AppDynamics Update Helps Track Business Transaction From User To Server

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In a week when a major retail website went down under the pressure of Cyber Monday, AppDynamics, a company that helps monitor apps and websites in order to prevent those types of outages (or at least understand why they happened and recover as quickly as possible) announced a major update today.

The latest version helps identify those big problems that take down a website, but also see much smaller ones that can have a negative impact on the collective or individual experience while using an app or website.

In particular, it’s supposed to help customers surface patterns like multiple people having an issue with the shopping cart on an eCommerce site, or following an individual customer through what the company calls a ‘digital journey’, as he or she uses a mobile app or visits the company website. The goal is to help identify performance problems wherever they occur along the way.

If the person is having an issue and talking to customer service, the CSR (assuming they are connected to AppDynamics) should be able to see exactly where the bottleneck is and help the customer resolve the problem. Most companies currently lack this big picture view of the customer journey.

The new version also adds a new wrinkle to synthetic monitoring, which is the bread and butter of applications performance monitoring. Instead of just looking at how the application or website is performing, it also gives insight into the underlying infrastructure to see if the issue is in the server, the memory, the CPU and so forth.

AppDynamics monitoring screen example.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of AppDynamics


This is the kind of information that IT requires when the website is crashing under traffic pressure, and they need to find the root of the problem quickly.

The final major piece of today’s announcement involves the data and analytics underlying all of this monitoring and the ability to view information about the entire picture from the front-end interaction with the customer all the way to the underlying infrastructure running your website or app.

The entire package is designed to give you a soup-to-nuts view of what’s happening within your app or website at any given time, but with so much data there is the danger of information overload here, making it hard to track down the exact nature of the issue when that Cyber Monday-type crash happens.

That is not a problem unique to AppDynamics in the monitoring department by any means. It’s an issue with any monitoring tool, but the true test of a product like this will be how it works to track and fix the problem in the heat of that crash moment.

Investors seem to have confidence that it will. AppDynamics has received almost $365 million funding to-date including $158 million at a $1.9 billion valuation, the company announced just last night.

Rivals include traditional enterprise vendors like IBM and Dynatrace, along with more recent entries like New Relic, which went public last year.

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