Kuali Protocols Performance Update

 ***Please read and forward to your researchers***



Dear Colleagues,


Please see below message from Kuali regarding the latest performance issues. As the first priority outlined below, Kuali is temporarily scaling back previously published validation enhancements. If you run into any problems with validations in your protocols, please contact era@research.uci.edu and someone from the ERA team will quickly help you address it.


Thank you for your continued patience during this time.




Barbara Inderwiesche, CRA

Director, Electronic Research Administration




From: Kaci Foster <kaci@kuali.co&gt;
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2022 2:56 PM
To: Barbara Inderwiesche <barbara.i@uci.edu&gt;
Subject: Kuali Protocols Performance Update


I’m reaching out with an update to our Protocols community on performance issues in the software that have been impacting many of our customers. 

What’s happening?

We’re at a point in the growth of the use of our Protocols product where inefficiencies in key areas of the code are causing performance issues (lag and slowness in the application). The severity of the performance issues are being felt across our whole customer base, but they are particularly acute for institutions that have either a very high volume of protocol submissions or a very complex protocol template with lots of progressive disclosure logic built into the form and a heavy reliance on the list gadget. In some circumstances, the performance issues are making it really hard for end users to complete their tasks in the software. 

Why is this happening now?

The use of our product has increased exponentially over time, and we’re at a threshold where we need to make some changes in order to scale effectively. In addition, we recently released enhancements to validations in the list gadget, and an unintended consequence of those enhancements has been degraded performance in the list gadget.

What is Kuali doing about it?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been making improvements to inefficient areas of the code, but depending on the volume and template configuration at your institution, the work we’ve done so far may not have resulted in improved performance for your end users. We’ve also changed the way our instances autoscale so that our infrastructure can respond more quickly to an increased load at different times of the day. We’re still tuning the timing and characteristics of the scaling to make sure we can be responsive very quickly to periods of increased usage. 

We have much more work to do to solve the problem fully, however. Here are our next steps:



Anticipated Timeframe

Expected Outcome


Temporarily scale back the validation enhancement on list gadgets while we address issues that make this enhancement un-performant (for specific customers experiencing degraded list gadget performance only).

1-2 days

Improved performance in list gadgets


Temporarily simplify the handling of form gadget error messages while we address performance issues with form editing.

1 week

Improved form performance overall


Rewrite the way validations work and bring back all enhancements that were temporarily suspended

3 weeks

Improved form performance overall


Improve efficiency of progressive disclosure logic

TBD; work needs to be scoped

Improved form performance overall


Improve efficiency of document level permission checks

TBD; work needs to be scoped

Improved page load times for all pages except Manage Protocols screen


Improve efficiency of attachment handling

TBD; work needs to be scoped

Improved performance for actions involving attachments


We believe that each of these steps will materially improve performance, and once they are all completed, the application will be very performant. 

What should I do if I have questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.  I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted feedback about the performance problem. In many cases, this feedback was instrumental in helping us diagnose the different issues contributing to the overall problem.  We’re sorry for the impact system slowness has had on your end users, and we’re grateful for your partnership as we work through this complex set of issues.

Kaci Foster
CCO & General Manager

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