Thursday, July 5, 2007

Optimisation, afterthought or not

It is funny how placing your ideas on an open stage makes one re-consider ones position.

I mentioned in this post on How Google Earth Really Works about how optimisation at my workplace is an afterthought.

Ahhhh, no!

I started to realise that optimisation of our applications has such a solid foundation that it 'blends into the woodwork' of my daily existence. It was enlightening looking at another problem domain's optimisations.

We develop business software in Oracle, SQL, PL/SQL, Forms and Java with all sorts of other things like Perl, PHP and Shell scripting, even some old PRO*C code.

So what has blended into the background:

  • SQL statements over networks are course grained calls, which work well.
  • Indexes are always used for primary keys and foreign keys.
  • Oracle Forms uses those indexes and have reasonable optimisation defaults.
  • We tend to design using denormalised large tables, normalisation can have a drastic effect on performance, even in todays crazy supercomputers.
  • Probably a lot more that I can't see for the trees at the moment.

p.s. My spellchecker makes me aware that I am not writing US English, I am writing in UK/NZ English. For those who don't know, the words above do not end in 'ize' :).

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