SharePoint 2013: Content Enrichment and performance of 3rd party services

There are a lot of cases when people write Content Enrichment service for SharePoint 2013 to integrate it with some 3rd party tagging/enrichment API. Such integration very often leads to huge crawl time degradation, the same happened in my case too.

The first thought was to measure the time that CPES (Content Processing Enrichment Service) spends on calls. I wrapped all my calls to external system in timers and run Full Crawl again. The results were awful, calls were in average from 10 to 30 times slower from CPES than from POC console app. Code was the same and of course perfect, so, probably my 3rd party service was not able to handle such an incredible load that was generated by my super-fast SharePoint Farm.

If you are in the same situation with fast SharePoint, awesome CPES implementation and bad 3rd party service, you probably should try async integration approach described in “Advanced Content Enrichment in SharePoint 2013 Search” by Richard diZerega.

But what if the problem is in my source code… what if execution environment affects execution time of REST calls… Some time later, I found a nice post “Quick Ways to Boost Performance and Scalability of ASP.NET, WCF and Desktop Clients” from Omar Al Zabir. This article describes the notion of Connection Manager:

By default, has two concurrent connections per IP allowed. This means on a webserver, if it’s calling WCF service on another server or making any outbound call to a particular server, it will only be able to make two concurrent calls. When you have a distributed application and your web servers need to make frequent service calls to another server, this becomes the greatest bottleneck

WHOA! That means that it does not matter how fast our SharePoint Search service is. Our CPES executes no more than two calls to 3rd party service at the same time and queues other. Let’s fix this unpleasant injustice in web.config:

     <add address="*" maxconnection="128"/>

Now performance degradation should be fixed and if your 3rd party service is good enough your crawl time will be reasonable, otherwise you need to go back to advice from Richard diZereg.

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