Your business can live or die based on the performance of the applications through which your customers access it. For a large company, downtime can mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Problems arising that make your application unusable could push away new customers who must instead move towards solutions who have stayed on top of their problems.
Application Performance Management (APM) is the way in which companies detect and deal with problems that arise. As it is a broad term, there are a number of complementary methodologies that find themselves under the APM banner.
The APM Framework
In order to help companies decide how to best organize and prioritize their APM efforts, Gartner Research outlines five aspects of APM. They are listed below in the order of most importance, as ranked by APM expert Larry Dragich
- End-user experience - Larry puts this at the top of the list, estimating that 80% of the value from APM comes in the form of End-User Experience Monitoring. EUEM is about tracking the paths that users take in order to ensure that there are no slowdowns or bugs negatively affecting their experience.
- Runtime application architecture - This is about monitoring the up and down performance of all of the nodes and servers that make up an application. It allows you to detect performance issues, as well as estimate the performance impact of changes to the system.
- Business transaction - An application may have 100s of different transaction types that make it difficult for even the best monitoring software to keep track of. By dividing those types into common categories, the workload is made easier for the software, and the humans interpreting it.
- Deep dive component monitoring - Things are getting more specific now as you track the performance of every piece of your application's pipeline as an individual component, in addition to the tests tracking the application as a whole.
- Analytics/reporting - The analytics and reporting stage is about collecting detailed statistics regarding how your application is used. Much of this will be unique to the application itself.
Proactive (Synthetic) Monitoring
In the world of end-user experience monitoring, there are two approaches. Proactive monitoring is also referred to as synthetic monitoring or active monitoring. The alternative is passive monitoring, where you track the experience of actual users and wait to identify problems that way. This passive approach is useful for finding problems that crop up from the unique ways that users may interact with your application, but it leaves you with no hope of discovering a problem until someone has already experienced it.
Synthetic monitoring sets up a series of automated tests that are repeatedly performed throughout the day. These tests mimic user behaviour through an application. By utilizing synthetic monitoring, you can help to catch problems before any real person has been affected by them and get them resolved quickly.
What's New in APM?
Our product, 2 Steps, allows you to take your end-user experience monitoring to places that it could never go before. Most notably, it allows you free it from the restrictions of running only in web browsers, or only with applications for which you have source code access. 2 Steps instead allows you to run your automated testing on any platform, using the exact same methods that an end-user would, maximizing both the utility and the practicality of the tests that you'll be performing.
Best of all, it does this in the most human-friendly way possible. Setting up the tests is as easy as recording yourself performing them just as an end-user would. This means that you do not need to have any coding experience to set up automated testing with 2 Steps. The available video replays for issues that crop up also allow you to show anyone, in a way that everyone can understand, what problems have arisen.
We would love the opportunity to show you how unique, and powerful, our system is. If you are looking for an automated testing solution for your business, please contact us to set up a free trial of 2 Steps.