Part 5: HP Diagnostics 9.20 - Monitoring your mobile application, quickly and easily

Introduction

 

Now that we are all back from celebrating Independence Day (at least here in the United States), let’s move on to the fifth in a series of posts on HP Diagnostics 9.20, which was released about a month ago during HP Discover.  Each post talks about a specific new and/or enhanced feature or capability of this release of Diagnostics and how it will benefit you. 

 

The first four posts talked about new features, as follows:

 

Part 1: Java Thread State Analyzer

Part 2: .pdf export

Part 3: Dashboard Creator

Part 4: Thresholds and Alerts

 

 All of these new and/or enhanced features discussed how to increase your productivity and efficiency on a day-to-day basis, how they provide you more flexibility when monitoring applications, and how to increase collaboration amongst various groups of people, both within and outside of your organization.

 

This post will discuss a new feature called Web Client Monitoring, which is especially useful for those companies embracing mobility.  In other words, those companies with mobile business services (aka mobile applications) who want to make sure they are performing as expected.

 

 

Mobile applications: more complexity = harder to monitor, diagnose

 

While we all agree that mobility is HUGE, many people within organizations – after pushing a mobile app “live” - do not consider how that app will perform in the eyes of its users (regardless if those users are the company’s customers or their employees).  It is ESSENTIAL to know whether the people using your mobile app are having a good “experience” ; otherwise all that hard work and effort to develop, test, and market that app is for naught.  In addition, not only do you need to know if the people using your mobile application are having a bad experience, but you also need to be able to pinpoint where the problem is with the mobile app.

 

Here lies an interesting topic and that is the complexity of mobile applications.  Unlike traditional applications, mobile applications rely on a lot more variables, some of which are telcos/service providers, mobile devices, the operating systems on mobile devices, etc. – as shown in the very simple diagram below:

 

Picture1.png

 

 

HP Diagnostics 9.20 – helping pinpoint where the problem is with browser-based applications

 

Many a time, IT Operations points the finger at the application guys, telling them something is “wrong” with the app they developed – when something is amiss with a mobile business service.  The app guys spend hours upon hours investigating the problem and come to the conclusion “It can’t be the app.  Certainly the problem must be on the back end with the server, the database, etc.”  The “blame game” has started. 

 

Well no more with a new feature in HP Diagnostics called "Web Client Monitoring".

 

Generally speaking, what this feature does is monitor the “actual” browsing experience of the end user.  Sure, other products in the marketplace can approximate the end-user experience, but their measurement point is in the data center or the back-end – not the front-end or end-user experience. 

 

More specifically, what this feature does is allow you to collect end-to-end performance measurements for Web pages direct from a user’s browser.  Stated differently, it allows you to capture the total, server, AND CLIENT time as experienced by the user (browser), so that now you can quickly determine if the problem is with the front-end or app and not the back-end or supporting infrastructure supporting (or vice versa, of course!).  The following screenshot shows that the back-end is having the issue (and not the front end):

 

Picture4.png

 

 

Flexibility – monitoring on several parameters

 

Results may be organized by URL, browser type, or location.  In this screenshot above, it is being organized by location. The following screenshot shows how you can drill down – focusing on a specific browser (Mozilla, in this case) – and then look at particular URLs when using that particular browser:

 

Picture2.png

 

 

Furthermore, if you see a problem with the back end, you can drill down into server request details.  The following screenshot shows how the user was interested in server information around a particular URL and is getting information like server request latency, average CPU, throughput, etc.

 

Picture3.png

 

 

What does this mean for you?

 

As I’ve done in previous blog posts on Diagnostics 9.20, I’ve pointed out the benefits received as a result of the new and/or enhanced feature. For Web Client Monitoring, there are three benefits that prevail, the first being flexibility.  With the drilldown capabilities shown and talked about at the end of this post, you can certainly see how you have more ways of drilling into an issue associated with a browser-based application. 

 

Then there is “comprehensive” aspect.  No longer are you left guessing whether the issue might be related to the front end or the back end.   With a quick glance at a table, you can immediately identify where the problem is.  Which leads into the last benefit of this feature and that is enhanced productivity/efficiency.  No longer is time wasted with many people participating in the blame game.  Quickly and quite easily you can determine where the problem is, saving people lots of time investigating an issue that might not even be related to their domain of expertise.

 

And last, but certainly least, this particular feature is especially beneficial to those companies trying to embrace that new revenue channel called mobile; in the eyes of many analysts, mobile devices are basically point-of-sale devices and mobile applications are yet another way to reach people.  And if that mobile app is not behaving as expected, you need to be aware – using a great tool like HP Diagnostics - otherwise that mobile app will not generate the revenue it was expected to!

 

 

Conclusion

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post on how to better monitor your mobile applications and also my previous four posts.  Stay tuned for the sixth in this series, where I will discuss numerous GUI enhancements within HP Diagnostics.

 

 

Sonja Hickey

Senior Product Marketing Manager, HP BSM and APM

Sonja.hickey@hp.com

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About the Author
Sonja is a Product Marketing Manager for the HP Software Operations Center portfolio of products. She has 19 years of product marketing, pro...
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