Under the Covers: Architecture at AnandTech and the Performance of ASP.NETby Jason Clark on November 27, 2004 12:10 AM EST
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- IT Computing
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Our bread and butter is up nextWe're an online publication. It's no secret that advertising is what keeps AnandTech running, so this was the next critical piece of our migration. For years, we've been using FuseAds, which is a ColdFusion based ad serving software package. Since we were moving to a completely ASP.NET backend, we now had to be able to track our advertising within our new architecture.
We decided to split up our ad tracking routines into essentially "ad display" and "ad track" applications. Our display functionality selects the right ad for the portion of the site that the user is on, and the tracking software keeps track of how many times an ad was viewed and clicked on. It might seem simple at first glance, but we built these applications for enterprise load. The tracking software runs in memory and dumps to the RDBS every x minutes (configurable), and dynamically tracks the weight of each banner, if a banner is being weighed over a certain period of time. We had some help on our ad tracking system from a good friend of ours, Dominic Plouffe. He was the lead engineer on the old ColdFusion based FuseAds.
Next up was some new functionality that the sales folks required. We were requested to add in the ability to Geo-Target ads, which allows ads to be delivered to different geographic regions. To solve this, we used MaxMind for our geo-targeting needs, by accessing their COM object to deliver these ads.
At the same time that we wrote the new ad framework, we updated the admin interface to our ad software using ColdFusion. Yes, we still use ColdFusion here. ColdFusion's strength is in building form-based interfaces to data, and reporting on that data. Nothing that we've seen compares to ColdFusion in this aspect of web development. ColdFusion still runs the form based administration of the AnandTech website, and probably will for some time to come.