APM: all you need to know about Application Performance Management tools

APMs or Application Performance Management are tools for monitoring and managing the performance of an application through data collection. Find out everything you need to know about it.

For a developer, it is very important monitor and optimize the performance of an application. This can be done using Application Performance Management tools.

APM or Application Performance Management: what is it?

apm definition

The acronym APM refers to the term Application Performance Management.t. This term can refer to any solution that manages or monitors the performance of computer code, applications, transaction time or user experience.

In reality, we can distinguish three main types of APM tools. Tools based on “App Metrics” allow for example to find out how many requests an application receives and which URLs may be slow. However, they cannot reveal why.

To do this, you’ll have to turn to the ” Code Level ” tools such as Stackify Retrace, New Relic, AppDynamics, and Dynatrace which rely on code profiling and transaction tracing. Finally, network-based tools measure application performance based on network traffic. This third category is also sometimes referred to as “NPM” tools.

Through code profiling and various data collection techniques, application performance monitoring tools can provide detailed transaction tracking. More than simply monitoring and measuring application performance, APM tools can understand what factors impact performance.

Using these tools, developers can identify which database query or web query to identify are affected by a performance issue. APM solutions can be used to track application usage to understand traffic spikes, detect slowdowns or problems connecting application dependencies, identify slow SQL queries, or find the slowest or largest transactions and web pages.

APM or Application Performance Management: the essential functionalities

apm functionalities

APM tools are mainly data-based. However, it is also the need to be able to obtain actionable insights… from this data to be able to identify what is causing problems within the application. In fact, there are a number of essential features that APM solutions must offer.

In the first instance, NPAs must allow to measure the performance of all web requests and transactions in your application to determine which queries are the most accessed, slowest, and those that need improvement.

In addition, it is important that an APM tool help to understand why an application is slow or has bugs and errors. In order to do so, it must be possible to perform code profiling.

In addition, these solutions should make it possible to monitor the use and performance of all dependencies applications such as databases, caching and web services. Indeed, a slowdown within an application is often related to a traffic peak or application dependency. For example, it could be a particular SQL query that is slow, a failed SQL database server, or an external HTTP web service problem.

It is also essential that an APM tool allows to keep a detailed record of each web request or individual transaction. This makes it possible to know exactly what is going on in the code and how this affects users.

NPAs should also monitor the servers and the various components such as CPU or memory. For good reason, these elements can cause application problems. If you find that your web application is consuming too many CPU resources, it is time to auto-scale your application on the Cloud.

However, application metrics are even more valuable for developers. Developers need to be able to monitor metrics such as queuing requests, transaction volume, page load times and more. A good APM tool should also allow you to create and monitor your own custom metrics based on your business.

Developers must also be able to access log data through a centralized solution as a log management product. Fortunately, log management is a feature included in some APM solutions, although it is still too rare.

The best APM systems also offer tracking, reporting and error alert features for developers. This makes it possible to find and correct errors before a user of the application encounters them.

Finally, an appreciable functionality and real user monitoring (RUM) which also allows for monitoring application performance on the customer side. For example, RUM will allow you to monitor how long it takes your browser to fully load a web page and display it. Indeed, a simple JavaScript error or a slightly too slow JavaScript file loading can have unfortunate consequences on the application.

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