MEX Blog Article

Getting a Camel through the eye of a needle

Getting a Camel through the eye of a needle

MEX, in its current version, which is 14, is a great leap that we have taken in giving our customers of MEX and FleetMEX a web based solution that is still fast and efficient.

The guys here at maintenance Experts have put in a huge effort over the last years to provide a web solution that performs well. 

As a comparison, if you go to any web site especially the news ones, it may take between 10 and 30 seconds to bring up a page for you to view.  In our case we have made any form in Mex and FleetMEX come up in seconds that may have had to trawl through a million records and present you with 10,000 of these.

Was this easy to achieve?  No, is the simple answer.  One of the keys things that we have had to do at MEX, since the early days, is try to work out how to deliver data fast to MEX and FleetMEX.  And I don’t want to get too techy here, but it was, and still is, a challenge to provide the performance that we do in MEX.

Now, I know that there will be at least one person staring at this, mumbling liar, liar pants on fire, because their MEX or FleetMEX does not work fast enough.

Well, I am sorry for this, but it may be a situation that is totally out of our hands.  Where a bad internet connection, or a crazy setting made by an IT department makes it not work as well as it could.

Are there solutions to this?  Yes. 

Just as an example of how we can thread a camel through the eye of a needle.  In the last few weeks we have had a customer complain, and rightly so, as they were trying to force a very fat overweight and grouchy camel through a phone line and for some reason MEX would not work well.  The specifics of it are:  A 250 page report that was being run across a multi-regional system was choking up the resources of the system and making MEX go slow.

Well, the choices for us were to just say don’t do it or for us to act and see what we can do.  

We found a different way to process the report and also changed out an element of our code to make the report run better. 

In doing so, we also worked out how we could make all reports run a bit faster and have now implemented this change system wide. 

And this will be due out in the next major release of MEX. 

So, yes, we can get a camel through the eye of a needle, it just takes a bit of time.

I also have other suggestions to make Mex and FleetMEX work better for you. 

We make MEX and FleetMEX with a standard set up that we ship to all our customers.  But every customer uses our system differently.    So, what may work fast for one person may not for another? 

And we can optimise queries, procedures and indexes to make things work faster for you.   This is done by us monitoring the load that occurs on your particular system and then look at ways to making it faster.

Now, there is never a generic answer to optimising, because everyone stores and uses different data.

For example, we have not optimised job types as most companies only use a few.  And we do not want to put this load onto the system if there is no need to index and optimise it.  However, if a customer adds in 5,000 job types, then the performance of the system will take a hit. We can then alter these tables and queries to make it fast.

But this is specific to each customer’s needs.  So, if you do have a problem with performance then contact us and we can hopefully help.

Another one is the blatantly pathetic networks that our customers have to put up with at times. Our best solution is we host your data.  Then this removes it from your network and takes it outside the problem area. Of course, we can try to optimise the system as well, but in all honesty, the biggest gain is achieved by eliminating the problem at the start.

So, just a few words about what we do for Mex and FleetMEX.  We are never always right, but try our best to get it as good as we can for you.

Stephen Ninnes
Managing Director
Maintenance Experts