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Comparison Views in AppView Web

Just before the holidays, we made a pair of big announcements: in addition to our first year on the Magic Quadrant for APM, we’ve just increased TraceView’s data retention to an industry-leading 90 days of full data. But we’re constantly releasing new features, and we didn’t want those stories to overshadow the launch of Comparison Views for AppView Web. While I’m only now writing about it, it’s actually been online since before Christmas!

Synthetic monitoring is a valuable way to baseline your application’s performance. But users around the globe will access it through different browsers and networks, so it’s often advantageous to have multiple baselines. Many of our customers are using AppView Web Global to monitor from an ever-expanding list of cloud-hosted locations, while others use AppView Web from our microappliances to get performance data right from their remote offices.

A comparison between AppView Web Global web monitors in Ireland and Australia and a microappliance in our Boston office. All of them are running the same script to monitor the performance of our Drupal 7 environment.

This is exactly the use case we had in mind when we developed Comparison View. Using the same data we’ve already been collecting, you can easily check whether any monitors stand out. Displaying the data like this makes it obvious whether you’re looking at persistent slowness due to a different regional network quality, or an intermittent issue that only affects one site.

You can also view breakdowns of your data similar to what’s displayed for individual AppView Web paths. Segmenting by milestone lets you see whether you have a problem that affects some parts of your application more noticeably than others, such as an asset that needs to be served from a different CDN. Alternately, you can segment by end user experience to examine trends in network, server, and browser latency on a monitor-by-monitor basis.

Comparison View segmented by milestone. These two milestones had slightly different performance trends because they use different components of the underlying application. Comparison View segmented by end user experience. Most of the increased latency came from the server component, but that same server is also responsible for serving all of the application’s assets, so increased load still affected the browser time.

If you already have some paths set up, it’s simple to create a comparison. Select the paths you’re interested in and then choose Compare from the Bulk Action dropdown. Or, if you’ve already created a group for the paths you’re interested in, just press the Compare button.

If you don’t have any paths yet, why not give AppView Web a try? We’d be glad to set you up with a trial so you can check out this feature. Use our script recorder and you can be monitoring your site from locations around the globe in less than 5 minutes!

James Meickle: James started as a hobbyist web developer, even though his academic background is in social psychology and political science. His favorite language is Python, his favorite editor is Sublime, and his favorite game is Dwarf Fortress.