“Chamber of Secrets” to Open on Pottermore “Sometime This Summer”


Jun 11, 2012

Posted by Mel

We’ve been getting pretty regular updates on how Pottermore is progressing with “Chamber of Secrets,” but now, thanks to Pottermore’s chief technical officer, Julian Thomas, we know that “Chamber of Secrets” will open “sometime this summer.” Thomas also mentioned that “some Far Eastern languages” would be added so that more people will be able to enjoy Pottermore.

Additionally, Thomas spoke to the downtime that plagued Pottermore when it originally opened to beta testing:

Pottermore was announced to great fanfare in June. But the challenges mounted shortly after the site was launched its beta test version in July. The beta testers were let in a bit at a time, and was capped at a million people.

Still, “we found when we opened up to the world that the architecture wasn’t enough to accommodate the massive demand,” said Julian Thomas, Pottermore’s chief technical officer.

The site, which had originally been thought of as primarily a way to deliver Rowling’s new content, originally ran on Windows Server and SQL Server. But as the concept developed, more rich, interactive content was added.

When the beta version launched, and hundreds of thousands of people wanted in — especially at peak times such as when new content was added — some of the rich features had to be turned off in order to keep the website working, Thomas said.

The Pottermore techies quickly realized that they would need a way of scaling up to accommodate a huge worldwide audience, as well as a way to more flexibly handle peaks of demand.

Because of those technical challenges, the site, which was generally expected to go live in October, didn’t then.

When Thomas started working at Pottermore in November, “I knew we needed something quick. Expectations were already not being met,” he said. “I realized the cloud was the solution>”

He looked at a number of cloud providers but decided on Microsoft’s Azure for its capability and since Pottermore had already been using the company’s services.

Pottermore launched to the public on Azure in April. Within two weeks, it had a billion page impressions. Nearly 3 million people have registered on the site and been “sorted” into Hogwart’s four houses. Including the beta testers, the site has had about 10 million unique visitors, Thomas said.

You can read more of the article here.

28 Responses to “Chamber of Secrets” to Open on Pottermore “Sometime This Summer”

Avatar Imagekattyjaxx says: already lost interest. should have had more than one book when the site opened up to the rest of us...disappointedAvatar Imageamelia 1-2-3- says: 2nd!!!!Avatar Imageamelia 1-2-3- says: 2nd!Avatar Imagemolly43 says: Grea,t I'm looking forward to COS opening. Avatar Imageknitster says: I agree with katty. They should have had, at the least, COS done by the time they had opened to everyone. The wait between books just seems like it will continue to grow with each book. And there isn't a lot of stuff to keep one entertained in between. It's kind of disappointing. Avatar Imageknitster says: I suppose it is if you're extremely patient and don't get caught up in the excitement of trying to do everything on the site in one sitting. I guess that may be where I went wrong and why I'm bored. I'm extremely impatient.Avatar Imageeikind says: Oh, the waiting... I wonder how long people have to wait when/if they ever get to work on the BIGGER books in the series. The whole website is, as of now, totally useless. Flash animations that make my (quite new) computer lag like heck (and even crash due to exessive cpu usage), background noise with no volume controls or off option, no choice of own usernames, comments being moderated for days before maybe being posted, a user interface that requires a bleeding map and a compass... You know, Elodie, I wouldn't bother if I were you. The Leaky is a much better community website. Pottermore just isn't worth the waiting. I'm sorry that I'm being so negative towards Pottermore, but, seriously, how long do they expect people to sit around and wait for absolutely nothing?Avatar Imagemoglet says: The good thing about Pottermore is the extra content, I quite enjoyed exploring when I was first on there, but I'd definitely say to take your time working through Philosopher's stone because unless you enjoy making potions (which I find difficult) or duelling there is nothing else to do....well, I have spent a little time looking at the fan art on there, some of which is very good.Avatar Imageroonwit says: eikind: I am sure I noticed a sound on/off button at the bottom of the page.Avatar Imageselenialovegood says: I think it's good, not excellent, I was expecting more. Hopefully they won't dissapoint this time and the next books. I find the fanforum far more entertaining and social.Avatar Imageratorr2 says: That's good to hear! I had a feeling it would be soon. I'm looking forward to exploring Book 2.Avatar ImageG.Weasley says: Well it's a good thing that summer is close by. If this opens right after my school ends then it's going to be a perfect summer vacation present. I'll probably spend hours on end on Pottermore.Avatar ImageEeyore says: I'm looking forward to Chamber of Secrets. My expectations of Pottermore were different than what it's turned out to be. I had hoped it would be a place where we could get the extra content - and that part is really good - and a place where Potter fans could interact. That's the disappointing part. I've quit commenting as anything I said was in moderation. It's impossible to have a conversation so, to me, it's not worth the effort. There's no way to directly answer a question that someone has. I've gotten better at potions, but I don't do it very much any more. I'm still horrid at dueling, so I don't do it at all. And that is about all there is once you have read through all the chapters and extra content. There's not enough that's interactive to make me want to go there every day. I did when I was first on last fall. There was a certain challenge in getting things to work and I still read the comments. I think it really helped when the sounds were added and I think there is an on-off button, but if it really bothers you, turn off the sound on your computer. That's a problem that's easily solved. Personally, I do think Pottermore is worth it. But don't expect it to be some place where you can go and have big conversations with people like you can here. Even if the rules weren't so strict in the effort to protect children, it's really hard to connect when there are over 700,000 in just your house. It's interesting that there have been over 10 million unique visitors, but I wonder how many are return visitors. Maybe they should figure out how to keep people coming back instead of just visiting once. FeatherPixie80 (I like my Pottermore name and even drew an avatar to go with it, but there is no way to even post it in my own pictures - another thing they should consider, imo.)Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: I am afraid Pottermore has been shown to be Potterless!Avatar ImageHermioneGrangerrules says: i for one LOVE pottermore i finished in the 1st 2 weeks but i still don't have all the hidden things so i enjoy trying to find what i missedAvatar ImageGrindylow_101 says: I bet CoS is out on Harry's and JKR's birthday! I think pottermore is great only they should add something new every so often. I don't see what people are so dissapointed about, Iit's meant oto be a reading experince not a virtual world. alithough that would be pretty cool.....we could grow up in the wizard world and have jobs at the ministry....Avatar ImageRavenclaw78 says: On one hand, I LOVE the *idea* of Pottermore. But, after 2 weeks in, I was bored & had no desire to come back. Oh, admittedly, I'll pop on every once in a while for a duel or make a potion if I'm exceedingly bored that day but for the most part there just isn't anything to keep me coming back. Being one of the lucky ones (and I don't mean that ironicly - I really do feel lucky) to get in during the beta period though the thought of a second book and the insane amount of traffic the site will have then, I can't help but be paranoid about crashes. That said, Pottermore is FREE so really, we (read = I) have no reason to complain. There are certianly things I'm looking forward to - for instance, if potions & dueling were opened to us in the first book, will other game-like features be added in the second book? Avatar ImageRin68nyr says: It wouldn't be worth it if you had to pay for it...but you don't and some of the content is really good...I LOVE the McGonagal back story! It's worth a shot...if you don't like it, don't get back on!Avatar ImageSwordProphecy4123 says: If you want everything right now Pottermore is not for you, but if you love everything about Harry Potter it is definitely for you. Learning the spells, and dueling with others, and making potions are great. @Grindylow_101 is right, this isn't a virtual world. I've been at Pottermore since April 2012 and I'm glad they haven't had all the books finished because it actually gives me something to look forward to.Avatar Imagejordanricke says: I wish they would work on more than one book at a time!!! I think by the time they get to the later books it will be months or maybe a year in between books!....the earlier books only have 20 or so chapters....the later books have 30-40....they need to learn how to be fast on releasing or they will lose a lot of people...Avatar ImageCatrinJane says: People, relax...You say you're disappointed now...but imagine what I'd be like if they posted all the content and all the books at the same time...you'd have explored them in just a few days and you'd have said yet again "oh, I'm bored!"...come on, have a little patience! Remember how much we waited for the books when they were coming out, remember the excitement??...now it's the same, so just enjoy the feeling of "unexpected new stuff" and let pottermore be! :)))Avatar Imagepurplehogwarts says: I love the extra content Pottermore provides. I wish we could access the books sooner...but we have to learn to be patient. Hopefully when it gets to bigger books they will release chapters as they become complete instead of waiting for the whole book to be complete before release. That would make more sense to me anyway....Avatar Imagepurplehogwarts says: Ravenclaw78, I really hope other interactive game-like features will be added with new books. Guess we will just have to wait and see!Avatar ImageRavenclaw78 says: @PurleHogwarts - It would be nice to have a reason to come back to the site. Here's hoping! @CatrinJane - I agree with you. It would be nice if they had some sort of time table to share with us. I know the first one took a while to get all of the kinks worked out, but it would be nice if they said every x months, we're going to release a new book. Even if it was every 4 months, that would still drag it out for a while but not be SO long in between that we lose interest. I love the extra content (wish there was more!) & it gives HP fans a much-needed Harry Potter fix. Avatar ImageStrikeWing17971 says: There is still that "locked" symbol on the upper left hand side. I for one am betting that it's Hogsmeade, and won't be open until POA comes out. You will navigate it just like Diagon Ally, probably. Avatar ImageGinny1212 says: I think that pottermore was a very brilliant idea, it was more that what I expected. I was not expecting something like this... I never get bored of making potions, duelling, and finding more objects. Right now especialy, I go on alot, because the house cup will be awarded on july 5th, and I really want my house to win! I cant wait for the chamber of secrets!Avatar Imagehogwarts-is-my-home says: I mostly look forward to the new writing from Jo!

Write a Reply or Comment

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.