Category: AppDynamics

Understanding your Customer Journeys in Salesforce with AppDynamics

The Problem

JDS Australia works with numerous customers who utilise the force.com platform as the primary interface for their end users (internal and external) to execute business critical services. The flexibility and extensibility of the component based Lightning framework has allowed businesses to customise the platform to meet their specific requirements.

However, many of these companies struggle to monitor, quantify or pinpoint the impact of performance in the Salesforce platform to their end users and ultimately their business. Furthermore, there is limited capability to provide detailed Salesforce information for root cause analysis (e.g. is the problem with a particular lightning component(s) vs core Salesforce platform vs multiple pages?).

The Solution

Using AppDynamics Real User Browser Monitoring (RUM) coupled with advanced JavaScript configuration, we have created a solution.

Unlike traditional methods involving logfile or API based monitoring; real user monitoring collects rich metrics from the end users’ perspective. JDS has also further integrated  additional custom code to identify AJAX requests and inject page names into the stream and provide business context and make sense of the data.

Dashboards provide Salesforce Performance at a glance

Additionally, AppDynamics RUM is able to identify and dynamically visualise each step of Customer Journeys as they traverse Salesforce, in near real time. 

Using the collated metrics these businesses have been able to proactively alert support teams of issues, and also utilise the historic data to analyse customer behaviour to understand how customers are using the platform. For example, expected user journeys vs actual user journeys.

AppDynamics RUM captures detailed diagnostic information to help triage issues, including:

  • Single Page Application performance
  • Page Component load details, 
  • AJAX requests, 
  • Detailed Error Snapshots
  • Dynamic Business Transaction Baselining (Normal vs Slow Performance)
  • User browser version and device type,
  • Geographic location of users,
  • Connection method (e.g. browser vs mobile), and device type. 

AppDynamics RUM can also provide direct correlation to AppDynamics APM agents to combine the ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end’ of these user sessions where Salesforce may traverse additional down-stream applications and infrastructure.

Why JDS?

As experts in Application Performance Management (APM) and Observability, JDS have extensive experience in helping our customers determine the root cause of performance issues.

Contact us at [email protected] to discuss how monitoring Salesforce can be used to understand your end users and make informed decisions with quantifiable metrics. 

What if your application was one second faster?

Why one second faster?

Improving your website performance will increase your business. But don’t take our word for it—there is plenty of evidence.

According to Kissmetrics:

  • 25% of consumers will abandon a website that takes more than four seconds to load
  • 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less
  • 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again
  • A one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
  • A one-second delay (or three seconds of waiting) decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%

So, what would performing one second faster mean for your web application or website? JDS is now offering a limited time promotion that will allow you to realise the maximum performance of your website or application. Over the course of five days, our experts will work with your team to analyse your web application and accelerate its performance for your customers.

 

What’s included?

  • Your own dedicated performance expert for five days (either on-site or off-site)
  • A technical deep dive of your web application, turning over every rock to understand how it can work faster and harder for your business
  • Best practice tips and techniques straight from the guys in the know
  • Experts fluent in everything from Java and .NET through to SAP and Oracle
  • A presentation and roadmap of the findings and recommendations found

Why JDS?

We are Australia’s leading performance test consultancy with 15 years of experience partnering with organisations of every size, from startups to large enterprises and governments. We have a reputation for being a key player in making Australian web applications exceptional. Want to get started? Reach out to a JDS team member, send an email to [email protected], or call 1300 780 432 to confidentially discuss your web application and how we can help.

We partner with leading technologies

Monitoring Atlassian Suite with AppDynamics

Millions of IT professionals use JIRA, Confluence, and Bitbucket daily as the backbone of their software lifecycle. These tools are critical to getting anything done in thousands of organisations. If you’re reading this, it’s safe to guess that’s the case for your organisation too!

Application monitoring is crucial when your business relies on good application performance. Just knowing that your application is running isn’t enough; you need assurance that it’s performing optimally. This is what a JDS client that runs in-house instances of JIRA, Confluence, and Bitbucket, recently found out.

This client, a major Australian bank, started to notice slowness with JIRA, but the standard infrastructure monitoring they were using was not providing enough insight to allow them to determine the root cause.

JDS was able to instrument their Atlassian products with AppDynamics APM agents to gain insights into the performance of the applications. After deployment of the Java Agents to the applications, AppDynamics automatically populated the topology map below, known as a Flow Map. This Flow Map shows the interactions for each application, accompanied by overall application and Business Transaction health, and metrics like load, response time, and errors.

After some investigation, we found the root cause of the JIRA slowness was some Memcached backends. Once we determined the root cause and resolved the issue, operational dashboards were created to help the Operations team monitor the Atlassian application suite. Below is a screenshot of a subsection of the dashboard showing Database Response Times, Cache Response Times, and Garbage Collection information.

An overview dashboard was also created to assist with monitoring across the suite. The Dashboard has been split out to show Slow, Very Slow, and Error percentages along with Average Response Times and Call Volumes for each application. Drilldowns were also added to take the user directly to the respective application Flow Map. Using these dashboards, they can, at a glance, check the overall application health for the Atlassian products. This has helped them improve the quality of service and user experience.

The bank’s JIRA users now suffer from far fewer slowdowns, particularly during morning peaks when many hurried story updates are taking place in time for stand-ups! The DevOps team is also able to get a heads-up from AppDynamics when slowness starts to occur, rather than when performance has fallen off a cliff.

So if you’re looking for more effective ways to monitor your Atlassian products, give our AppDynamics team a call. We can develop and implement a customised solution for your business to help ensure your applications run smoothly and at peak performance.

Our team on the case

Our AppDynamics stories

AppDynamics 4.4: Know and transform your business like never before

Having been partnered with AppDynamics for a few years now, we’ve seen the platform grow from a clever but geek-centric tool (that used a lot of Adobe Flash!) to one highly focused on allowing the business to gain insight into how the technology is driving every interaction and transaction with customers and the resulting relationship between technical and business performance. This has been critical to many organisations transforming and disrupting their way into the digital world. Meanwhile, with a couple of clicks, us techies can still dive deep into the diagnostic detail to work out where experiences need to be optimised.

The Winter ’17* release of AppDynamics, their first major one since becoming part of Cisco, builds even further on both of these Business and Technical aspects and brings to life a few golden features that we’ve seen being developed over the past couple of years. Plus, there are a few new gems that will make life easier for us JDS geeks who are tasked with setting up and running the iQ Platform.

*A slight misnomer for those of us in the far reaches of the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, and Indian Ocean.

Business Outcomes

Just about every company we work with that uses AppDynamics has a use case for understanding journeys through a business process. Online application forms, sales forms, online transfer forms, etc. Take for an example, one of your visits to eBay: you need to select the product (ok, products), add to cart, checkout, enter your PayPal details, confirm. Then tasks are sent off to various parts of eBay and the seller—shipping registration, inventory fulfilment. At some point, a person (or perhaps a drone!) needs to put a box on a truck and drive it (fly it?) to you.

Until now, AppDynamics has been able to monitor and measure a lot of these individual steps as “Business Transactions.” With Business iQ added, we were able to start to build Funnel charts to see steps in the user journey for web apps. With Transaction and Log Analytics, we were able to fill in a bit more of this picture by capturing common IDs, which allowed us to search for events related to a single activity. All of this was still a bit disparate, though, and required us to do some searching and manual analysis to get the end-to-end picture.

Enter AppDynamics Business Outcomes.

Business Outcomes is all about allowing you to join together events from across a full journey—from initiation to fulfilment of the ultimate outcome. By capturing business data across the application, user experience, transaction analytics, and log analytics components of AppDynamics, we can now track every interaction with the system—automated or user-interactive—related to an individual journey across the “Milestones” that represent each major step of the process. Business Outcomes also takes into consideration “offline” processes, such as underwriting.

Managing experience expectations with Experience Level Management (XLM)

AppDynamics is all about understanding the customer experience, and it helps you capture a wealth of data about this. The new XLM component of AppDynamics makes it easier for businesses to analyse that data and report on things like SLAs and KPIs. XLM is basically a new section of dashboards that are specifically aimed at understanding whether any numeric metric is performing to expectations. I say “metric” because, of course, this could be a technical metric like response time, but it could equally be a business metric like revenue.

The new dashboards allow you to use Business iQ (Analytics) data to report on whether those metrics are meeting expectations. For now, it just allows you to automatically calculate a daily measure of compliance, and then report on that compliance level periodically (e.g. weekly). You can also set exclusion periods to exclude times like out-of-business hours or maintenance periods, etc.

Growing and managing the AppDynamics Platform

Some of our clients have so many apps to monitor that they need multiple AppDynamics controllers. One has six already after only a year! Obviously, this can make it difficult to put related apps together so that Tag and Trace will work to tie together apps that talk to each other.

Enter the new Enterprise Console (EC), and Controller Federation.

EC is an evolution of the former Platform Admin tool which allowed deployment of the Event Service clusters. EC now has a web-based GUI interface (no VB or IP tracing here though), and it allows you deploy, monitor and upgrade the Event Service and Controller, including in a high-availability setup. This can be done both through the UI and CLI and can manage multiple “platforms”—the collective term for a set of Controller and Event Service nodes.

This is still in its early days, but it is a good step towards providing a single view across all the AppDynamics platforms and making upgrades and deployments more automated.

Now that you’ve got your platforms managed, what about having them become friends? Controller Federation, also known as Federated Friendships, will do just that. Until now, only applications that are monitored on the same controller could perform Tag and Trace to see how activity flows between different apps. But it wasn’t always convenient or possible to host apps on the same controller. Now, with CF, controllers can become aware of each other, allowing Tag and Trace to work across all apps in your organisation, and allowing for faster troubleshooting by following traffic and drilling down across multiple controllers. SSO support makes this seamless from a user’s perspective.

Network visibility

AppDynamics is great at telling us where issues lie in applications and gives us a lot of information about the server infrastructure context of the apps. But something we get asked by almost every client is: “Can AppDynamics tell us if the network is a problem?”

Until now, the answer has been “sort of.” We could tell if the app was OK, and we could tell if there was some slowness between when one node makes a call and the downstream node receives it, but we couldn’t really say if it’s the network, or the OS, the Load Balancer, Firewall etc. Our answer can now be: “yes.”

Network Visibility looks for network connections leaving/entering your monitored app, and analyses the low-level traffic using the Network Agent, then builds a picture of the network flow and performance into the Network Flow map. Thus, at a glance, you can tell whether issues are occurring within your apps, or if the network infrastructure is causing you grief.

Internet of Things (IoT)

What would a release of software from Cisco be without something about IoT?

IoT devices tend to be small, low powered, running many different flavours of open source or proprietary operating systems and application stacks, and are put in all sorts of weird and wonderful places. None of this is very conducive to running a Java or .Net monitoring agent and having network communications reporting metrics every minute.

To address this, AppDynamics has developed a new set of APIs and some associated SDKs for Java and C++. These allow an IoT software developer to send data about devices and their activity into the AppDynamics platform. This is quite similar in nature to the Mobile monitoring capability but requires manual instrumentation.

Now for the people who have to make it all work

There are a few smaller features that have been released which will make your life as the person who needs to implement and use AppDynamics a bit easier:

Expanded Universal Agent (UA)

There has clearly been a lot of work here since the UA was released in its infancy in 4.3 for Java on Linux only. It can now do Java on Linux and Windows, .Net, the Standalone Machine Agent and the Analytics agent. This means that instead of needing to install and manage individual agents, you can deploy the UA and then let AppDynamics grab the necessary agent files and configs for you—particularly neat for smaller customers who don’t have automation tools for deployment.

One thing in particular that we are looking forward to trying out is the ability to do Live Attach for Java apps. This means instead of needing to stop, reconfigure, and start Java apps to include the AppDynamics agent, the UA can instead identify a running Java process, and inject the agent into it while still running.

KPI Analyzer

A new tool that leverages machine learning to automatically determine which metrics are contributing to a performing system. For example, if response times are slow, the tool may determine if it was CPU, error rates, or memory saturation that contributed to the slowness. This is currently only available in the AppDynamics SaaS cloud for customers who have requested that it be enabled.

On-premise Synthetics agent

You can now host your own Synthetics robot so that you can run scripts from internal locations and/or against internal apps.

New Java framework support

For customers running Mulesoft or Tibco BW, or those running some of the latest clever asynchronous libraries, there is new support for automatic instrumentation here.

Custom dashboard improvements

The ability to format and control the design of widgets has been improved.

Rest APIs for Role-based Access Control (RBAC)

You can now use APIs to manage users and roles, making automation of this easier.

Simple Search

You can now bring up a search box to search across a controller, making it easy to find specific BTs, nodes, metrics, etc.

Analytics Agent Health view

For those using Business iQ and the Analytics Agents, you can now view the health and status of the analytics event pipeline.

Conclusion

The new release of AppDynamics will help businesses better keep track of the ways their customers are using applications, as well as the relationship between technical and business performance. Data and network visibility have been enhanced, cutting down a lot of manual processes for IT teams.

We’ll be following up with more on some of these features as we start to use them in the wild with our customers. Please do reach out to our team if you’re keen to know a bit more about the new AppDynamics release, and we will happily give you a demonstration and talk about how they will fit into your environment.

Our team on the case

JDS wins AppDynamics Partner Award

JDS Win AppDynamics 2016 Emerging Markets Partner of the Year Award

We are delighted to announce JDS have received the AppDynamics 2016 Emerging Markets Partner of the Year Award at AppSphere 2016 in Las Vegas on the 15th Of November. As a team, we are very proud of this award as it is the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of talented people at JDS.

John Bearsley, Managing Director of JDS said, “AppDynamics has stormed the market in the past few years as one of the leading next generation Application Performance Management Tools. We have seen first hand how it can transform the monitoring landscape for our customers providing them great visibility into the end user experience and the performance and availability of their business critical applications. AppDynamics is a vendor we are proud to support and we look forward to helping many more customers derive its significant benefits in the years to come”.
appd-awardv2

To see how JDS can help ensure it works with AppDynamics check out our AppDynamics Page.

 

Completing the APM picture with AppDynamics EUM

How are your customers really experiencing your apps right now? How is your business reputation, loyalty and revenue being affected by the world between your application servers and your customer? AppDynamics End User Monitoring (EUM) completes the APM picture by letting you See, Act on, and Know about your customers' real experiences in real time.

With EUM, AppDynamics extends the valuable insights it provides by tracing all the way out to the browser or mobile app giving complete end-to-end visibility for every customer experience.

Watch this session to learn:

  • Why you need to understand the full customer experience on top of what is happening in your data centre.
  • The customer experience metrics that matter most.
  • How AppDynamics EUM gives visibility of the complete picture from your customer's devices to and through your backend APIs and applications.
  • How EUM Synthetics further helps you to Know at all times that your apps are working at their best.

Discover exactly how your end users experience and engage with your applications.

Tech tips from JDS

AppDynamics


Analyse your digital business performance in real time

AppDynamics empowers today’s businesses with smart, adaptive tools to analyse digital business performance in real-time and in production. Their Application Intelligence Platform provides the ability to proactively manage the most complex software environments through real-time monitoring and insights with the ability to automate the resolution of problems.

A leader with vision

AppDynamics has been named a Leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for APM for four years and continues to secure wins against both traditional and newer APM companies with its broad, well-integrated "application intelligence platform". AppDynamics has also received the highest score in every APM use case in new Gartner research.

Why AppDynamics?


Auto discovery

Discover and monitor end-to-end business transaction performance


Deep code visibility

Monitor production apps at code-level depth with minimal overhead


Customer experience

Provide exceptional customer experience while gaining greater visibility


Smart alerts

Automated dynamic baselining and alerting


Broad coverage

Industry’s broadest coverage of languages and technologies

JDS capabilities with AppDynamics

Deliver great customer experiences

Our goal with APM is to help you deliver great experiences to your customers. Our AppDynamics experts are also performance experts, allowing us to leverage APM across your design, development, and testing lifecycle, as well as in production.

Get APM done right

Let our APM gurus guide you through APM strategy development, business value identification, and product selection, then have us deliver on that with implementation of the tool and induction into your teams.

Solve problems fast

AppDynamics provides great deep-dive diagnostics to tell you where problems are occurring. We can do the leg-work of interpreting this information and taking action to solve problems quickly.

Ensure it's working 24/7

Our capabilities go beyond implementation. Let us ensure AppDynamics is running smoothly for you. Have our monitoring experts provide you with proactive analysis and reporting so you can focus on delivery and execution.

Provide context to your data

JDS gives greater business context to your data by interpreting the wealth of AppDynamics data through proprietary business dashboards. Representation of key performance indicators simplifies and improves operational management.

Get a multi-disciplined approach

All of our consultants work in multiple fields that relate to APM, including performance testing, operations management, and service management. We take pride in our ability to 'ensure it works'—this is more than just installing a tool.

Why choose JDS?

JDS is a leading IT solutions provider and systems integrator, with expertise across industry-leading tools such as ServiceNow, Splunk, AppDynamics, Micro Focus, SAP, PagerDuty, CA Technologies, and more. We provide local, skilled, and responsive services to support IT projects and operations. Bringing together expert services, the latest technology, and best practices, JDS achieves improved IT outcomes for businesses. We do this by giving independent advice, providing training and ongoing support, and implementing IT testing, monitoring, and management solutions.

We have a team of certified and award-winning AppDynamics technical experts who are setting the standard for APM implementation and operation in Australia. Do more than just deploy a fancy tool—implement it right, get it integrated into your daily IT life, and have it deliver on everything it promises.

JDS certifications include:

  • AppDynamics Enablement Partner Programme (AEPP) approved: JDS is approved to deliver Technical Enablement and Training to customers
  • AppDynamics Enablement Subcontractor (AES) approved: JDS is currently the only Australian partner approved to perform subcontracted enablement work under AppDynamics’ paper
  • AppDynamics in Action for Java and .NET: JDS is proficient in the deep-dive configuration and use of AppDynamnics, particularly for Java and .NET
  • AppDynamics Java Application Mastery: JDS is proficient in configuring complex Java applications and environments where the automatic discovery/config features do not apply
  • AppDynamics Presales Engineer certified: JDS has proven technical capabilities in running and configuring AppDynamics

JDS received the AppDynamics 2016 Emerging Markets Partner of the Year Award at AppSphere 2016 in Las Vegas on the 15th Of November. As a team, we are very proud of this award as it is the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of talented people at JDS. Read more here.

 

Our AppDynamics stories