@mjoshi These are excellent guidelines!
@mlarson In answer to your question about "what is replay":
When a deactivated workbook is activated, all tables that had been part of the workbook during the previous activation must be reconstituted. This includes active and hidden tables, as well as any temporary tables in your workbook, even if they are not part of the active table dataflows you see in the dataflow window. This reconstitution process is often called "replay", because Xcalar is replaying the steps you had initially taken to create these tables.
Here are a few more thoughts on how to keep workbook activation (replay) times shorter:
Instead of deactivating your workbook when moving on to another, you can pause the workbook instead. This will keep all tables in memory so that replay is very fast when you re-activate it. But be careful with this approach, because you will be consuming memory for those tables even though you're not actively using the workbook.
Before deactivating a session, drop any unnecessary tables, so that they don't have to be reconstituted when the workbook is reactivated. One option that I've found useful is to drop all temporary tables that Xcalar Design created on your behalf when you performed Profiles to visualize your data. Search for "profile" in the filter box of the Temporary tables list in the table menu, select those tables by clicking the checkmark, then click on the trash can to drop them. Note that if you happen to use the word "profile" in tables you created explicitly, those will be captured here as well. As a heavy user of the Profile feature, I find that removing temporary profile tables can reduce my workbook activation time by more than 50%!
A note on datasets: Deactivating a workbook does not automatically delete the datasets upon which the workbook depends. If the datasets are already there when you activate a workbook, the dataset import step does not have to be done as part of replay. However, if Xcalar has been restarted since you last used the workbook, the datasets may need to be imported as part of replay. This means that workbook activations following a Xcalar restart may take longer than usual.
Hope this helps!