This article will provide troubleshooting information to help identify and resolve issues that may be causing slowness in the Ares Client when loading forms, processing items, or performing other functions.
Possible Issue #1 - Routing Rules Syntax
Your routing rules configured in the Ares Customization Manager under System | General | Routing may cause performance issues in the Ares Client if they:
- Contain SQL syntax errors leading to increased memory usage in the Client
- Contain Match Strings using subselects to query a large amount of data
Common SQL Syntax Errors
Small errors in punctuation that cause increased memory usage and lead to slowness issues may go unnoticed as they generally do not cause the rule to break. Therefore, it is a good idea to review all of the routing rules you have configured to ensure that they do not contain any of these common errors:
Error 1: Missing Quotation Marks
Closing quotation marks should be placed at the end of a string of text:
Error 2: Missing Parentheses
Closing parentheses should be placed at the end of a list:
Error 3: Using Double Quotes
Single quotation marks should be used instead of double quotation marks:
Possible Issue #2 - Addons
When an item form is opened, any active addons with an Auto Search feature configured will search and wait for a return of results before displaying the form. If a large number of these addons are installed, more time may be needed to process and return the search results, leading to slowness in displaying the item form. To troubleshoot this issue:
- Staff should go to System > Manage Addons in the Ares Client and set the Active status of any unused addons to No
- On the same screen, check each Active addon to see if any have an AutoSearch setting and consider turning this off if the addon's search results are not regularly accessed
If error handling is not coded into an addon, this will cause it to experience "memory leaks" that increase the memory used by the Client and lead to slowness issues. Atlas does not support user-created addons. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom services quote if you need assistance with troubleshooting or rewriting a third-party addon that may be causing performance issues. You may also consider finding the addon's creator in the Addon Directory and reaching out directly for assistance.
Possible Issue #3 - Z39.50 Search
If the Z39.50 interface is used and an automatic Default Search has been configured for its search profile in the Ares Customization Manager, consider if this search is producing too many results and affecting the time it takes to load the item form in the Client. For example, since a Default Search on the Keyword parameter is not very specific and may return many unnecessary results, you can try setting the Default Search to Title instead.
If staff members are not using the Z39.50 search results, make sure the Default Search is set to [Not Specified] in the Customization Manager so that the search is not occurring for each request opened in the Client.
Possible Issue #4 - Old Staff User Accounts
Perform a review of your staff user accounts in the Ares Staff Manager and consider removing any old or unused accounts. Each staff user account is associated with a set of layout records that tell the Client how to display each Client form as it opens. Each time any staff user opens a form in the Client, the Client must query all staff layout records to find the right one to use. If old staff accounts are still present, the number of layout records that the Client has to query will be unnecessarily large and may lead to slowness issues displaying forms. Removing old staff accounts is also a best practice to avoid the chance of security issues.
To delete a staff user:
- Open the Ares Staff Manager
- Click on the entry in the grid for the account you'd like to delete
- Click Remove
- Click Yes in the Confirm Deletion popup to confirm your decision
- Repeat for all unused staff accounts
Possible Issue #5 - High Memory Usage by Other Applications
In some cases, slowness issues in the Ares Client may be caused by other applications running on your workstation. For example, web browser applications such as Google Chrome or Firefox may use an excessive amount of the available memory on your computer if a large number of tabs are left open in your browser window(s). To troubleshoot this issue:
- Open the Task Manager application on your computer
- Within the Processes tab, review the memory usage of your currently running applications
- Close applications using an excessive amount of memory. If the application is a web browser, close any unnecessary tabs open in your browser window
- Check to see if the Ares Client still experiences slowness issues after the tabs/application(s) are closed
Troubleshooting Network Issues
Client slowness may also be caused by a network issue affecting connectivity to the Ares database on your server. Your IT team can use the troubleshooting guide below to assist with identifying and resolving these types of issues:
- Troubleshooting Potential Network Security Issues:
Many modern security appliances act as transparent proxies, analyzing data for potential threats. This type of analysis can impact the flow of SQL data between your Client and the database. Creating exceptions specifically for trusted SQL servers can remove overhead that could be responsible for latency.
- Troubleshooting Potential Endpoint Security Issues:
Like network security, many institutions implement robust security applications on individual computers. These applications can also include network filters which have the potential to affect performance when accessing SQL data. Creating exceptions or whitelists similar to those noted in the section above can also be beneficial in treating these issues.
- Troubleshooting Potential Traffic Shaping & QoS Issues:
Your IT department may employ technologies to prioritize different types of network traffic. Making adjustments to prioritize SQL traffic to the IPs and TCP port of the server hosting your database may improve responsiveness.
Information for Atlas-Hosted Ares Sites
Atlas Systems uses modern IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) via Microsoft Azure to manage both network and SQL resources for Atlas-hosted Ares servers. In-place monitoring performed by Azure will alert Atlas to any potential issues, at which point Atlas Support will send a notice to your institution containing more information, if necessary.
If your Atlas-hosted Ares server is experiencing connectivity issues and you have not received an alert from Atlas Support regarding a known network issue, our support team can be contacted via email at email@example.com to perform a review of your individual situation and check for any unique characteristics of your database that could affect performance. Atlas Support will also help verify the IP addresses and ports of hosting your database so that the proper adjustments can be made to your environment to improve performance.