APM 2 Use Cases

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1 Introduction

The APM tools have been used extensively by Mansystems Developers and Support Engineers in developing and supporting ExpertDesk and other Mendix applications. The tools were originally developed to overcome the difficulties of analyzing performance issues in Mendix without the proper information and have grown to an application monitoring and analysis suite.

2 Generic

The Trap module is always on in development, test, acceptance, and production. It is used to have all logging immediately available when an error occurs.

The Statistics module is always on to collect valuable statistics. Snapshots are stored frequently and on shutdown of the Mendix application, so during development, comparative analysis can also be done. In production, you can look at the functionality that takes the most time to optimize the functionality. Also, you can look at the trend to see performance issues coming. It is possible to drill down on the statistics and get detailed information about the duration of microflows and actions.

The Log module is used for cases that need analysis but have no specific trigger (meaning, when a trap is not fired). Also, in production, the log tool makes logging available and searchable to support engineers without the need for technical application support to deliver a file (or worse, turn the logging on and off and then deliver the file).

The Browser recorder gives insights into the performance of a user perspective. The client (browser) requests and responses will be monitored. This also provides insights into the duration of loading pages, widgets, and grids as well as into the size and details of the request from the client (browser) and responses from the server.

3 In Development

During development, the Statistics or Performance module is used when a function is seen as slow. Also, it can be used to verify that the expected flow/path is followed.

Instead of debugging with a breakpoint, you can just record everything and analyze afterwards. This is especially helpful in complex modules with web service interfaces and scheduled events where you cannot simply follow a flow.

The Trap module saves time, because logging from an error is immediately stored and you can even run the microflow logging through the performance tool. In development, the trap tool records a longer period of time, so trap memory can be sent to the performance tool to see what is happening.

The Statistics module snapshots are stored on shutdown of the Mendix application, so during development, useful comparative analysis can be done. Drill down on the statistics to see detailed information.

The Browser recorder can be used to get performance information about a new build, pages changed, and widgets used. You can get information about the duration of loading widgets and grids as well as about the data retrieved.

4 In Test

During the test and acceptance phase, other users than the developer test and use the application. It is especially important then to collect information for further analysis if they find an issue.

Statistics on a production database dump may give other insights than on a small development sample. It is possible to drill down on the statistics and get detailed information about the duration of microflows and actions.

The performance tool can always be turned on with a small threshold to capture the microflows that might be interesting to tune.

Another strategy is to record the microflow engine with the log tool to see what the users have done afterwards.

5 In Production

The Trap module is used to have all the necessary logging immediately available when something unwanted occurs. The first day the trap log is monitored, exclusions are made for warnings occurring often or known errors.

The Statistics module is run to collect frequent statistics (for example, daily or hourly). If the system is slow, the Statistics module can be used to see what is running now.

The statistics will give insights in click path behavior of the users. How do they use the application and what is the duration of opening the pages.

6 In a Load Test

When generating load, the statistics and performance module are used to analyze what is happening within the application. The results of multiple load tests can be compared to see what influence the load has on the duration of microflows and actions. The browser recorder can be used to see what influence the load test has on the application from the user’s perspective.

Several tests can be compared to each other by using the marker to mark microflows as belonging to a certain lab setup