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THE SALSIFY SMARTER ENGINEERING BLOG

Fancy trees with botanist

By Keith Williams on Jun 14, 2017 2:21:28 PM

Have you ever wanted to build your own calculator, query language, or even web browser? Parsers and Transformers are tremendously useful for these applications and many more, and thanks to tools like Salsify's own Botanist you don't need to be an expert in compiler design to work with them.

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Delayed Job Worker Pooling

By Joel Turkel on Aug 19, 2015 12:05:07 PM

pool-partyAt Salsify we run most of our Ruby on Rails based infrastructure in Heroku. We recently switched our Puma web workers over from Heroku 2X dynos to more powerful Heroku PX dynos and saw dramatic performance improvements: a 51% reduction in mean response time and a 59% reduction in 99th percentile response time. Based on this we did some experiments running our more memory/CPU intensive Delayed Jobs on PX dynos and saw a similarly encouraging 43% reduction in mean job execution time and 66% reduction in 99th percentile job execution time. This was great for a proof of concept, but only one of the eight cores on the PX dyno was being used. In order to take this to production in a cost-effective manner, we had to figure out how to utilize all of the cores on the dyno.

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Bye Bye STI, Hello Discriminable Model

By Randy Burkes on Jul 24, 2015 11:26:14 AM

At Salsify, we manage the flow of product information between manufacturers, and distributors through to large retail outlets such as Walmart and Google Shopping. Our flexible schema allows users to describe their products however they see fit. We store product attributes in a single table, but each product attribute has a potentially different data type and associated application-specific logic. 

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Euthanize Exhausted Worker Processes with a Delayed Job Plugin

By Randy Burkes on Oct 28, 2014 2:18:28 PM

delayed-job-youth-in-asia-plugin.png

Salsify is a multi-tenant SaaS product information exchange platform hosted in Heroku. We utilize delayed job extensively for long running tasks like import/export/search indexing/etc. One of the features we've grown to love about delayed job is its extensibility via plugins (see our other posts). Recently, an increasing number of job workers have been exceeding their dyno memory quota**, and consequently suffering serious performance degradation. While we are always working to improve our code performance, we thought it would be nice to have a mechanism for euthanizing workers that are unrecoverably exhausted. Enter the DelayedJob::YouthInAsiaPlugin

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Automatic Breadcrumbs in Ember.js

By Dan Freeman on Sep 25, 2014 3:21:32 PM

Over the past few months at Salsify we've spent some time exploring Ember.js and incorporating it into parts of our front-end. There's a lot to say on the topic, but today we'll just be taking a look at one of our first forays outside of the land of Ember's baked-in pieces: automatically generating breadcrumbs based on a user's application state.

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Automatic Eager Loading in Rails

By Joel Turkel on Jun 17, 2014 1:24:00 PM

Most Rails developers quickly learn that minimizing the number of database queries by properly specifying eager loads is critical for good application performance. Unfortunately specifying eager loads is error prone and can cause encapsulation problems. In this post we'll explore having Rails automatically handle eager loads.

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Tearing Down Capybara Tests of AJAX Pages

By Joel Turkel on May 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM

At Salsify we write lots of Capybara integration tests of our single-page app. These tests are a key part of the infrastructure that allow us to move fast and refactor without break anything. Unfortunately as we added more and more tests we started experiencing sporadic hangs and database deadlocks while tearing down tests. After some investigation we figured out the problem was our JavaScript client making AJAX requests to our Rails server during the test teardown process. This post details our journey to stamp out these problems and get our tests running reliably again.  

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Active Record Migrations on Tables Leveraging STI

By Randy Burkes on Feb 5, 2014 8:57:00 AM

I wanted to share a bit of information that we found interesting when writing active record migrations on tables leveraging STI (Single Table Inheritance). We came across a not so obvious gotcha with STI models re-defined in migration classes and wanted to explore our thought process while solving the subsequent problems.

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Eager Loading Calculations With Database Views In Rails - Revisited

By Joel Turkel on Dec 12, 2013 4:45:00 AM

Previously we blogged about eager loading calculations with database views in Rails to avoid running lots of database queries. The approach we described really only works if your SQL is fairly static and you don't mind creating database views for each of your calculations. In this post we'll explore an alternative approach that avoids these issues by not using database views. First let's quickly recap the problem...

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Don't Fear the Reaper: Detecting Failed Delayed Job Workers

By Joel Turkel on Oct 30, 2013 6:15:00 AM

Update: The plugin discussed in this post has been packaged into the delayed_job_heartbeat_plugin gem.

Previously we've blogged about how to write Delayed Job plugins and how to aggregate jobs into job groups. In this post we'll explore how to proactively detect failed Delayed Job workers so their jobs can be retried in a timely manner. This is useful if a worker crashes, is automatically restarted by your platform provider, or is shutdown by auto-scaling infrastructure.

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