Choosing the Right APM Software

APM Software

The importance of proper maintenance, monitoring, and management of your application cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, these tasks can be difficult, complex, and time-consuming for any developer or entrepreneur. Especially if you are working independently, on your own app or software, chances are you have countless other concerns and things to do every day, and application performance management may tend to fall behind on your to-do list.

Luckily, there are many choices available for great application performance management (APM) software that could fit any budget, application, business, and developer. In fact, because of the importance of properly functioning software, an entire industry of APM has sprung up in the last few years. It is now a booming industry, and this offers tons of options and for anyone looking to maintain and manage their applications.

While most of the top-tier, high-quality APM software offerings will generally provide similar services and features– all of which should be geared specifically towards maintaining the health and performance of your applications– there may be some big differences in the specifics. This is particularly true in terms of pricing, and there are many variations aside from the basic functions.

The Basics

By its simplest definition, application performance management software is exactly what it sounds like. APM is a specific discipline within the general field of IT that is specifically geared towards monitoring application performance, identifying problems, and providing the necessary tools for developers and general IT professionals to understand and begin to fix the problems.

The acronym APM has also been used to refer to application performance monitoring and application performance maintenance, but all of these definitions essentially mean the same thing.

Accurate and efficient APM is not only important to the functioning of applications and software that are currently in existence– it can, in fact, be much more important during the early stages of development. Developers and specialists need to be able to identify any potential problems and understand the specifics of each important element of how the application functions. This will help them create much more efficient, user-friendly, and overall high-quality applications.

The Specifics

Any good APM software should collect data on several web application performance metrics, compile this data into meaningful statistics and display the data in easily consumable formats. The software should be able to provide information on:

    • Application performance
    • Availability
    • User experience
  • and in-depth information on each of these

Aside from these basic functions, APM software should be able to provide information that can help developers manage the current condition of applications and improve the overall performance of the applications. More in-depth statistics that should be compiled and displayed include:

  • Individual web request and transaction performance
    • Application dependency usage including databases, web services, caching, and others
    • CPU, memory, and other basic server metrics
    • Application framework metrics
    • Custom metrics as set by the business or the developer
    • Application log data
  • Application error information

The configuration process of the software itself should also be taken into consideration. You should be able to connect to large commercial applications within a few clicks, and the software should include support for the most popular commercial databases like Microsoft SQL, IBM DB2, Oracle, and others.

The Offerings

Many APM software offerings are deployed on-premises, but it is increasingly moving towards SaaS. Each option will have its own specific pros and cons, not least of which would be pricing. As this is often one of the key determiners for independent developers and entrepreneurs, there are usually several different pricing options and variations within each offering. SaaS offerings can range from $10/month all the way up to $600/month, and on-premises options could start in the hundreds and go up to several thousand.

Choosing the right option will obviously depend on several factors that are specific to you and your business. Many APM providers offer free trial periods, and these should be utilized to help you make a decision. During this period, take special notice of how the software interacts with your own system and how well the statistical data is provided. This should help you identify and choose the right option that will help ensure proper performance, availability, and user experience for your applications.

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