Evernote Business poised for 'massive improvements' with 4x faster sync

Evernote Business users might even notice the latest improvements better than individual users, according to the company's CEO.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Evernote has gone through some significant retooling promising sync speeds up to four times faster than before.

The productivity app's sync capacity for users, notes, files (i.e. images, PDFs, etc.), and devices should be completed within a matter of seconds. Naturally that is going to vary between some accounts depending on the size of the files.

But Evernote founder and CEO Phil Libin asserted in a blog post on Wednesday morning that Evernote Business users and anyone else with larger accounts will actually see more impressive improvements compared to smaller counterparts.

Describing that the Redwood City, Calif.-based company "flipped the switch" about a year ago, Libin admitted that Evernote's engineering team went back to the drawing board for a complete overhaul of the server-side sync engines.

More nitty-gritty details about what that entailed were described by some of the engineers themselves in a separate blog post.

Evernote software engineers Dave Engberg and Ed Roskos explained how they reworked syncing notebooks, particularly those including personal notes as well as those tied to Business accounts.

Evernote stands apart from other cloud-based productivity and collaboration apps being that it allows people to have one single account for both business and personal use. When a person leaves the company, IT can immediately cut off access to specific files and notebooks, but the user can keep his or her account in tact.

Here's what Evernote has altered, according to Engberg and Roskos:

Many of our clients currently synchronize a business account one linked notebook at a time. This allowed them to re-use existing, proven linked notebook logic to sync and detect lost access to a notebook but increases the round-trips to the service proportional to the number of notebooks that a user has joined in the business. The sync index now records historical records of “lost access” by a recipient to a notebook. The service can now send an “expunge” informing the client that access has been lost. We again use the entry type modifier to record “lost access” and add a field for the user ID of the recipient who lost access. Evernote clients will switch to synchronizing all of their notebooks from a business in one pass.

The pair touted a number of positive results from this lenghty experimentation process, such as reduced IO and CPU usage, demonstrated in the graph above.

They also hinted at how this upgrade will support Evernote to scale better as the company grows being that Evernote's servers now have more room to support more features and larger accounts.

With 75 million users as of last September, Libin has said in the past that he wants Evernote to reach one billion users. The ambitious target is a long way off still, but it's clear that the software company is ramping up efforts to get there faster.

Image via The Evernote Tech blog

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