Make apps more effective with application performance monitoring l Adservio

Application failures can disrupt business processes and encourage users to try competing products. Learn how application performance monitoring can help.

Digital Quality
12 min
Digital Quality
Make apps more effective with application performance monitoring l Adservio

Application performance matters regardless of the kind of apps you develop. Business applications need to meet high standards to streamline business processes and automate repetitive tasks. Mobile and web applications need to function quickly with as few interruptions as possible to keep users coming back.

Application performance monitoring (APM) and observability help ensure that end users have positive experiences. When apps don’t meet — or exceed — user expectations, customers feel tempted to explore alternatives. The poor performance of applications intended for business use creates a different problem: encouraging employees to rely on unapproved apps that could introduce security risks to your IT infrastructure.

Below, we describe some reasons developers need application performance monitoring platforms, what KPIs to track, and which APM options might meet your needs.

Do you need application performance monitoring tools?

In our experience, businesses that produce apps almost always need APM tools. Performance and end-user experience monitoring offer benefits that:

  • Notify developers of potential problems so they can find corrections quickly.
  • Help coders avoid future issues that could interrupt access to their apps.
  • Improve user retention, potentially leading to higher revenues.
  • Result in faster speeds and better reliability.
  • Reduce operating costs.
  • Help companies meet service-level agreements (SLAs) so they don’t risk losing payments from clients.

Of course, different use cases have unique needs. Still, we find that a good APM platform makes it much easier for companies to keep all users happy.

Key APM metrics for improving user experience

Some APM metrics typically matter more than others. We tend to focus on the following KPIs before going in-depth with secondary performance data. Keep in mind, though, that “less important” metrics can still create performance problems. The ones that really matter often depend on how you want to optimize your app.

Apdex (Application Performance Index)

Apdex measures the number of satisfied and unsatisfied users to give you a score between 0 and 1. Ideally, you want a score as close as possible to 1. That would mean you have a perfect end-user experience.

Error rates

Errors will happen. But how often do they happen? Use APM to track your error rate. Your APM platform should also offer observability that helps you find the error’s source. Maybe some of the open-source code dependencies changed, so the DevOps team needs to adjust the code. Maybe an on-premises CPU has to perform too many tasks to keep up. Find out with error messages that lead to solutions.

Availability (AVAIL)

The performance of modern applications relies on several components working together flawlessly. Availability measures the number of failures that occur during a specific timeframe. Then, subtract the downtime from the overall timeframe to get the app’s uptime.

Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

Since failures happen, developers need to know how long it typically takes to identify the problem, find a solution, and get an update to users.

A high MTTR could mean it’s time to look at your IT operations, including CPU usage, the processing power of on-premises servers, and the scalability of Kubernetes.

Popular APM tools to consider

We published our blog post "Full Stack Monitoring, Best Features and Tools" a couple years ago. Since then, we’ve noticed the rise of a few new application health tools that deserve attention for their abilities to help developers prevent downtime, lower latency, and track performance metrics so you can avoid performance issues.

The following stand out as APM solutions we like. (It’s worth noting that Gartner also has a similar list of application monitoring tools with great recommendations.)


Capture d'écran du dashboard sur l'outil de monitoring Dynatrace
Dynatrace automatically and continuously discovers and maps your entire environment

Dynatrace’s platform has built-in tools that should help clients improve their tech at several levels to improve customer experiences. The SaaS platform uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics for:

  • Infrastructure monitoring
  • Application and microservices monitoring
  • Application security
  • Automations
  • Digital experiences

While it has full-stack monitoring capabilities, we find that it also works well specifically for application performance monitoring and observability.

New Relic

Capture d'écran du dashboard sur l'outil de monitoring New Relic

New Relic has an all-in-one observability platform that helps engineers monitor, debug, and improve all aspects of their tech stacks. That includes applications.

New Relic uses Open Telemetry data to monitor performance. It can also generate visualizations that make it easier to review dependencies. The dashboard is about as user-friendly as it gets. Just click on a related entity to see how it connects to dependencies.

New Relic will also send alerts when it encounters application performance issues, making it possible for site reliability engineers to address problems quickly.

Microsoft Azure Application Insights

Capture d'écran du dashboard d'une application map dans Azure

Application Insights is a good tool for overseeing numerous apps. It has a highly visual dashboard that lets you see how all of your apps perform. Then, you can focus on one that looks concerning.

Other useful features include:

  • Custom metrics, including real-time metrics
  • Pre-built graphs that help users understand error codes when they occur
  • Support for several languages, including .NET, Java, JavaScript, Python, and Node.js

Not surprisingly, Application Insights works best when you stay within the Microsoft ecosystem. However, it has plenty of integrations you can use to monitor app performance that relies on technology outside of Microsoft Azure’s offerings.

AWS Amazon CloudWatch

schéma représentant le fonctionnement de AWS d'Amazon CloudWatchu

Amazon CloudWatch lets you create 10 custom metrics and alarms for free, so you can test it before you buy. Small organizations might even adopt it for long-term use as long as they don't need more than 10 custom metrics and alarms.

Other benefits of choosing CloudWatch include its:

  • Easy integration with 70+ AWS services
  • Automated dashboards that show you the root causes of performance issues
  • Ability to provide real-time data analytics and retain data for up to 15 months
  • Automated scaling to meet operational changes
  • Functionality that can monitor apps stored on AWS or on-premises servers.

Choose the right monitoring tools for your applications

We can help you choose a tool that improves your approach to application performance management.

What if you don’t see an APM platform with the metrics and troubleshooting features you need? Contact our team to talk about taking a deep dive into existing tools or getting a custom solution that meets your precise needs.

Published on
July 20, 2023

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