Optimizing Webspace Server Performance

To optimize the performance of the Webspace Server, use the following tips:

Setup Recommendations

  • Restrict usage of mapped drives on the Webspace Server. The more mapped drives available, the longer it takes to log on to the Webspace Server.
  • Try to limit the number of user and global logon scripts that you configure to run on the Webspace Server.
  • If the SCADA Server and the Webspace Server are on different computers, avoid running iFIX on the Webspace Server machine.
  • If the SCADA Server and the Webspace Server are on different computers, copy the needed shared files from the SCADA Server onto the Webspace Server machine. Use local copies of pictures on the Webspace Server machine.
  • For printer driver options, only select the minimum set you need (such as the Universal driver).
  • If you want to view pictures with historical information, make sure that you install Historian from GE Digital or the Historian Client Tools on the Webspace Server.
  • Always start the browser session in full screen so that the WorkSpace uses more of the browser client area. Be aware that in browser sessions in full screen mode (your iFIX User Preferences are set to open pictures in full screen mode), you cannot Alt+Tab to other open applications such as Word or Excel that appear behind the Webspace application.

Picture Recommendations

  • Restrict the usage of high color graphics, such as bitmaps, as they take longer to load and tax system resources depending on the size and resolution. Try to use smaller sized files and at a lower resolution. Combine multiple bitmaps into a single image.
  • For iFIX, disable auto-scaling on the Webspace Server (User Preferences > Picture Preferences) if you do not want the resolution of graphics and text in your pictures to change (and be auto-sized) when you open a picture from a web session. By default, auto scaling is enabled. You may want to disable this feature if text or images appear slightly distorted from the original picture when viewed via the web session.  
  • For iFIX, disable picture caching on the Webspace Server (User Preferences > Picture Preferences). By default, picture caching is enabled. Although it speeds up the picture performance, it will slow down the processing on the Webspace Server. If any memory needs to be freed up on the server, it is a good idea to disable picture caching.
  • If you use Enhanced Charts in iFIX, use Bitmap/Gradient Styles sparingly.
  • Minimize the number of pictures that are open at the same time in your Webspace client. In iFIX, try to avoid using the OpenPic command in pictures. We have found in testing that the OpenPic command results in slower performance. The ReplacePic command is preferred.
  • If using Portal controls in your pictures, and you experience display issues in the Webspace sessions try some of these suggestions:
    • If Internet Explorer does not display these Portal controls, clear any proxy server settings. (On the Tools  menu, click Internet Options. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Connections tab and then the LAN Settings button to access proxy settings.)  Next, clear the User JRE version for applet option in the Advanced Settings. (On the Tools menu, click Internet Options. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab and then scroll to the Java (Sun) category and locate the User JRE version for applet option.)
    • If the web browser's security levels are set to allow only trusted sites, make sure you add the Portal Server to the list of trusted sites.
  • Refresh rates on pictures can also impact browser performance. In Webspace, by default, datalinks, animations, and charts (Enhanced and Standard) in pictures will refresh at a rate no faster than once per second. For example, in the Expression Builder, if you enter .1 or .5 as the refresh rate for your data source, it will NOT be adhered to. The historical update rate for both Enhanced and Standard charts will also be adjusted accordingly. For the alarm blink rate, alarm fetch rate, and alarm data refresh rate in the Alarm Summary objects, Webspace will refresh the data no faster than every 5 seconds. For instance, even if you set the refresh rates in the Alarm Summary object to be faster, Webspace will not allow a rate faster than every 5 seconds.

You can adjust these default settings without opening any pictures. Open the FixUserPreferences.ini file on the iFIX Webspace Server. (By default, for iFIX, this file is located in the C:\Program Files\Proficy\Proficy iFIX\LOCAL folder. Scroll to the following section and enter larger numbers:


A larger number for either of these settings (a slower refresh rate) is intended to improve the Webspace performance when opening pictures and may also improve mouse click response time.

Note: If you have slower refresh rates entered in the objects in your pictures, Webspace will not reset the refresh rate settings to the lower default values of 1 and 5 when you open a picture.

The acceptable values for the DataRefreshThrottleInSecs are: 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60. Any other number will be reset to the lowest value it is closest to. For example, a 3 will become a 2, a 4 will become a 2, a 13 will become a 10, a 35 will become a 30, a 59 will become a 30, and a 65 will become a 60.

An acceptable value for AlarmSummaryThrottleInSecs is any whole number less than or equal to 300. If you enter a number greater than 300, it will be set to 300.

Important: Use caution when changing these .ini settings, since user data displayed in Webspace is refreshed at these rates.

Improving Picture Open Time

  • If you do experience performance issues (for instance, a picture takes a long time to open, or the CPU on the Webspace Server or Client starts to spike), try opening the picture on a client (View node). If you notice similar performance issues on the client, consider modifying your pictures. For instance, you may want to set the picture refresh rates to a slower rate than the default. On a high-end server, the login time for the Webspace session is approximately 1.5 times that of a Windows View Node. For example, if your Windows View Node takes 30 seconds to start iFIX and open the picture, then the web browser will take approximately 45 seconds.
  • If you experience high CPU usage on the Webspace Server, and you are using Alarm Summary objects in your pictures, try to reduce the number of rows displayed in the Alarm Summary object. Also, when viewing pictures from the web sessions, try closing any unnecessary pictures that display Alarm Summary objects. When multiple web sessions display pictures with Alarm Summary objects that include multiple rows, the CPU usage on the Webspace Server may rise. In this scenario, if you reduce the number of rows and open pictures, the CPU usage on the Webspace Server should improve.
  • If login time (the time from when you enter the Webspace URL to the display of the login dialog box) increases with each successive client browser connection, this may indicate that the CPU usage on the server may be too high and there may be a hardware limitation on the web server. Consider using a higher-end server.

Network Considerations

  • The speed of the computer running the Webspace session from a browser can impact performance. Faster client machines typically load iFIX pictures much quicker, and have improved performance while those pictures are open. For instance, in testing, a slow client with 512 MB RAM and 1.5 GHz processor had picture load times approximately 1.5 times longer than a faster client with 1 GB RAM and 3.0 GHz processor.
  • Network speeds and connection types also impact performance for a Webspace session. A 100BaseT network adapter, which is recommended, allows the Webspace session to utilize optimum speed for its performance. Companies using VPN connections for Webspace sessions may experience a decrease in performance.
  • Network bandwidth and traffic appears to have a significant impact on system performance. Higher traffic networks experience degraded load times and picture performance.
  • Network capability in a Relay Server configuration is especially important, as it directly impacts system performance. A Relay Server will perform better on a network with greater speed and bandwidth.