August 11, 2017

Code Review Performance at Scale Reaches New Levels with Helix Swarm 2017.2

Performance
Scalability
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Chuck Gehman, Technical Marketing Engineer

The last few releases of Helix Swarm have been loaded with new functionality. If you’ve been putting off installing the upgrades, now is a great time to do so! The new 2017.2 release delivers new levels of performance and, as a result, improves developer and reviewer productivity.

As a browser-based user interface, Swarm has always provided great performance for code reviews. The goal has always been to load reviews instantaneously. But as the dimensions of developer seats, size of files and number of files have increased for many customers, we’ve seen this goal challenged.

Our customers consistently push Swarm in their code review workflows because they know it’s the one solution that can scale to their demands. Customers receive better performance and scale from Swarm’s code collaboration features while Helix maintains a long-term roadmap for Swarm, improving the already fast code collaboration solution.

With Helix Swarm 2017.2, the speed at which reviews are delivered to the user’s browser has been dramatically improved. Loading 100,000 reviews now takes about 1 second to display, compared to about 15 seconds prior. This is a 14X improvement!

That may seem like an insane number, but Helix customers routinely approach similarly staggering figures in their open review indexes. One particular customer manages more than 185,000 open reviews from a single Swarm instance, and they are not alone at this level of activity. To put this into perspective, we know of no competitor who sees this kind of volume—for example, one particularly popular open source project manages less than 1,000 open merge requests.

A new interface enhancement provides Swarm admins a setting that lets you configure the number of files the user can open at one time, preventing loading waits and reducing the risk that an extremely large number of files will push the browser’s performance and memory limits.

To speed interface performance with very large files, we’ve added the ability for Swarm admins to set file size and diff limits to match the needs of their users. With this setting in place, only part of the very large file will be shown in the browser (up to the limit), and then, only when needed, the user can simply click to load and view the rest of the file.

The other thing you’ll notice in the new release is cosmetic changes to reflect new Perforce branding and color schemes, to match the suite of products.

Find out more about all the new features in the last three Swarm upgrades, here, (link to PDF showing the last three versions)

Who can argue with better performance? Download your Swarm 2017.2 Upgrade Today!