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Platform Updates: Faster UI, and Preparing for a Faster and More Secure FTP


Laptop in use to provide product image retouching instructions visually

It’s been another busy month at Pixelz. We’re always focused on speed — we brought you Flow Retouching for ridiculously fast shot to site, after all — and lately we’ve turned our sights on two key customer experience touchpoints: your Pixelz Account and FTP.

Pixelz Account Speed Optimization

We’ve refactored our customer portal, login.pixelz.com, to be a React app. React is a modern frontend framework developed by Facebook, and it can be blazingly fast for enterprise web applications.

Pixelz needs that speed, since our platform is necessarily data and image intensive. We provide near real-time updates on the status of the tens of thousands of images we handle every day — close to a million a month — and are constantly serving image thumbnails for review on the dashboard, order pages, and many other places.

As a follow-up to that refactor, we’ve optimized how we handle sessions on the server side. Those changes have had a major impact on our ability to reach our response time goals.

We’ve seen excellent results, with significant speed increases across the board. For some pages, we’ve seen a consistent 6x performance boost!

retouch platform minus fast requests Server response time chart, problem sessions only. New session handling introduced last week of September dramatically sped up server response time.

That all means a faster, better experience for you when logged into your Pixelz account.

retouch platform all requests All server response times — we’re trying to turn everything blue!

Preparing for a Faster, Always Encrypted FTP Service

As much as we love our fast, beautiful UI, we know that many of our clients have more regular day-to-day interactions using FTP.

We’re preparing to launch a new FTP service that will be both faster and more secure, requiring explicit FTPS (encrypted FTP) or SFTP.

As part of our preparation, we’ve been performing analysis and will be reaching out to any customers we’ve detected using an unencrypted connection, to ensure there’s no interruption of service.

To encrypt your FTP connection, follow this guide and — if your FTP client has an option — enable “eplicit FTPS.” Most updated clients default to explicit, but it's good to check.

enabling explicit ftp over tls in Filezilla Enabling explicit FTP over TLS in FileZilla

SFTP, despite the similar name, is a totally different technology from FTPS that is even more secure (and in some cases faster). It was previously available only to limited customers based on geographic location, but with our new service will be available to all customers.

You’ll be hearing more about our FTP updates as we get closer to launch.

New FTP Delivery Folder Option

If you’re a regular FTP user, you know that we have long had an option for you to add a date folder to the path where your images are delivered. Until now, that date has always been the delivery date.

But with the introduction of Flow and granular deadlines, not to mention Expedite, using dates has become more complex.

If in one day you upload 1000 images with a 24 hour turnaround time, 2000 with a next morning turnaround, 500 with a 48 hour turnaround time, and 100 with a 30 minute turnaround — and then you expedite various images — you would end up with several output date folders. It can quickly get confusing.

So we’ve added the option to make upload date your folder. That means in the above scenario, you could get all of those images with different deadlines delivered to the same folder.

That should help make it easier to stay organized, especially if you’re automating workflows using FTP, our API, or an Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) integration.

By the way — did you know you can schedule automatic downloads from an AEM system, and have images delivered right back to AEM?

Ask your Customer Success Manager if you’re interested in automating workflows.