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Best Practices for Siebel Email Response Tuning

Using your hardware resources optimally, and configuring your system appropriately, can help you to achieve your performance goals. You should consider your resources and requirements carefully, and test and monitor system performance on a continual basis.

Review information presented in Siebel Email Response Administration Guide, Siebel Communications Server Administration Guide, Siebel Smart Answer Administration Guide, relevant third-party documentation, and other sources.

Configuring CommInboundRcvr Threads

Each CommInboundRcvr task runs multiple threads to process inbound email. To determine the number of threads, set the parameters MinThreads and MaxThreads. If extra CPU capacity exists on a given server machine, you can run more threads for each applicable CommInboundRcvr task.

Managing Email Processing Directories

By default, CommInboundRcvr temporarily writes the content of inbound email messages into subdirectories of the Siebel Server installation directory, until the messages can be processed by the applicable response group and workflow process.

You can use parameters for the Internet SMTP/POP3 Server communications driver to specify alternative directory locations for incoming email, processed email, sent email, and email messages representing certain other processing statuses. You can also set certain driver parameters to specify whether to save or delete processed email messages, for example.

  • You must consider the resource requirements for temporary email processing directories when you set up your system.
  • Do not delete messages from incoming or queued email directories. Email messages written to processed or sent directories may subsequently be deleted or saved, according to your needs.
  • Because of the frequency by which CommInboundRcvr processing writes to temporary email processing directories, the disk should be defragmented regularly.

For more information about email processing directories, see Siebel Communications Server Administration Guide and Siebel Email Response Administration Guide.

Reviewing Performance Impact of Activity Creation

For each email work item, an activity record is created in the S_EVT_ACT table and related tables.

Attachments to such activity records, for inbound and outbound messages, are stored in the Siebel File System.

As you plan your deployment, you must consider how such records are created and managed, review the indexing and layout of applicable database tables, and review the performance impact of generating activity records.

In addition, you must consider the resource requirements for the Siebel File System for storing activity attachments.

The FSMSrvr server component should generally run on the same Siebel Server machines where you are running CommInboundRcvr and CommOutboundMgr.

NOTE:  Because of the frequency by which Siebel Email Response processing writes to the Siebel File System, the disk should be defragmented regularly.

For more information about activity attachments stored for inbound email, see Siebel Communications Server Administration Guide and Siebel Email Response Administration Guide.

Configuring Logging for Siebel Email Response

Logging data may be analyzed as part of performance monitoring or tuning, as described in Monitoring Siebel Application Performance with Siebel ARM.

Higher levels of logging provide more data to help you resolve system errors or performance issues; this is appropriate for system testing. For production systems, however, logging levels should be reduced to improve performance.

An applicable parameter for the Internet SMTP/POP3 Server communications driver is LogDebug. For details, see Siebel Communications Server Administration Guide.

Applicable event log levels for Siebel Email Response include those for task execution, workflow step execution, workflow process execution, and workflow performance.

Performance for Siebel Smart Answer

Siebel Smart Answer analyzes the content of email and search requests and returns an automatic response or suggests one or more responses to the user for approval. Smart Answer has an internal AI (artificial intelligence) engine that reads inbound message content and determines the nature (category) of the message.

Key performance factors to consider are the following:

  • Complexity of the inbound message. If inbound messages are complex or large in size, then Smart Answer will have to process more text. This will impact Smart Answer performance. Therefore, if the format of inbound messages is subject to your control, consider that smaller or simpler messages will allow Smart Answer to perform better.
  • The number of categories in the knowledge base (KB) file. As the number of categories increases, Smart Answer has to look through more data to determine a category. It is recommended to keep a reasonable number of categories in the KB file.
  • Whether Smart Answer runs in standalone or master/slave mode. Smart Answer supports a multiserver mode where several instances of Smart Answer can be running at the same time across multiple servers. However, one node is designated as a master node that "learns" from the email it reads and provides feedback to the KB. Smart Answer in slave mode, however, simply processes the email messages without providing feedback to the KB.
  • Number of Smart Answer instances. By default, MaxMTServers is set to 1, which should be enough for most deployments.
  • Placement of Smart Answer relative to CommInboundRcvr or CommInboundProcessor. Both Smart Answer and CommInboundRcvr or CommInboundProcessor process the text of inbound email messages, and both take up significant server resources. Therefore, as inbound email volume, the number of categories, or the complexity of inbound messages increases, you may want to consider running CommInboundRcvr, CommInboundProcessor, and Smart Answer on separate physical servers.

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