Meteor Deployment Tracking Growth

meteor-deployment

How can we use the okgrow:analytics package?

It’s common to want to know which pages of your app are most commonly visited, and where users are coming from. Here’s a simple setup that will get you URL tracking using Google Analytics. We’ll be using the okgrow:analytics package.

meteor add okgrow:analytics

Now, we need to configure the package with our Google Analytics key (the package also supports a large variety of other providers, check out the documentation on Atmosphere). Pass it in as part of Meteor settings:

{
  "public": {
    "analyticsSettings": {
      // Add your analytics tracking id's here
      "Google Analytics" : {"trackingId": "Your tracking ID"}
    }
  }
}

The analytics package hooks into Flow Router (see the routing article for more) and records all of the page events for you. You may want to track non-page change related events (for instance publication subscription, or method calls) also. To do so you can use the custom event tracking functionality:

export const updateText = new ValidatedMethod({
  ...
  run({ todoId, newText }) {
    // We use `isClient` here because we only want to track
    // attempted method calls from the client, not server to
    // server method calls
    if (Meteor.isClient) {
      analytics.track('todos.updateText', { todoId, newText });
    }

    // ...
  }
});

To achieve a similar abstraction for subscriptions/publications, you may want to write a simple wrapper for Meteor.subscribe().

How can we understand Kadira?

If you really want to understand the ins and outs of running your Meteor application, you should give Kadira a try. Kadira is a full featured Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution that’s built from the ground up for Meteor. Kadira operates by taking regular client and server side observations of your application’s performance as it conducts various activities and reporting them back to a master server.

When you visit the Kadira application, you can view current and past behavior of your application over various useful metrics. Kadira’s documentation is extensive and invaluable, but we’ll discuss a few key areas here.

Method and Publication Latency. Rather than monitoring HTTP response times, in a Meteor app it makes far more sense to consider DDP response times. The two actions your client will wait for in terms of DDP are method calls and publication subscriptions. Kadira includes tools to help you discover which of your methods and publications are slow and resource intensive.

kadira-method-latency.png

In the above screenshot you can see the response time breakdown of the various methods commonly called by the Atmosphere application. The median time of 56ms and 99th percentile time of 200ms seems pretty reasonable, and doesn’t seem like too much of a concern

You can also use the “traces” section to discover particular cases of the method call that are particular slow:

kadira-method-trace.png

In the above screenshot we’re looking at a slower example of a method call (which takes 214ms), which, when we drill in further we see is mostly taken up waiting on other actions on the user’s connection (principally waiting on the searches/top and counts publications). So we could consider looking to speed up the initial time of those subscriptions as they are slowing down searches a little in some cases.

What is livequery monitoring?

A key performance characteristic of Meteor is driven by the behavior of livequery, the key technology that allows your publications to push changing data automatically in realtime. In order to achieve this, livequery needs to monitor your MongoDB instance for changes (by tailing the oplog) and decide if a given change is relevant for the given publication.

If the publication is used by a lot of users, or there are a lot of changes to be compared, then these livequery observers can do a lot of work. So it’s immensely useful that Kadira can tell you some statistics about your livequery usage:

kadira-observer-usage.png

In this screenshot we can see that observers are fairly steadily created and destroyed, with a pretty low amount of reuse over time, although in general they don’t survive for all that long. This would be consistent with the fact that we are looking at the package publication of Atmosphere which is started everytime a user visits a particular package’s page. The behavior is more or less what we would expect so we probably wouldn’t be too concerned by this information.

When should we enable SEO for our meteor app?

If your application contains a lot of publicly accessible content, then you probably want it to rank well in Google and other search engines’ indexes. As most webcrawlers do not support client-side rendering (or if they do, have spotty support for websockets), it’s better to render the site on the server and deliver it as HTML in this special case.

To do so, we can use the Prerender.io service, thanks to the dfischer:prerenderio package. It’s a simple as meteor add-ing it, and optionally setting your prerender token if you have a premium prerender account and would like to enable more frequent cache changes.

If you’re using Galaxy to host your meteor apps, you can also take advantage of built-in automatic Prerender.io integration. Simply add mdg:seo to your app and Galaxy will take care of the rest.

Chances are you also want to set <title> tags and other <head> content to make your site appear nicer in search results. The best way to do so is to use the kadira:dochead package. The sensible place to call out to DocHead is from the onCreated callbacks of your page-level components.

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