Sunday, September 02, 2007

Announcing WorkflowProfiler

I just finished writing WorkflowProfiler. It’s a freeware program for event logging across a network.

Normally, if you have a group of people using an application which was created in house, it’s very difficult to objectively state how well the application is performing.

  • How often does it crash?
  • How much time do users spend waiting for lengthy operations to finish?
  • How often do users use certain pieces of functionality?

WorkflowProfiler allows you to gather this type of information, by allowing you to fire events to a server from each user’s machine, using a command line operation. The server collects this information, and produces HTML reports to summarize the information.

Knowing things like how often crashes happen, or how much time is being wasted, allows you to quantify how much money you’re losing as a result of the problems, and prioritise what should be worked upon to best improve productivity.

WorkflowProfiler is useful for any industry, but here are some examples of how it could help answer questions about the workflow of a game developer:

  • How often does the editor crash?
  • How many times per day do people launch the game?
  • How long do we spend waiting for the editor to create game data files?
  • How long do we spend converting sound or video to compressed formats?
  • How long do we spend getting the latest data from source control?
  • Does anyone still use the ‘wipe all caches’ button, since we told them they didn’t need to?
  • How long do we spend waiting for lightmaps to be created?
  • Etc.

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