Blue Coat’s network reporter gets some Flex

From the ‘how to make faster GUIs‘ files:

Networking vendor Blue Coat (Nasdaq:BCSI) is out today with version 9 of their Reporter application, which ‘reports’ on web activity generated by way of their Blue Coat appliances.

The new software boasts new role based controls, but the real bit that caught my eye during the demo I received last week was the slick and speedy user interface that Reporter 9 employs.

Blue Coat product manager Bob Hansmann explained to me that they shifted to Adobe’s Flex as the backend for rolling out Reporter 9. Additionally Blue Coat developed their own database, to store the reporter data (moving away from a third party database). All told, with Flex and the new database Reporter 9 is a whole lot faster than Reporter 8.

Hansmann told me that in a test case he ran with Reporter 8, it took him 18 minutes to run a report, while in version 9 the same report took only 11 seconds.

That’s pretty impressive in my view. Network reporting is a key application in the networking world. While the hardware side of networking is easy to quantify with known speeds and performance metrics, in my view it is often very difficult to measure the relative effectiveness and speed of the reporting platforms.

I think other hardware vendors should take note, and remember that speed of hardware alone is not the total user experience, software speed is critical too.

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