Performance Measuring of Large Reports

In the ForNAV standard report pack we have a few reports that are traditionally slow when running. One of my design goals when developing these reports was to see if I can increase performance.

The names of the challenged reports will sound familiar to those in our channel for a longer time.

  • Aged Accounts Receivables & Payables
  • Inventory to G/L Reconcile

The latter only exists in the North American localization but whomever spends a lot of time on MiBuSo has seen the questions on performance of these guys.

Why are they slow?

Both reports have slow performance because they loop through the entry tables one-by-one which means they get slower over time. Both reports were created a long time ago. In case of the Aged Accounts Receivables & Payables report it was done before we had detailed entries.

Exactly how slow?

So, this is the question everybody asks and the only true answer is “it depends”. It depends not just on the size of your database but even more on the ratio between Master Data and Entries.

Also, you need a reasonable amount of data to test this, not just a CRONUS database with Microsoft Demo data.

Long live the upgrade business

When I started my freelance career 12 years ago I decided to step into upgrades. Not alone, but with the help of my good friend Tom Wickstrom. Tom has probably done thousands of upgrades over the last decades.

Tom picked two databases for me that I’ve used to test with. One database is about 60 GB and the other is about 50GB. This is a good representation of a professional bespoke NAV system.

The ratio’s in these databases are different, especially at an Item level.

50GB System 10 Years of Posting Data System A
No. of Customers No. of Cust Ledg. Entries Ratio No. of Detailsed Entries No. of Items No. of Item Entries Ratio No. of Value Entries Ratio
2741 71583 26,1 160287 380 1948702 5128,2 8198945 4,2
60GB System 11 Years of Posting Data System B
No. of Customers No. of Cust Ledg. Entries Ratio No. of Detailsed Entries No. of Items No. of Item Entries Ratio No. of Value Entries Ratio
9463 269694 28,5 552562 134114 1146037 8,5 2015607 1,8

On average each customer has made between 25 and 30 purchases in 10 years. The number of sales per item is the biggest difference as is the amount of value entries per item entry.

How do we Measure

The databases are installed on the same SQL Server. The servers are warmed up. We run the report once before we measure the results and then we take the average of three adjacent runs. We run using the Windows client. No Azure, No Docker, No VMWare or HyperV. Pure iron, bare metal. Each drive is an individual 500 gig ssd drive 

SQL Version                       2012
NAV Version                      2017
ForNAV Version      
Memory                              32GB
CPU                                       3.40 Ghz. Intel Core i7-4770
Disks                                     C Drive  SQL installed here. w. Database & server executables
                                              E Drive  MDF database file is here
                                            F Drive  NDF database file is here
                                            G Drive  LDF database file is here


Microsoft’s Performance

Inventory to G/L Reconciliation System A 12:20 Minutes/Sec
  System B 7:09 Minutes/Sec
Aged Accounts Receivables System A 0:17 Minutes/Sec
  System B 1:07 Minutes/Sec


ForNAV Performance

Inventory to G/L Reconciliation System A 1:25 Minutes/Sec
  System B 4:00 Minutes/Sec
Aged Accounts Receivables System A 0:04 Minutes/Sec
  System B 0:08 Minutes/Sec



The ForNAV reports are up to 8 or 9 times faster than the Microsoft RDLC reports. The difference gets smaller as the ratio between Master Data and Entries gets lower which makes perfect sense.

How did we do this?

Well, although it is not a secret, I am not going to tell you. We wrote this blog post to trigger you to look at our product.

There are a lot of goodies in our report pack if you are a modern programmer. Where feasible we use the MVC pattern, Dependency Inversion and Polymorphism. This means that the Aged Receivables and Payables report use the same code where possible which then is reused in the Statement report.


JavaScript Objects

We use JavaScript Objects to show grand totals. In ForNAV you can code in JavaScript which includes creating objects that help you have clean and fast front/end (report-side) code.

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