RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [09.07.04]
Manufactured by: Microsoft

Discuss this article in the forum. Registration is not required.


Web Performance

Browsing Google and is not likely going to be affected much by either SP1 or SP2, unless something goes wrong with your installation. Therefore, we are going to test offline browsing using WebMark 2004's Offline mode.

This is more for work-oriented www usage - web browser based tutorials, manuals, help files, demos, etc. More importantly, the client score will not be affected by outside issues (IE should the server use SP1 or SP2? too much outside interference).

Like SYSmark, WebMark uses different scenario scripts to test different areas of web performance. We'll look at each one individually.

The first group of scenarios is the "Information Processing" group.

Portal: This site represents Intranet portals that offer company news, organizational updates, and serves as a one-stop shop for employee services and Intranet applications. The workload follows the course of an employee who visits the company's Intranet portal site.

1) A .Net client is launched automatically which displays the latest information and alerts from various internal/external news organizations, stock price and status of work requests, purchase requests using a web service.

2) From the homepage, the user clicks on the thumbnail image in the main story section to go to the main story page. In the main story page, the user clicks on the link to view the Flash animation used in the company's ad campaign.

3) The user then visits the online tools page to upload and edit images of a new product using the Java image processing tool.

4) The user navigates to the organizational information section, downloads and plays the archived web cast of an executive's business update.

And the results:

It's a tie! Let's move on:

Research: This site represents activities that companies perform as they research customer issues or claims. The workload follows the steps of a doctor in a medical insurance company that receives insurance claims from various hospitals/HMOs. An Internet infrastructure streamlines claim processes and thus saves time and resources for the patience, doctors, and insurance companies. Doctors research the claims and the medical data and determine if the claim can be approved.

1) A doctor visits the homepage of the website and views the Flash animation describing the steps involved in claims processing. The doctor then logs into the claim management system.

2) The claims management page displays a list of claims (XML) assigned to the doctor. The doctor sorts the list (XSL) and selects the first pending claim to research its details.

3) From the claim details page, the doctor reviews the treatment information and the diagnosis information.

4) From the diagnosis page, the doctor navigates to the x-ray page and selects the current and past x-rays to compare and proceeds to the comparison page.

5) After comparing the x-rays using an image comparison tool (Java), the doctor closes the diagnosis page and opens the cost breakdown page from the claim details page.

6) The doctor views the cost breakdown of the treatment (XML) and then sorts the list based on description, cost, quantity, and total cost.

7) The doctor approves the claim from the claim details page and is directed to the payment page to review the payment terms and confirm the payment.

8) Then logs out

Once again, SP2 is actually a little faster than SP1.

Training: This site represents those activities involved in the delivery of rich media content and data visualization for online training classes. The workload follows the course of an electronic chip design engineer who visits the company's training website for product information and training.

1) The engineer visits the homepage of the website and views the Flash animation of the day's featured product.

2) The engineer logs into his account to view the product catalog (XML). The engineer searches and sorts the catalog based on product criteria to find the product he is interested in.

3) From the catalog, the engineer selects two items and clicks on the "Compare" button to launch a Flash animation comparing the products.

4) After selecting the product, the engineer visits the product details page of the product. The engineer reds the specification document (PDF) and views the Shockwave 3D demonstration of the product features.

5) The engineer starts a product training session. The training session uses video and PowerPoint slides to present the training material. At the end of the training session, he logs out of the site.

This time it is SP1 that is slightly faster. It really seems to be switching back and forth!

Next Page: (5)