Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: August 2022

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Excellent progress on slowness/instability; Issues with unstamped documents.

Speed issues:

On Tuesday, 8/16 Tyler Technologies released an upgrade to their EFM that they hoped would provide them with better event logging that in turn would support better diagnostics. 

During the day on Tuesday, it didn't go well, leading to general concern that this might have been a step backward. However, after the rough start, Wednesday started to look better, and after three days of better performance, we're ready to call it a significant improvement.

Did we get all the way back to the performance levels prior to the cloud migration? No, not quite, but very close. Here's the path we've taken: 

On the day after the cloud migration upgrade & for several days following, response time was 22 times as long as it was before the "upgrade". In short, the system was practically unusable. 

The Tyler folks put in a long weekend doing performance tuning, and the following week, the response times were 3 times as long as before the upgrade. That was good enough that most filers were able to get their work done, but still slow enough that high-volume filers,  such as those representing creditors, were still unable to get all of their filing done without working evenings and weekends. This situation lasted for almost three weeks.

Last Tuesday, we had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good. Very Bad Day. However, the clouds parted on Wednesday, and we started to see speeds a little over twice the original response time.

Finally, On Thursday and Friday, we started to see response times that are consistently 1.5 times as long as prior to the original upgrade. Not perfect, but a substantial improvement. We'll continue to press for a return to full speed, but this should be a welcome relief for the high-volume filers.

File Stamps:

Note: On Wednesday/Thursday, several filers reported receiving accepted documents without file stamps. We inquired with the State about this and learned that from roughly 3:00PM on Wednesday, 8/17 until Noon on Thursday, 8/18, automated file stamping was disabled on the Court's review system. 

That has been fixed, and should not be a problem in the future. We haven't been told whether the Courts are going back to re-stamp the documents received during that time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Update on EFM slowness and instability issues. Tuesday, 8/16.

Early this morning, Tyler Technologies (the State's E-Filing vendor) released a new version of their EFM*. 

This release included new logging tools that they hope will allow them to diagnose the slowdown that occurred during the last EFM upgrade on July 22nd.

Unfortunately, this current upgrade has, so far, proved to be both slower and less stable than previous verions. That is disappointing. For now, we are urging patience while Tyler works to solve the problems with this latest upgrade. They are fully aware that it's a mess and are actively working to resolve the new instability issues.

As I'm writing this post, the EFM is down, with no ETA for a fix. We hope they'll get it fixed up before the end of the day, but if you miss a filing deadline due to this instability, please refer to our previous post on how Indiana's trial rules protect you in that situation.

This is frustrating. We are now approaching one month with the EFM running at roughly 1/3 of its previous speed, and know the situation is hard on you as well. We continue to cooperate with the State and Tyler to provide the information they need for diagnosis. We also remain committed to pursuing this until it gets fixed. 

* EFM = E-Filing Manager, the system through which all filings are routed to destination courts.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Friday update on the E-Filing slowness issue.

Yesterday, (8/4) we participated in a discussion of this problem with the State's EFM* vendor (Tyler Technologies.) A few important notes from that meeting:

1) The network routing and latency issues that we had hoped might provide an explanation have been eliminated as a cause.

2) The slow response time is affecting all Indiana filers, regardless of their EFSP**.

3) More diagnostic information is needed, so early next week, Tyler will be deploying a version of the EFM that logs more information in support of the diagnostic effort.

4) The result of #3 is that we know this won't be fixed in a matter of days. It will be at least a week while the new logging software is deployed. (*sigh*)

We came away from this meeting frustrated, but with the understanding that Tyler is working diligently on this problem. They are fully aware of the pain it is causing filers, particularly those of you who submit high volumes of filings where response time is critical. We will continue to support them in their efforts by providing regular feedback from our own logging system.

* EFM = E-Filing Manager, the system through which all filings are routed to destination courts.

** EFSPs = E-Filing Service Providers, The web sites used by filers to compose and submit filing envelopes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Tuesday update on slowness issues. Still making small incremental gains. Current hypothesis: Network routing may play a role.

 Over the weekend, Tyler Technologies shut down their system briefly to do some performance tuning on the EFM API. Now that we've got a full day of logs to examine since the most recent change, we can report that there has been a 16% decrease in the average response time compared to last Monday.😊

That's good news, and worth celebrating, but that's still over 3 times the average response time prior to their cloud migration, so this is still a top priority for us.

We've been a bit frustrated by the fact that it was a change to someone else's system that caused this. That means we're in the awkward position of just measuring slow response times and complaining instead of being able to contribute to a solution. However, one of our operations folks pointed out that network latency is something we can assess from our side of the connection, so we've been doing that and are finding some definite problems that we can use to start some diagnosis from our side of the connection. We're working that angle now, and have passed along our findings to Tyler in the hope that it will help.