Monday, 16 January 2017

Why do you need to monitor Business/Application Transaction data?

A good Application Performance Management(APM) tool will give you a LOT of useful information about the workload in your environment. It’ll also present the data in a way that allows various teams to talk in the same language.  

So it will help define what a user transaction is, and where that transaction spends it’s time.

A user action = A transaction
     Log on, Search, Add to Basket, Checkout, Payment = 5 transactions

So what are the benefits, difficulties and issues to avoid when using APM? 

Benefits

     Common language
     Service based
     Defined SLAs
     Real workload volumes (Planning benefits)

Usual Difficulties

     No tool capturing this data (see my recommendation at the end of this blog)
     No access to the data held (Typically controlled by Operations)
     No import facility to capacity tool

Avoid
     Exporting data from both tools into Excel and manually cutting and pasting to get combined reports

This is data that is traditionally hard to get hold of.  Either it’s simply not collected, or it’s fragmented and hidden by teams who don’t want to lose control of “their toy”.  And quite often it’s not been designed with the intention of combining its data with something else, like a capacity tool.

If you get or have an APM tool running the last thing you want to do is spend time exporting everything into excel to combine the data.  (88% of spread sheets have errors). 

My recommendation, if you haven't got an APM tool currently, is to take a look at SharePath - it monitors in real time and provides you with the real user experience(not synthetic) 

Also don't forget to register for Dale's 'Performance Management made easy webinar, which examines the problems solved by application performance management (APM) tools, shows how efforts to monitor and troubleshoot complex applications without good visibility can be very tedious and time consuming, and describes different methods that APM tools use to obtain data and compares and contrasts the different approaches.

Phil Bell
Consultant