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I sat together with Stefan Frandl, Test Automation Lead in dynaTrace’s R&D Lab in Linz, Austria to discuss how dynaTrace does Continuous APM in Development. Obviously dynaTrace takes performance very seriously as we preach to our clients that Continuous Application Performance Management is a critical component across the Application Lifecycle. The earlier in the Lifecycle you manage and get your performance under control the less you have to worry about actual problems later on when you ship your product. In the discussion I had with Stefan he talked about how dynaTrace transitioned from traditional performance management to where we are now – which means: “eat our own dog food” and “live the dynaTrace Continuous APM message”. In this article we learn that it is not simply done by plugging in an APM Solution and all your performance problems are automatically detec... (more)

Using HTML5 Application Cache to Create Offline Web Applications

HTML5 introduces Application Cache, a new feature that enables you to make web apps and sites available offline. The new specification also provides an easy way to prefetch some or all of your web app's assets (HTML files, images, CSS, JavaScript, and so on) while the client is still online. During this caching process, files are stored in an application cache, where they sit ready for future offline use. Compare this to regular browser caching, in which pages that you visit are cached in the browser's cache based on server-side rules and client-side configuration. But-even if web pages are cached normally, this does not provide a reliable way for you to access pages while you're in offline mode (in an airplane, for example). In addition, an application cache can cache pages that have not been visited at all and are therefore typically unavailable in the regular br... (more)

dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.0 Released

With its latest release, dynaTrace updates its Product Suite for Deep Dive, Automated Cross-Browser Web Performance Optimization with two products: dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.0 is the free standalone tool that has been downloaded by 30k+ users so far supporting both Firefox (3.6, 4.0) and Internet Explorer (6, 7 & 8) dynaTrace Development Team Edition is the Premium Upgrade and provides extended automation, end-to-end performance and automated regression analysis for modern Web 2.0 Applications In this first part of the series I focus on the capabilities that support web developers and testers on their local workstation when analyzing performance or problems in Internet Explorer and Firefox. A second part will cover the benefits of the Premium Upgrade for Agile Development Teams when automating performance and regression analysis. dynaTrace AJAX Edition 3.0 – Capabiliti... (more)

Don’t Trust Your Log Files | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Don’t Trust Your Log Files: How and Why to Monitor All Exceptions I would say that only one out of a million exceptions thrown in an application actually makes it to a log file - unless you run your application in verbose logging mode - Do you agree? No? Here is why I think that is: because most exceptions are handled by your code or by the frameworks your app uses. Here is a chart from an enterprise application showing that there are about 4000x more custom application exception objects thrown than important log messages written: 4000 times more Exceptions than log messages: Can they be ignored? What's their impact? Why worry about these exceptions that nobody cares to write to a log file? Two reasons: They are typically thrown for a good reason and therefore indicate a problem, e.g., configuration issues in frameworks or runtime problems Every Exception object ... (more)

JavaOne 2009: Open Source Project Stonehenge

Microsoft and Sun recently announced their Open Source Project Stonehenge at the JavaOne conference. Stonehenge is a reference implementation that shows how to bridge the two major development platforms Java and .NET using Web Services. This initiative definitely puts the spotlight on heterogeneity and the challenges that come with it. Interoperability on the platform level is just the starting point of bridging the two worlds. It leads to further challenges down the road and several questions that come with it: Who needs interoperability? How does it affect team productivity? Is it all about application stacks? How effective can we diagnose problems? How to calculate TCO 1 + 1 = 2 or 3? Who needs interoperability? There are different use cases where companies need to think about interoperability Integrating different systems implemented on different platforms, e.g.: ... (more)

Identify Performance Bottlenecks in Your BizTalk Environment

In Part I of this series I gave a general overview of BizTalk - the components that are involved in message processing and talked about how BizTalk specific performance counters can help spotting problematic areas. In this post we go beyond performance counters (even though we still need them) and take a deep-dive into adapters and pipelines. Step 2: Analyzing BizTalk Adapters On the incoming or receiving side of BizTalk – Adapters receive artifacts, e.g.: the File Adapter reads files from disk that get put into and processed by the receiving pipeline. On the outgoing or sending side of BizTalk – Adapters send artifacts, e.g.: by calling a Web Service via SOAP. BizTalk comes with the several out-of-the-box adapters - such as File, HTTP, SOAP, SQL, SNMP, SMTP, FTP, POP3, SharePoint, …. Additional to these BizTalk can be extended with custom Adapters. The default adapte... (more)

Identify Performance Bottlenecks in Your BizTalk Environment - Part 3

In my last two articles I wrote about how to Use BizTalk Performance Counters and how to Analyze Adapter and Pipeline Performance. In this final article I focus on Orchestration and calling external services. Step 4: Analyzing Orchestration Orchestrations can be as simple as reading a file from a file system, transforming it and writing it out to a different file. They can also be much more complex such as calling external web services depending on certain conditions in the incoming messages, taking the response of these services and calling other services or writing a transformed version of the response to a file or the database. The following screenshot shows a rather simple Orchestration taken from one of the examples that ships with BizTalk: Orchestration Example showing a message flow including a call to an external service The process starts by receiving a file... (more)

Architecting Success: A Comprehensive SaaS Solution

In 2005, our company, ServusXchange LLC, was a fledgling SaaS information technology startup focused on business process and workflow collaboration solutions. Led by our co-founder, Brian Javeline, we identified an emerging opportunity, an unanswered need in the home remodeling and repair industry: contractors, who don't typically spend a lot of time in an office, needed a better way to do business. We felt we could engineer a comprehensive SaaS solution that would allow contractors to both streamline their business operations and improve interaction with customers, subcontractors, and vendors. By finding and leveraging the right commercial controls, we were able to successfully complete the project on time and on budget. The Challenge Contractors generally aren't at the same location every day; they're on the move, going from job site to job site, or meeting with c... (more)

Web Performance Optimization Use Cases

Web Performance Optimization (WPO) constitutes of a set of activities targeted at improving the performance of web applications. First coined by Steve Souders WPO is developing into a growing industry. Every month new companies and projects offering web performance services emerge. WPO is much more than performance analysis; however, performance analysis is a central part in WPO activities as you must first have the data to decide what you are targeting and even more important to create a business case for web performance in your organization. Getting started with WPO is really easy and you do not need a big budget. There are numerous free tools on the market that will be of great help. I will focus on how to use dynaTrace Ajax Edition – a free tool for web performance analysis – but you can also use YSlow, PageSpeed or one of the other numerous services out there. ... (more)

100 Years in the Movies: One Evening’s Web Performance

Both Paramount and Universal celebrated their 100th anniversary last year, which is a long time to be in the movie business. Arguably, both have made some good, some great, and some bad movies. But, during this year's Super Bowl, Paramount showed Universal how to design a ‘fast and furious' web site that stood up to the flood of visitors during and after the game. This article will discuss not only how Paramount was able to do it, but will also compare Universal and Paramount's Super Bowl web site results, which shines a light on key factors for successful web performance: fewer connections to fewer hosts requesting smaller objects produces a smaller page size having a positive impact on page response time. To begin, Universal and Paramount are near equals when it comes to their web age. Jumping over to http://web.archive.org, I found Paramount launched its first si... (more)

Introducing a New Look for Traces

Our fundamental unit of performance data is the trace, an incredibly rich view into the performance of an individual request moving through your web application. Given all this data and the diversity of the contents of any individual trace, it’s important to have an interface for understanding what exactly was going on when a request was served. How did it get handled? What parts were slow, and what parts were anomalous? Over the past year, the TraceView team has been listening to your thoughts on this topic as well as hatching some of our own. Today we get to share the fruit of our labors: Trace Details, redesigned. RUM, meet trace details. Trace details and RUM are old friends, so it’s no surprise they’re here together now.  But there are a few details that might be surprising to you: Using full-page caching (eg. Varnish, WP Super Cache, …)?  Now you can measure ... (more)