AppDynamics Extends APM Coverage To Native Mobile Apps

AppDynamics, the company that helps monitor application performance issues typically on the server side, announced an upgrade today that adds performance monitoring to native mobile apps. The new functionality came out of Beta this morning.

As CEO Jyoti Bansal explained, they have been monitoring the server side of app interactions for some time. Any mobile app can invoke thousands of server calls. Up until now, AppDynamics software has kept an eye on the server and when there was a server side problem they flagged it and signaled the DevOps teams that there was an issue that required their attention.

But problems can happen anywhere on the path from the app to the phone to the network to the server and DevOps should have visibility into what’s happening at the app level on the phone. Research has shown that users have very little patience for slow apps and tend to leave bad reviews or abandon the app altogether if it’s too pokey–and they don’t really care about the reason.

The new functionality is part of the AppDynamics Real-User Monitoring product and includes four tools for developers and operations staff to track issues and behavior as they develop in mobile apps including Mobile Business Transaction Correlation for reviewing each step in the app usage process, Mobile Crash Analytics data to identify crashes, whether unique or recurring, Mobile Behavior Analytics to measure usage patterns inside an app and User Experience Management information to measure the impact of issues on an app user’s experience.

These all work in combination to give developers and operations insights into app usage behavior. The entire suite is available as of today, but if you try the free two-week trial of AppDynamics Real User Monitoring and continue using the limited free version after the full version trial is over, you will still continue to have access to the Mobile Crash Analytics piece for free. To get the other pieces, you would have to purchase the full version.

Bansal says in the latest release they have instrumented every interaction in the app, so that if there is a crash, developers can immediately see where the problem is and take steps to fix it. Of course in the highly competitive world of commercial apps, you need to fix it quickly or you could be left behind. But usability counts in apps developed strictly for enterprise users too. If there are performance issues in your custom app, users could abandon it for a familiar consumer alternative.

He says If there is a crash in the app they track the crash and capture a full dump and send it to developers automatically with an explanation of why the crash happened and how to fix it. Many times these crashes or slow-downs are happening because of the version of the app, the type of device or version of operating system and it’s hard to know what caused it without help.

AppDynamics has been around since 2008 and launched in 2010. It has raised about $200M in venture funding to date on a valuation in excess of $1B. Its most recent funding was $120M, which included $50M in debt financing in July.

There is a vibrant application performance management market consisting of older more traditional enterprise players like CA, BMC and Compuware and newer players like AppDynamics and New Relic. AppDynamics has grown substantially recently going from 200 to 575 employees in around 18 months, according to Bansal and they have over 1400 customers including Citrix, Expedia, large banks and large insurance companies (which he didn’t name).

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