Application performance management, or APM, is now a powerful tool and there are lots of vendors offering tons of choices of solutions. But it didn’t start out that way. How have APMs changed over time, and how can you pick from all of the available products and vendor solutions to choose from today?
APMs of Yesterday
The APM tools of the past were too hard to use, too expensive, and so slow that they were only useful during the development process.
When APMs first came out, it was a product that consumed so many computing resources that it was only used during the development phase. To use an APM during application use would have slowed the app down to the point of frustration on the part of the users. These APMs did no more than root cause diagnostics and a little business transaction management (BTM). The products were expensive and complicated to use. Additionally, there were way fewer vendors offering APM solutions, so shopping for the best features, price, etc. was not an issue.
APMs of Today
Just as applications have come light years in such a short time, APMs today are virtually unrecognisable from their older cousins. Modern APMs can be deployed quickly, are easy to manage, and are agent-less or use a lightweight agent, meaning these tools can be used even after the app is deployed and in use. APMs are now quite affordable and are often available as SaaS, making them even more cost effective.
There are also many new features to choose from, including analytical capabilities. Some APMs are capable of tracking multiple metrics across the app and are programmed with self-learning capabilities that allow them to predict an outage or performance issues that haven’t even happened yet by learning to assess correlations and anomalies. There are vendors offering cloud-based APMs, vendors providing licensed software solutions, and vendors that market their products both ways.
How to Choose the Right APM
Modern APMs can monitor applications across platforms and deliver metrics on user experiences among devices.
With such a wide selection of APMs, not all solutions are right for every app developer or situation. How can your organisation determine which APM solution is right for your environment?
First, consider what problems you are trying to solve with your APM. Are you working on speedier applications, or do you need to tweak the apps for a better user experience? Look for an APM that is designed to address the problems you’re working on.
What type of applications are you developing? There are solutions specifically designed to monitor and manage mobile apps, Web apps, and transactional apps, as well as those that are created to work across platforms, such as mobile to mainframe. Some APMs can even track the health of third party applications you are running on a cloud service.
Do you prefer an on premises solution (licensed software) or an SaaS model? A cloud-based solution is cheaper to get started, while an on premises solution can often pay for itself over time.
What level of technical knowledge and expertise do the workers have who will be using the APM? Some are designed to be easy to use and extremely intuitive for less advanced users, while others are developed with the tech savvy users in mind. Be sure the solution you choose is within the skill set of your app developers.
How quickly do you need to implement your APM? An on premises solution usually takes longer to set up and get started than an SaaS based APM. If you need fast implementation, be sure to select a product that offers this particular feature.
Are you ready to get started on your next application development project? Visit Glance to get started today.
Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.