Pythian helps Fox Sports eliminate time-sensitive delays

Company Overview

Fox Sports Fantasy Football and other related games are some of the world’s most played sports pool games. On game day, site traffic can reach over 40,000 requests per second. The games give sports fans the opportunity to create their own leagues and manage their own teams based on the real-world performance of the players.

Business Needs

With game day web requests exceeding 40,000 per second, response times for Fox Sports fantasy football games are critical to user experience. Increasingly slow response times from their Oracle database required immediate attention. Pythian reduced response times from 1 minute to 1 second greatly improving customer experience. Sports statistics are the foundation on which players choose their Fantasy Football team rosters. The Fantasy Football Player Page gives subscribers access to all NFL players and their entire collection of statistics in a unified interface. Subscribers can easily sort and compare players. During this process, 1 MB of data is transferred between the server and the user’s web client and can take over a minute. Sixty seconds is a long time when it comes to gaming. Free web games in particular must keep users engaged. A slow, poor performing website can negatively impact visitor volume and advertising revenue.
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FoxSports asked Pythian to review the entire Player Page module from a high level, and then drill down to the details to determine how to improve performance. This holistic approach gave Pythian the ability to review the application business logic, which helped them understand the application, database, web client relationship, and performance criteria. Based on the review, Pythian recommended application modifications so that end-user server statistics were processed in the Oracle database server instead of the web client. Pythian then gathered all of the business logic and worked with the developers to modify the Java UI and PL/SQL database code.
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FoxSports Fantasy Football response times for the Player Page dropped from over one minute for the initial load to below one second. Java UI code was greatly simplified since much of the logic was removed. All sorting and other business requirements were rolled into a single database SQL call. Once the modifications were complete, previous delays were resolved, greatly improving end-user experience.
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