Posts Tagged ‘SNOW’
Trilibis Brings Server-Based Mobile Device Optimization to High-Performance Node.js Websites #nodesummitFebruary 11th, 2015 by Trilibis Blogging Team
SNOW works server-side on node.js websites to take responsive design to an entirely new level of performance and presentation, minimizes network bandwidth, and accelerates page-load times..
SAN MATEO, Calif.— February 11, 2015: Trilibis, the company that makes websites device-aware, announced that its market-leading SNOW® (Software eNabling One Web) website optimization framework can now deliver server-side responsive web capabilities on Node.js enterprise websites. The combination of the asynchronous and highly scalable capabilities of Node.js and SNOW’s instantaneous device detection ensures all website visitors are guaranteed an excellent experience and fast website load times across all devices, even at peak load conditions.
SNOW adds mobile device-specific optimization to responsive Node.js websites
Designing website for optimal performance and content presentation on mobile devices has become a high priority for every enterprise. Responsive design, a popular web design methodology, employs a client-side design methodology that only partially addresses the need to deliver an excellent experience for all devices. And, because responsive design relies on the browser to optimize a web page for the device, it frequently results in longer page-load times — a major concern for operators of websites with massive simultaneous transactions. The solution: Trilibis SNOW for Node.js, which optimizes web pages for every device and adds intelligent device classification that allows for segmentation by device type, screen resolution, browser, features, and more.
SNOW can reduce hosting bandwidth costs of Node.js web servers
With the addition of the SNOW device optimization plug-in, a Node.js web server can detect and profile each client device as it accesses the website, identify its type and features, then serve up only the HTML, CSS and images required by that particular device. This yields two key benefits:
- Significantly higher performance than that offered by classic responsive design techniques. SNOW reduces the payload served to mobile devices by a factor of four and reduces page-load time by as much as 25 percent.
- Web users, especially those with mobile devices, are assured a fast, device-optimized website experience.
“Enterprises that choose Node.js to power their web servers are aiming for the highest levels of performance, both server-side and client-side,” said Meyyappan Alagappan, chief technology officer at Trilibis. “SNOW delivers performance gains on both sides of the equation, and offers the additional benefit of enabling UX developers to customize the presentation of content on any device.”
Trilibis develops SNOW®, a markup-based RESS website optimization solution that uses a single code base to make websites device-aware and deliver a true “One Web” experience. SNOW enables developers to design high-performance websites that work flawlessly on all desktop and mobile browsers, and to unlock device-specific features and functionality that make websites mobile-ready, delightful and profitable. Trilibis is a private, venture-backed company located in San Mateo, California. For more information, visit www.trilibis.com or follow @trilibismobile.
Copyright 2015 Trilibis Inc. All rights reserved. Trilibis and SNOW are trademarks of Trilibis Inc. Other trademarks are registered trademarks and the properties of their respective owners.
With the holiday season now in full swing, analyses of the role mobile plays in commerce are showing up in my mailbox every day. The mobile share of all e-tail transactions is now anywhere from 30% to more than 50%, depending on which report you read. And, predictably, much of the commentary focuses on the share of smartphones and tablets, because these are the preferred devices of the affluent mobile shopper. We certainly saw that shift coming and made the jump to OneWeb technologies so that our customers and partners could be on the forefront of multi-device web design.
However, it is interesting to note that there are millions of feature phones still in use. In fact, according to Gartner, it wasn’t until 2013 that annual sales of smartphone users surpassed sales of feature phones. While there’s been a definite market shift away from the ‘m’ domain that was the norm before the dawn of the smartphone and responsive design, the largest brands with millions of users still have sizable audiences using these devices. This poses a real problem for web development teams, many of which have been focused on smartphone- and tablet-centric web strategies such as responsive web design, mobile-first design and adaptive design.
A great example of a large media player that must look both forwards and backwards with its web strategy is CNN. Until recently, CNN had been managing two m-dot sites using a third-party proprietary platform that was scheduled to become obsolete. CNN still had a sizable audience that used older phones, and felt strongly that it wanted to serve its news to all devices — from the newest iPhone to the oldest Blackberry.
That being the case, the web group that oversees CNN.com and CNNMoney.com approached Trilibis to develop a long-term solution that would enable them to provide an optimized experience for the older mobile devices that are still in use. With our years of mobile expertise, mobile publishing technologies and a device database that includes thousands of mobile phones, we were able to offer an integrated solution that included both non-touch smartphones and feature phones. So, if you happen to be walking around with a feature phone, launch that WAP browser and go to m.cnn.com to see their new site.
While our focus is decidedly on the future and helping brands move to a One Web experience using SNOW, our server-side responsive design technology, it is kind of cool to be able to build a simpler site that will run on these older phones. I wonder if situations like this will become more commonplace in future as m-dot expertise and turnkey solutions become obsolete. If you still have a lot of users on feature phones or just think it is important for your brand to be represented on all platforms, let’s talk. Please contact us here.
As the balance of web traffic continues to shift toward mobile devices, operators of high-traffic websites are increasingly concerned about ensuring fast load times on these devices. Many of them are likely using content distribution networks (CDNs) to reduce latency and ensure quick- loading content. Many of these same web properties are looking at responsive design as a means to optimize content on the broadest array of devices, including mobile phones.
We’ve written before about how responsive sites tend toward excessively heavy page weights, resulting in page-load and performance issues. Our team recently investigated how we might accelerate page-load times at the edge of the network by sending device-optimized websites from a single code base.
Keep in mind that CDNs aim to push content that’s in high demand to dedicated servers at the network’s edge. Meanwhile, SNOW sits on the web server at origin to identify the client device and then intelligently serve the optimum set of images and other device-specific resources to that device. Could this be adapted for the CDN architecture, in which there are two servers involved: the origin server and the edge server?
The answer lies in special technology developed by the major CDN vendors: Edge-Side Includes (ESI). ESI is a simple markup language used to define Web page components for dynamic assembly and delivery of Web applications at the edges of the Internet. It provides a mechanism for managing content transparently across application server solutions, content management systems, and content delivery networks. The good news is that ESI is now compatible with SNOW, which means we can auto-generate ESI syntax for improved performance and device awareness for sites running on CDNs.
The new SNOW-ESI module is a great solution for device-optimized websites that leverage a CDN architecture. SNOW can be added as an optional plug-in on a desired web server, which provides direct communication with the edge server. This means we can implement all of the SNOW features at the edge of the network:
- Device-specific user experience (our taxonomy includes thousands of PCs, smartphones, tablets, phablets, smart TVs, etc.)
- Generation of HTML/CSS content that is optimized for the device.
- Context-based rendering (for example for broadband vs. 3G).
- Edge-level caching for the fastest possible performance.
SNOW-ESI offers many compelling benefits:
- The SNOW-ESI module delivers higher performance than that delivered by responsive techniques, improves the end-to-end performance for mobile devices by a factor of four, and reduces page-load time by as much as 25 percent.
- Web users, especially those with mobile devices, enjoy a fast, device-optimized website experience.
- For developers, there are productivity gains of 40 percent since ESI syntax is auto-generated.
We recently exhibited at the Akamai Edge conference in Miami to demonstrate SNOW-ESI to web professionals. Feedback was very positive: beyond the performance gains, attendees told us they like the easy set-up and deployment. We’ll report back once we have some specific use-cases to highlight. In the meantime, if you’d like to implement SNOW-ESI on your web architecture, please contact our team here.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who tracks the retail industry that IBM®, a long-time leader of in-store retail technology, offers one of the most advanced ecommerce suites available. IBM WebSphere® Commerce is a comprehensive e-commerce platform that gives enterprise retailers the ability to offer their customers a rich shopping experience integrated across online, mobile and in-store touchpoints.
IBM WebSphere Commerce places particular emphasis on the mobile shopper. It offers a high level of customization for the mobile user, and recognizes that the presentation layer on smartphones and tablets must be differentiated and optimized. Ecommerce sites built using WebSphere Commerce can also be rendered using responsive design techniques. As experts in ensuring optimum presentation of high-performance ecommerce sites on mobile devices, we’re very pleased to announce that Trilibis is teaming with IBM to accelerate the performance of responsive design websites across all device types — especially mobile devices.
We have successfully validated our SNOW® Image Optimization solution (SNOW IO) for use with IBM WebSphere Commerce, bringing instant performance improvements to thousands of retail websites built using this ecommerce platform. Trilibis is also now an IBM Business Partner and has joined IBM PartnerWorld as an Omni-Channel In-Store & Mobile solution to help IBM WebSphere Commerce users integrate SNOW IO with their websites.
What this means for IBM WebSphere Commerce users
The new technical integration gives IBM WebSphere Commerce retailers a simple and efficient way to ensure that their image-rich websites load fast across all smartphones and tablets. SNOW® IO is a lightweight image-optimization solution that automatically improves website performance and bandwidth utilization for responsive websites built with IBM’s leading commerce solution.
The combination of Trilibis SNOW IO and IBM WebSphere addresses a key objective for all online retailers: delivering the best possible customer experience mobile devices. And because SNOW IO is continually updated, we can ensure future compatibility with new classes of devices such as wearable technology and large-format displays.
How it works
Installed as a simple plug-in on any IBM WebSphere Commerce server, SNOW IO automatically identifies images used on every web page and optimizes them for the thousands of devices tracked in our device library. At runtime, SNOW IO works in conjunction with the IBM WebSphere Commerce server to identify the type of device that is accessing the website, and to ensure it is served only images optimized for that specific device.
The resulting performance increases can be dramatic. During testing conducted with IBM, SNOW IO reduced the image weight of IBM WebSphere Commerce pages by 23 to 61 percent. While a number of factors contribute to the overall weight of a web page, in a recent survey of top responsive websites, we found that the size of website images is a significant contributor to lengthy page-load times on mobile devices. SNOW IO can reduce page weight from megabytes to kilobytes, and shave valuable seconds off overall page-load times.
Designing for optimal presentation of content on mobile devices is keeping website developers very busy. If you’re a publisher of dynamic news or manage a website on which people transact, ensuring it displays perfectly on every mobile device and all the major browsers (i.e. on tablets and mobile phones, as well as desktops) is essential. Responsive web design has emerged as a popular web design methodology to address this need.
But adopting responsive design is not without its challenges. For example, if you’re moving from an older website architecture, you’ll need to redesign the site from the ground up. Back in 2013, Forrester Research[i] reported that more than 40 percent of developers chose responsive design, or a variant of it, as part of their current web design approach. The same report also noted some degree of “hype and lack of understanding” associated with responsive design, especially with regard to best practices for its implementation. And, if best practices are not adopted, it’s quite likely a responsive website will not perform well on mobile devices across cellular networks — essentially defeating the purpose of using responsive design.
Optimizing website performance on mobile devices is a core focus of our development team, so we’ve been following the progress of responsive design with interest. A few months ago, we analyzed the performance of some popular responsive sites on smartphones and tablets and noticed some surprisingly long load times. Closer investigation revealed that large images were often the cause. This is the sort of problem that can be easily fixed with lightweight, server-based technology that can detect what sort of device is accessing the website, and then optimize accordingly.
That’s why we developed SNOW IO, which we just announced. SNOW IO is designed specifically for use with responsive websites, and can make a huge difference for your users if your site features a lot of images (think news blogs, ecommerce sites, etc.). When you add SNOW IO to your site, every image is automatically optimized for device, quality and speed. Then, when someone visits your site, device-specific, optimized images are served up for that visitor’s specific device. As a result, load time can be at least twice as fast because less network bandwidth and device CPU time are needed.
SNOW IO works with any responsive website development framework and requires minimal changes to your coding — generally, just the addition of some special tags to trigger the device-detection logic. Adding it is very easy since SNOW IO is a web server plug-in that’s compatible with Apache, Java and Microsoft servers. If you’re running IBM WebSphere, SNOW IO can be installed as a simple add-on module to IBM WebSphere Commerce. Commercial and OEM licenses are available.
To find out more, contact us and we’ll be happy to evaluate how SNOW IO can make a difference on your website.
[i] More Than Hype: Determining When To Use Responsive Web Design, Mark Grannan & Peter Sheldon, Forrester Research, November 2013