professional 6.1, we can inspect the data size and the content returned from server. Notice that WebScheduler with server paging enabled loads only 176KB of data. That’s nearly 10x smaller when comparing it with server paging disabled which yielded 1553KB (1.5MB).

In addition, the server paging also significantly reduces data transfer time. For instances, assuming if you have 100kb/s internet connection, the load time with ServerPaging enabled will be done in approximately 1.7 seconds. Contrary, you will need to wait at least 15 seconds or more without ServerPaging.

The beauty of server paging is that it also keeps your browser light and responsive by rendering only a small amount of data at a time. Instead of loading all 3000 events at once, WebScheduler makes efficient use of resources by loading required events on demand when the page is scrolled downward.

You might be wondering how WebScheduler detects which data to be loaded in the next request. That is where smart client paging and ViewPort paging comes to rescue. To learn more on the new performance improvements in WebScheduler 3, please see the video below.

Implementation

And here’s the best part. Taking advantage of this powerful feature isn’t rocket science – thanks to the WebScheduler’s bare-metal architecture. All you need to do is simply enabling the EnableServerPaging property in ViewSettings under the TimelineView property group.

Note: Server paging feature is only applicable when the client paging is set to ViewPort or Both. For certain scenarios with smaller data (less than a thousand of records in a month view), the server paging may not be necessary enabled so that the complete data can be transmitted in a single page load. In such scenarios, the client paging will perform data rendering immediately.

That’s all for now. I’d love to hear any comments, feedback or thoughts about this feature. Feel free to drop your comments here or post it to our forum.

Warm Regards,
Budianto Muliawan

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Customize Visible Hours in WebScheduler

One of the feature request we often received in the past is the ability to specify the visible hours in Day, Week, and Split views. By default, the hours in these views start from 00:00 to 23:59. You can now customize the visible hours to start and end at specific hours.

To customize the visible hours, simply specify the visible start hour using ViewSettings >> VisibleStartTime property and visible end hour using ViewSettings >> VisibleEndTime property. These configurations are applied globally, means Day, Week, and Split view will use the same visible hours.

The following screenshot shows scheduler that starts from 9 AM and ends at 7 PM. Note that work week styles are still applied at the specified hours.

visible hours

<ViewSettings SelectedViewMode="Week" SelectedDate="03/11/2008 10:00:00" 
   VisibleStartTime="t0900"VisibleEndTime="t1900">
</ViewSettings>

 

Event rendering will be adjusted according to these settings. For example: the visible start time is set to 09:00 AM and visible end time is set to 07:00 PM. All events that fall within the date range will be rendered. Any events that start at 08:00 AM and ends at 10:00 AM will be rendered from 09:00 AM to 10:00 AM following the visible start time. The original duration of that event will not be altered; it can still be seen from the detail callout.

visible hours_event

The total of events that occur in a date is displayed as the tooltip of the date in the calendar area. When there is only one event that occurs in the specified date, the title of the event is displayed as the tooltip. When custom visible hours are specified, some events might not be included in the hour area. Although some events are hidden, users can still see the total of all events that occurs in the date in the tooltip of the date in the calendar area.

visible hours_calendar

If you have any feedback regarding this feature or you think this feature could be further enhanced, feel free to drop your comments or post your opinion in our forum. We’d be glad to hear them. Happy scheduling, everyone!

Detail Box Paging in WebScheduler

In previous version of WebScheduler, detail box will be displayed when you click More in Month view. In the latest version, detail box is also used in other views (Day, Week, and Split views) when client paging is enabled. In Day, Week, and Split views, detail box will be displayed when users click paging arrow indicator in hour area.

Detail box will adjust its height based on the number of events that occurs in the event block. If there is a lot of event, it is easier and more convenient to enable paging in the detail box.

To enable paging in detail box, simply set LayoutSettings >> EnableDetailBoxPaging property to True. The page size can be specified in LayoutSettings >> DetailBoxPageSize property, which by default is set to 5. This means the detail box will hold maximum 5 events on every page. Note that when detail box paging is enabled, all views that uses detail box will use the configuration.

Detail Box Paging

Client Paging in Day and week view

As explained in previous posts, WebScheduler 3 focused on performance and usability improvements. To improve the performance when rendering events, especially when large dataset is used, Client Paging feature is introduced in WebScheduler.

In Day and Week view, events that occur on the same period are rendered as overlapping events. However, when too many events occurred on the same period, it is difficult for user to see and differentiate these events, as seen in the below screenshot.

client paging day and week view2

Client paging can be enabled in Day and Week view using ViewSettings >> DayView | Week View >> EnableClientPaging property. Client paging is view dependent, which means it can be enabled in one view and disabled in other views.

Both Day and Week views have the same layout structure, which divided to all-day area and hour area. Client paging applied to each area are implemented differently, following the nature layout of the area.

Client Paging in Hour Area

Before we continue, let’s synchronize the term. Events that occur in the same period is called overlapping events and all of the events are considered as one event block. In the below screenshot, event blocks are marked by yellow and purple square. Each event block is divided to several columns, will further called overlapping blocks (marked by pink square), depends on the start time and duration of overlapping events in the event block.

client paging in hour area2

In hour area, the maximum number of overlapping events displayed in an event block is determined by ViewSettings >> DayView | WeekView >> EventBlockSize property. In the above screenshots, 8 overlapping events occurs in the same period (marked by yellow square). If client paging is enabled and EventBlockSize property is set to 2, events rendered in the first two overlapping block will be displayed and the other events will be hidden. A small paging arrow indicator will be displayed at the upper right corner of the block. When the indicator is clicked, detail box that lists all overlapping events included in the event block, will be displayed.

client paging in hour area3

Client Paging in All-day Area

The following screenshot shows overlapping events in all-day area. The start time and duration of each event determines the overall event layout in this area. In the screenshots, eight rows are needed to render all the events.

client paging in all day area

When client paging is enabled, you can determine the maximum number of rows in all-day area using ViewSettings >> DayView | WeekView >> AllDayEventPageSize. If the property is set to 5, events rendered in the first five rows will be rendered and the other events are hidden. A paging arrow indicator is also displayed at the bottom of the area to indicate there are more events that occur in the specified time. When it is clicked, all the hidden events will be displayed.

client paging in all day area2

Feel free to try client paging samples in our live demo and post your questions and feedback in our forum.

Timeline view’s Client Paging in WebScheduler 3

Hello everyone, Happy New Year 2010! In this post, I’m going to discuss one of the most exciting features that we added in the recently released WebScheduler. As you may already aware, WebScheduler 3 is strongly focused on performance and usability, especially when used in enterprise applications where they require to display large dataset in consistently fast performance. The new Client Paging feature in WebScheduler 3 elegantly addresses many of these performance issues.

In the following section, we’ll learn how client paging work specifically in Timeline View (the other views will be discussed in future blog posts). We introduce several client paging modes which can help improving overall application response based on your scenarios.

Let’s start by enabling the client paging in Timeline view. We’ve made it extremely easy to use, so that you can enable the feature by simply setting EnableClientPaging property to true. The property can be found in ViewSettings, then expand TimelineView property.

After enabling the client paging, the next step is to choose the client paging mode that is more suitable to your application scenario. WebScheduler 3 introduces three client paging mode to choose from:

  1. Paging based on number of events
    Called EventPageSize mode, this paging mode restricts the numbers of event displayed in each Timeline cell. If the total number of events exceeds the value of the EventPageSize property, an arrow indicator will appear notifying that more events are available. Click on the arrow indicator to reveal the complete events in the Timeline cell.To use this paging mode, simply set the ClientPagingMode property to EventPageSize.


  2. Paging based on screen viewport
    Called ViewPort, this paging mode will render all events based on the currently visible viewport. This means that even if you have hundreds of resources, WebScheduler will present your events in consistently fast performance. When scrolled down, WebScheduler seamlessly render the complete events of the new visible viewport. As the result, this advanced paging mode significantly improves overall responsiveness and user experiences.
    You should consider using this paging mode if you have fairly large number of resources bound to your WebScheduler.

    To activate this mode, set the ClientPagingMode property to ViewPort.

  3. The combination of both event size and viewport paging
    This mode combines the best of both EventPageSize and ViewPort client paging for the most efficient event rendering. With this mode, the events will be rendered based on the visible viewport and also be restricted based on the number of allowed events. This mode is best used for applications with considerably large number of resources and events bound to WebScheduler.

    To enable this mode, set ClientPagingMode property to Both.

<!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> <!–[endif]–>Timeline events are displayed when paging arrow indicator is clicked

At this point, you should have learnt the new key features in WebScheduler 3 that elegantly address critical performance limitations in web-based scheduling application. So if you’ve got large, enterprise data to be presented in scheduling interface, go ahead, download and try WebScheduler 3, and impress your users big time!

Last but not least, you can find out more information on WebScheduler 3’s new features here and the live demos here. For questions and feedback, please drop by our forum.

Happy scheduling!

Warm Regards,
Budianto Muliawan.

Time Interval in WebScheduler

In Day, Week, and Split view, the scheduler part is divided into two areas: all-day area and hour area. In previous version of WebScheduler, the hour area is always displayed in 30-minutes interval and cannot be modified to other time interval options. In version 3, WebScheduler allows you to alter this configuration with various predefined time interval options.

The available time interval options are 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes, which can be set using ViewSettings >> DayView/WeekView >> TimeInterval property.

15-minutes time interval in Week view

The screenshot shows 15-minutes interval in Week view. In 15-minutes time interval, one hour duration is divided into four rows; each row indicates 15 minutes duration. Note that the height of all events is also adjusted to the active time interval in the view.

The time interval specified in Day view can be different with the one specified in Week view, however since Split view uses the same configurations as Day view, the time interval options specified in Day view will be used in Split view.

When time interval options are listed in context menu, users can easily change the active time interval by selecting one of the options in the context menu. Once it’s changed, WebScheduler will automatically re-render its view and events, adjusting to the selected time interval. To include the time interval options in context menu, simply enable IncludeTimeIntervalInMenu property.

The time interval options listed in context menu can be seen in this screenshot. The active time interval is indicated by a checked sign in front of it. When the property is disabled, these options will not be included in context menu, thus users are not allowed to change the active time interval of the view.

Multiple cell selection is an innovative feature which enables user to block a certain date range and quickly create a new event based on the selection. Now, it is enhanced further to work in conjunction with time interval feature. When users select multiple cells, the duration of selected date range will automatically be adjusted to the active time interval. The duration of the selected date range can be easily seen in the callout header.

You can also set time interval programmatically in client-side, using SetTimeInterval function.

function SetInterval()
{
     var s = ISGetObject("WebScheduler1");
     s.SetTimeInterval("Minutes60");
}

In Build 2, scheduled to be release this end of January 2010, SetTimeInterval API is enhanced, adding one parameter, viewMode. It basically enables you to select which view mode and what time interval to be applied. For example: if the current view mode is Day view and you want to apply the 60-minute interval to Week view, you can use the following code.

function SetIntervalToView()
{
     var s = ISGetObject("WebScheduler1");
     s.SetTimeInterval("Minutes60", “Week”);
}

WebScheduler will smartly detect whether the assigned view is the current view. If it’s not, the scheduler will not be refreshed, thus preventing unnecessary processing. The 60-minutes time interval will be rendered automatically in Week view when users navigate to Week view. If the viewMode parameter is not specified, the new time interval is applied to the active view.

As explained above, WebScheduler’s time interval is view dependent, which means you can have different time interval configuration in different views. However, there are certain scenarios which require synchronized interval settings. SynchronizeTimeInterval property is introduced in Build 2, offering built-in time interval synchronization. This means, when users change the time interval in Day view to 15-minutes and switch to week view, the time interval in Week view will be set to 15-minutes as well, and vice versa.

Using time interval feature implemented in WebScheduler, users can view the schedule easier and more flexible.

New Database Wizard In WebScheduler 3

Stepping-up to version 3, WebScheduler introduces “WebScheduler Database Wizard”, an automatic tool for WebScheduler’s database creation. Forget all the hassles of creating each table and field, you can now create a new WebScheduler database with standard fields with a flick of finger. By simply specifying the SQL Server name and the database name, WebScheduler database wizard automatically generates the database. Next is to bind it to a WebScheduler instance in Visual Studio.

To get started, right click on a WebScheduler instance and select “WebScheduler Database Wizard” option to use this embedded tool.

Follow the onscreen instruction below to quickly create your new WebScheduler SQL database.

Database name drop down list
When the connection to the designated SQL Server has been successfully established, simply specify a new database by typing the name on the textbox. Alternatively, you can select one of the existing databases from the drop down list. Press “Create” and all required tables for WebScheduler with standard fields will be created automatically.

“Get SQL Script” button.
The database wizard also provides a more advanced option to generate the SQL script for the tables definition. The SQL script is primarily useful if you would like to customize the fields definition or add more fields to the table. Simply click on the Get SQL Script button to obtain the complete SQL statements and easily apply it in your own database, for example a Microsoft Access database.

The following screenshot shows the result of T-SQL compatible script.

Note that there are 2 options for the script definition; “MS SQL Compatible” and “MS Access Compatible”. You can choose the one that suit your preferred database provider.

That’s all for now. if you have any questions or feedback. Please share with us in our forum.

Warm Regards,
Budianto Muliawan.