Why Sensational AG chose Blackfire.io to continuously improve their app’s performance

By Christophe Dujarric, on Jul 16, 2015

Early adopter of Blackfire.io, Philip Hofstetter (@pilif), CTO at Sensational AG, is one of the first subscribers of Blackfire Enterprise Edition. He recently shared his experience on Blackfire with us, and the benefits of its use.

Who is Sensational?

At Sensational.ch, we offer a suite of products and services supporting the supply chain for gastronomy and restaurants in Switzerland. It includes an eCommerce platform and an eProcurement platform, which are developed in PHP.

Why Blackfire?

I discovered Blackfire quite early, while there was not much information on the Blackfire.io website. I gave it a try, as I was curious about what could it do better than the other tools. Very quickly, I was able to identify potential improvements. When I then heard of the Enterprise Edition features – ability to collaborate on profiling, and to view SQL requests and network calls – I asked for a quote. As I already knew SensioLab’s high quality products and services, it was a no-brainer and I directly accepted it.

At Sensational, we are using Blackfire on a regular basis. The point isn’t to focus on it and spend a lot of time searching for optimizations, but more to regularly check on our apps’ performance while developing.

We don’t necessarily run it constantly, but it really improved the way we manage performance over time. Where performance tools are often seen as for DevOps, Blackfire really is a tool for developers.

What’s great about Blackfire?

What really sold me the product was the callgraph view. And now, when I want someone to try Blackfire who goes like “yeah well, one more profiling tool”, I just advise them to go and check that view. And then I often hear “Oh, wow!”.

Of all of the visualization’s I’ve seen, Blackfire’s is the best, helping to concentrate on what’s really important in the stack’s execution. And it’s visually very appealing!

The comparison feature is the cherry on the cake! It is very rewarding for a developer to see negative numbers, as a result of performance optimization. I enjoy a lot when I can see a blueish callgraph, which means that I made my app faster than it was. And it’s also cool for trade-offs between speed and memory, for instance when you’re trying to use caching techniques. You directly get the right metrics for making the right decision.

Besides, the on-boarding was really smooth. The extensive documentation helps a lot, and the getting started section very easy to use. It’s great to see it acknowledge each successful install that you do with a green “check”.

What’s next?

I’m looking forward to trying a Jenkins integration!

Somehow, with Sensational.ch, Blackfire is contributing to making sure that everybody gets food in Switzerland 🙂

Share your experience! What’s your experience with Blackfire? What do you like and dislike about it? Drop us a mail at customer.success@blackfire.io and let us know.

Did you manage to improve your app’s performance with Blackfire? Tweet #blackfireio @blackfireio!

Happy profiling!

Christophe Dujarric

Christophe is the Product guy at Blackfire/SensioLabs. He has been working in several start-up companies, helping them to make and sell products out of technologies. He’s involved in every step of the product’s lifecycle, from strategy to design and sales, and loves to coach on product management methods.