Thursday, March 1, 2007

synchronous vs asynchronous transactions

If you have ever built call center apps .. you will already have learned this lesson. For some reason, we keep repeating these mistakes over and over and over ...

Remember - synchronous transactions for time-sensitive stuff. For transactions that a call center rep has to wait on (while customer is on the phone) .. use synchronous backplane eg. web-services. For others (non-time sensitive), use asynchronous. Your messaging architecture MUST support both.

The thing that creates havoc the most in call centers is transaction performance variance. Not always just transaction performance. If something consistently takes 90 seconds, you will find your call center reps work around this poor performance by predicting this period of wait and filling it with other work or small talk with the customer. What makes call center agents mad is transaction variance - sometimes it only takes 4 secs, sometimes 300. That's when the customer on the line gets the embarrassed comments - 'my system is slow .. my system has frozen up ..' etc. etc.

Milan Gupta

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