Xojo Cloud not for me...

So I thought I would see if Xojo cloud is a viable solution for hosting my Xojo app. Makes sense that the makers of Xojo would be the ideal host. I have a web app that runs in Stand Alone mode on my SiteGround hosted server. I have been experience performance issues, and hoped Xojo Cloud would be a better alternative.

I buy a package, load up my SQL database using Navicat. Get it running, and even test my connection credentials with a test app. So I make a copy of my web app, change my database connection data, and click ‘Deploy’. (http://104.130.204.60/iPatternCloud3/) 24 hours later… nada. Nothing but unhelpful errors when trying to run my app. Most common “Internal Server Error” message. But no access to server logs or debug tools to find out why. If my app runs fine when deployed as a stand along on my server, why is Xojo Cloud be a bust?

TIA
Todd (puzzled in wyoming)

It’s not the cloud, I assure you. I’ve got 3000 users connecting on a load-balanced app on Xojo Cloud several hundred times a day. I would guess I process at least 2500 MySQL transactions an hour.

When I first got started, though, I was pretty much clueless and thought that the system had problems. With the help of Jason and Travis at Xojo, though, I realized that I just needed more information on how to set things up right and get going. They (and even Geoff) have even tested my app themselves and looked at code to make recommendations so I could work past my own horrible coding.

I was doubtful at first, but it works.

Do you think you are having deployment problems or database connection problems? I have a boolean switch I use when testing my app for ‘Deployed = true or false’ to set the database connection correctly for either scenario. The database credentials are just a tiny bit different when testing on your local machine versus deployed on the server.

With a title like that, I wonder if people, including the Xojo engineers, will be more inclined to help you, or less? Just something to think about.

The most common errors we see that result in Server Errors are the app crashing on startup.

Just out of curiosity, have you contacted our tech support team so we can look into the issue?

I’m talking to Todd about this. I’m able to get to my test app on his server.

The nature of my post title and tone is more of a critic on the expectation created by the advertising for Xojo Cloud. From reading about it, one is given the impression that it is the easier/simpler method for developers to take when deploying a web app. Load you app, click deploy and you are up and running. I am getting issues when trying to deploy. However, I don’t see any obvious way to debug. From the Peter’s reply and others I have read, the process of getting an app debugged and running on Xojo Cloud isn’t any easier than with a 3rd party host. That is the key issue behind my tone.

I have no doubt that with enough troubleshoot, tech help, etc… I can get it running. I am trying to see if this solution provides better performance. My web app has been running on a Linux box for years. Apart from changed in addressing the SQL connection, I expected a fairly simple conversion and deployment process.

So… I will push on in my trouble shooting, but I think it still a fair tone in that the statement “Xojo Cloud eliminates the complicated process of deploying a web application by offering a one-click solution. Requiring zero configuration,…” doesn’t seem to be accurate, except for the most simply of application.

I’ll get with Jason off board and work some more this weekend. I’ll post back here with results. If it turns out to be my error, apologizes will come. :wink:

For the vast majority of our users, one-click, zero configuration deployment is what they get. Like with anything, occasionally there’s someone who for no immediately obvious reason, runs into a problem.

Just this past Monday I installed my new Apple TV at home. Set up was easy for me because the Apple TV box was able to get data it needed right from my iPhone. However, I read a few reviews where the reviewer set that feature didn’t work at all for them. My guess is that for the overwhelming majority of users it will work as advertised but occasionally, it won’t.

Having said all of this, here at Xojo, whenever we run into someone who can’t use Xojo Cloud as easily as we describe, we work hard to resolve the issue and so far, we have been able to resolve it every time.

If you’ve set up FTP access then you should be able to get to the logs directory which has all the error logs. This should at least give you some level of help of what’s happening on the server. But basically all that will give you is better information to talk to Xojo support.

There are things that we still don’t have access to multiple years into Xojo Cloud.:

  1. We don’t know what processes are running. Is my app running or not?
  2. How much RAM is being consumed by each app? Do I have an app that’s hogging resources? Do I need a bigger server?
  3. How much disk space have I consumed?
  4. How much bandwidth am I consuming? If I’m going to get charged for it I’d really like to know what it is.
  5. How to setup/monitor/adjust load balancing.

The Xojo Cloud Control Panel is weak and NOT helpful with troubleshooting problems. My experience (and I was one of the first users) is that when Xojo Cloud works it just works and that’s great. When it doesn’t work a Xojo engineer has to get involved to reset or tweak something.

As an early user I expected that but at this point we still shouldn’t have these issues. Todd isn’t a newbie Xojo developer and I get his frustration. I get this ALWAYS with 3rd party servers but SOMETIMES with Xojo Cloud. So, IMO, to use the “Requiring Zero Configuration” comes with a caveat or two. We need better diagnostics so we can perhaps fix the problem ourselves or at give better information to Xojo support.

Sadly am one of the unhappy ones with the Xojo Cloud.
I had the cloud for about 8-9 days. Uploading was no problem, but every time I showed (or attempted to show) the application to my customer, the cloud was not available, server not found, Etc.
It was only a basic mysql based app with little data but the server seemed to be unable to handle something. Yes, we have a good internet connection and about 10 employees were doing things in the web, so it was no connection problem.
Technical support was very polite but never accepted that there is any failure. It was blamed that I was making too much connections and the cloud firewall was too sensitive. Politician answers.

So I claimed the full satisfaction warranty advertised and it was honored, or was it?
Well, not really honored. I was charged for the days I used it. When I complained, I was referred to the small letters, that say that if I use the cloud I will be refunded the remainder of the month. Sorry guys, that can not be called full satisfaction warranty. Better call it unused days money back.

On top of that, Xojo Cloud has not other useful services, like php, that you actually get and much, much more with a hosted VPS plan with a known hosting company. For the $99 a month, actually, you get a really nice VPS. I got another Xojo Hosting provider for less than that.

This is a straw man argument and has nothing to do with Xojo cloud.

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I think the key point was
… for the overwhelming majority of users it will work as advertised but occasionally, it won’t.

It’s really not. I was simply making the point that many things that are designed to work simply and easily don’t work that way for 100% of the users.

[quote=227259:@Bob Keeney]There are things that we still don’t have access to multiple years into Xojo Cloud.:

We don’t know what processes are running. Is my app running or not?
How much RAM is being consumed by each app? Do I have an app that’s hogging resources? Do I need a bigger server?
How much disk space have I consumed?
How much bandwidth am I consuming? If I’m going to get charged for it I’d really like to know what it is.
How to setup/monitor/adjust load balancing.[/quote]
These are all good suggestions and things we will eventually add to the control panel. Some of them you can get today if you really need them by deploying a simple app that calls TOP. Regarding bandwidth, we have yet to have anyone come remotely close to the amount of bandwidth we provide.

I wanted to post a counter to Julio’s post, because I don’t want anyone reading his post and thinking that the system or customer service at Xojo doesn’t work. I have a complex system that is running right now and it wouldn’t be if weren’t for the staff at Xojo.

They have been so extremely helpful that reading a post like that is a bit frustrating because it leads me to wonder what other factors may have been involved in the fact that the program didn’t run correctly.

They have gone above and beyond to help me get my app running. For example, I’ve emailed them at 11:45 PM on a Sunday night and gotten a response within 10 minutes. I don’t think you would get a response like that from any PHP server host. How do I know? Because I switched from Siteground to Xojo when I initially tried writing my app in PHP. I’ve experienced support on both sides.

The point is, if you have an issue, they are more than willing to help you sort it out.

[quote=227064:@Peter Stallo]It’s not the cloud, I assure you. I’ve got 3000 users connecting on a load-balanced app on Xojo Cloud several hundred times a day. I would guess I process at least 2500 MySQL transactions an hour.
[/quote]

Just curious how are you doing the load balancing? Other customers may want to know how its done on Xojo Cloud.

I contracted with Xojo to do it. They designed and wrote the load balancer and it works very well.

Thanks to them, all I have to do is upload a linux compiled app to a folder on the server, a script senses the new file and distributes four copies of it on the 4-core server and starts them all up. It basically senses a new person logging on and passes them to the next app in line.

As Geoff said previously, even with four copies of it running and numerous students coming and going all day long, I come nowhere near the capacity of the server. During tests with 25 concurrent users, I think I reached 3% of the processor usage and maybe 10% of the memory capacity. If I did need to scale higher later, I bet they would be able to adapt it to scale to multiple servers.

The only caveat is that I cannot (as of right now) run another app on the same machine as it would cause some configuration problems. That doesn’t hinder me, but it may be something to consider if you run numerous apps on the same server.

I can’t speak for them, but I would bet that they intend to release it as an option to the general public. It certainly is a good way to scale up your app’s ability to handle users.

To be fair Peter’s set up is quite custom.
It’s entirely possible that what we’ve learned from doing this may eventually make its way into a set up we can generalize for others to utilize.
Travis can speak to that better than I can.

I currently have one pretty large web app up on Xojo Cloud that has been working flawlessly for a year now. I’ve received great customer support and and great experience w Xojo Cloud. Jason especially has been very helpful, and the team was also very quick to get a fix out when there was an issue deploying another project I have to the Xojo Cloud servers.

I simply posted what actually happened, no bad intentions on my part. Am happy with Xojo and the grown up app works fine elsewhere. The cloud is just a product that didn’t survive the advertised funcionality, in my opinion. The warranty, well, I better forget it.

Technical service was fast indeed… to reply that the cloud was fine, admitting that the firewall was misfiring. The issue here is that I can not keep being a customer where they just tell that there is no problem.
Maybe it was an internet node that connects to my area, maybe another thing. We’ll never know, but for sure, we know the cloud is fine, as Tech Support asserts.

I thought I would post an update. I changed the title of the thread to “Xojo Cloud not for me” as it better describes my feelings. I have since then setup an account with @Phillip Zedalis with excellent success. The issues with hosting compatibility are gone. And the app is more responsive that it has been since it was first released. And at a 10th of the cost of my Siteground account.

I will admit that perhaps with more debug-stamina I would have got cloud to work, but it isn’t for me at this point. Perhaps others will have a better experience. I would also say that I am pleased with Xojo as a company. Great tool.