Welcome!

CMS Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Rishi Bhargava, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Eclipse, Agile Computing, Apache, CMS

Open Source Cloud: Blog Post

Drupal 8: A View into Performance

Part 4 in a 5-part series on performance in the upcoming Drupal 8

This is part 4 in a 5-part series on performance in the upcoming Drupal 8. Check out part 3, on performance in Twig templating, here.

Views is one of the most installed Drupal modules with over two thirds of Drupal sites reporting that they have it installed. Soon, though, that number will go up: as of Drupal 8, Views is a core module! This effort started as a community effort and was announced as an official Drupal 8 initiative in a post by Dries explaining why this change is so exciting.

One of the reasons that Views is so popular is that it provides an ‘all-in-one' answer without writing a single line of code. But there's a reason that many programmers hate WYSIWYG editors: you see the result, but not the steps taken to produce it, and what you don't know might come back to bite you. While a WYSIWYG editor will get you broken links or weird formatting, WYSIWYG data retrieval can have direct performance implications. A'straightforward' View might fetch data in unexpected ways, and even ‘small' changes like adding a node relationship can result in radically different queries. Worse, any scalability issues may only manifest when a View is run against production-like data. A View focusing on user content might start choking on a user who favorites hundreds of nodes instead of the five you tested with.

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with Views, as this problem is very common in ORMs in frameworks such as Django and Rails. In fact, because Views is more all-encompassing, it provides effective out-of-the-box solutions to some of these problems in the form of result, block, and page caching. However, Views aren't cached by default, and even with Devel integration it provides minimal data on its performance.

Rather than using a profiler or debugger, it's possible to monitor Views performance by integrating with its code. Structurally, Views can be broken down into a ‘build-execute-render' pipeline. In Drupal 7, many hooks are available for interacting with this process and changing how Views are constructed. There have been many Views API changes over time, but this basic set of hooks can be used on Drupal 6 and 7 sites, and Drupal 8 continues that trend. The TraceView Drupal module implements these hooks to track time spent in Views:

The Views rendering step takes less time in Drupal 8 than in Drupal 7 because it is no longer responsible for generating HTML.

The Views rendering step takes less time in Drupal 8 than in Drupal 7 because it is no longer responsible for generating HTML.

Examining identical Views in Drupal 7 and 8 reveals that less time is spent in the render step of the pipeline. The codebase has been extensively refactored, so comparing backtraces would be difficult, but I've already examined this discrepancy using TraceView in my last article about Twig, the new templating engine in Drupal 8. The Views pipeline still exists in Drupal 8, but the render step no longer generates the View's HTML, meaning that the performance of a View has to be placed in the context of the rest of the request.

When I wrote about Twig, though, I didn't cover more advanced use cases for Views. There are often multiple Views on a page, or sometimes even multiple displays from the same View. To compare how this works in Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8, I made identical setups by creating nodes with Devel Generate, enabling the Archive and Recent Comments Views, and placing their blocks in a sidebar. Here are traces generated by visiting the full page version of the Archive:

A request to Drupal 7, with a segment of time spent in Views highlighted in white.

A request to Drupal 7, with a segment of time spent in Views highlighted in white.

A request to the same configuration in Drupal 8, again with a portion of Views time highlighted in white. Drupal 8 performs much more initialization work before entering Views, and Twig rendering and cache setting afterwards.

A request to the same configuration in Drupal 8, again with a portion of Views time highlighted in white. Drupal 8 performs much more initialization work before entering Views, and Twig rendering and cache setting afterwards.

More Stories By James Meickle

James started as a hobbyist web developer, even though his academic background is in social psychology and political science. Lately his interests as a professional Drupal developer have migrated towards performance, security, and automation. His favorite languages is Python, his favorite editor is Sublime, and his favorite game is Dwarf Fortress.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.