What is application performance management?

software application

Application performance management, otherwise known as APM, is a term you may have stumbled across when looking into software development and general app implementation in a business environment.

APM is important for a variety of reasons, and understanding its meaning will let you leverage its benefits more effectively, so let’s dive in and discover more about it.

The basics

As the name suggests, application performance management describes the process by which software apps are monitored and managed, typically using tools built specifically for this purpose.

Because there are a number of APM solutions on the market, it is important to make use of application performance monitoring tools comparison to work out which is the right one for your needs and budget.

The main aim of APM services is to look into how an app is performing, tracking and analyzing key metrics in order to pinpoint problems when they arise, and then extrapolate from this data a potential diagnosis from which a fix can then be found.

The purposes

On one level, APM is all about making sure that software apps perform as expected as often as possible. This is relevant from a business perspective because if an app is suffering from some kind of bottleneck or other setback, the user experience will suffer and this could diminish productivity among employees or cause consternation among customers.

An extension of this state of affairs is that the effective use of APM tools can enable organizations to save money and maintain their reputations, while meeting predetermined standards for the level of service expected of a particular application.

The most important metrics

While APM can focus on any number of aspects of an app’s operation which are most significant, there are a few elements which tend to be the focus of most instances of its use.

The amount of time it takes for an app to process a transaction when it is being subjected to peak load is one of these. This will determine how responsive the app feels from an end user perspective, and any sluggishness will obviously create frustration.

The proportion of the hardware resources which an app requires to run smoothly when under load will also be looked into, because of course if it is either a resource hog, or hits some kind of hardware bottleneck, then either performance will be curtailed or it hamper the effectiveness of other apps which are running on the same setup.

APM practitioners tend to take base level readings for responsiveness and resource use, then track how this changes over time in order to identify any anomalies and diagnose issues based on their findings. It also means that monitoring can be largely automated, with alerts triggered when unusual or unexpected events occur.

The benefits

We have already covered a few of the most significant advantages of application performance management from an end user’s perspective, but it is also sensible to consider the wider perks of this discipline and suite of monitoring technologies.

For example, APM can ultimately help a business to determine whether or not an app is delivering adequate value to the organization as a whole, extrapolating this from the metrics thrown up by its day to day operation.

This can help with assessing if software is still fit for purpose, or if it is time to make the leap to an alternative or to implement any improvements or upgrades if it has been developed in-house.

Application performance management is a potent process for lots of businesses, and the competitive market surrounding the tools used to achieve it demonstrates how crucial it has become.

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