We are currently running BB 9.1 Learn SP8 GA on our production server and are considering turning on the Event Tracking feature under System Reporting->Auto-Reporting Options of the Sys. Admin panel. However, the following statement within the feature description causes some concern: "On high-usage systems, this feature can negatively impact performance and can be turned off." We are conducting an extended pilot program with our Blackboard system and thus have not yet reached a high-usage status. However, that will change soon. What are the potential impacts from turning on the Event Tracking on a high usage Blackboard Learn 9.1 system?
Thanks very much,
What event tracking does is make a record in a database table as the users access various parts of a course. It allows things like course reports and item tracking to function, so most schools have it turned on, I believe. In earlier versions of Blackboard, the records were written directly into a large table (activity_accumulator) containing 180 days or more worth of data--millions of records, for most of us--and if there were problems managing or writing to that table it did impact performance significantly.
Beginning back with Blackboard Learning System 8 SP4, the process of even tracking was changed. Instead of writing directly to the activity_accumulator table, activity records are now written to a short-term buffer (activity_accumulator_queue) containing an hour or so worth of data, which is then dumped regularly over to the activity_accumulator table via job that runs on the database server itself. So, there's much less potential direct impact on system performance, though the database server still has to manage the large activity_accumulator table.
What system were you running before going to 9.1 SP8?
I really appreciate you sharing this information. I will pass this on to our LMS team. In answer to your question, we were running BB 9.1 SP6 before our SP8 upgrade.
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