Slow Point of Sale, Databases and Mark Zuckerberg

This year, we had a chance to work with large Point of Sales (POS) and e-commerce companies who used EverSQL to speed up their applications. Here are our key takeaways:

  • It is much more than just a Point Of Sale - These tablets we see in restaurants, supermarkets or retail chains are much more than just tablets. It is the lifeline of those business, whether it is a grocery, fuel, hospitality business, butchery, or Walmart. And behind the scenes a large number of transactions connect to inventory, card readers, clearing, payment, ERP, loyalty, barcode labeling, employment performance, and more.
  • Every millisecond counts - No one likes to wait, and in 2022 people take it to the extreme. Everything needs to work extremely fast, ensuring that your customer doesn't need to wait even 0.001 milliseconds. It can be in a physical point of sale, e-commerce, or social media app. Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an email to his employees:

“We have a lot of stats that show that usage of the site is basically tied to how fast the site is….. if we made the site a second faster we'd have about 20% more activity. That's a really big deal…. What it means is that even if users don't consciously notice the speed, it's subconsciously making them do fewer page views and less activity. “

  • Retail is a 24*7*365 business - Everyone knows that monitoring your applications and databases is critical, but our customers shared that MTTR (Mean Time to Remediate) is even more important, therefore solutions like EverSQL or other AI-based solutions that provide a one-click 'fix now' button are a life saver for their businesses.
  • POS as a platform - we learned from our customers that face-to-face card readers and POSs could come in many forms: Portable, Countertop, Mobile, With a touchscreen, without a touchscreen, self-service tablets, and more. Each has different product requirements, but all of them should work extremely fast.
  • Monitoring in scale and anomaly detection - Every day, millions of new POS are launched or replaced, and companies are looking to understand the behavior of each individual POS app, find anomalies or predict performance issues.
  • "Blame the network" magic - Some of our customers shared that it is common knowledge to blame the network latency in everything. That might be true that network latency is a killer and can create a chain reaction to additional timouts/errors, but in many cases slow SQL or slow databases can amplify these problems, for example a query that takes 0.4 milliseconds has more chances to encounter network issues, versus a query that takes 0.01 milliseconds.
  • Database clustering and high availability - Have you ever sat in a restaurant and the waiter told you: I am sorry, the application is down. Can you pay in cash?
    This is one of the main reasons that redundancy for your entire architecture is crucial, including to your databases.

Summary: Making your POS software faster can be simpler than you think. Check out database optimization solutions that can help you identify performance issues and fix them automatically.