As we prepare to launch AppView Web, I have been spending a good amount of time looking at web application performance monitoring and the tools available and the value they can provide. This is an interesting technology niche in particular; the most commonly referenced tools are polar opposites of each other in many ways…
Monitoring systems like Gomez, Keynote and Soasta have massive infrastructures that will provide a view of how your corporate website looks from around the globe and under the load of thousands of users. Supply side services like this are critical for groups charged with building and maintaining large scale websites and applications. Accordingly, these systems have a corresponding price tag to their large scale capabilities.
For end users of these services there are amazing free tools available like Firebug, Google SpeedTracer and Yahoo YSlow that plug into browsers and do a deep dive on the performance of any given web page. These free tools are primarily targeted at web designers and developers to optimize their own sites. They can provide great information about any page, but must be run and analyzed manually; and they are not meant to continuously measure performance.
Although there are a vast number of other tools designed for the teams that run the back end of the website, I have discovered that the biggest gap in clearly in the mid-market between helpful free tools and massive global systems. Most companies today are adopting SaaS and Cloud based services and therefore need to ensure performance and reliability from their offices to these web based services. This insight and ability to manage performance is the most critical success factor for end user experience with these services. Web performance is not so critical when it is about your employees doing their Christmas shopping on Amazon.com during lunch; but a few seconds delay in your hosted CRM, finance and email services will have a major impact on the productivity of your workforce, and frustration of your end users.
The AppView Web add-on module was designed to fill that gap, measuring web performance from any of your remote locations and combining detailed HTTP performance measures with a scalable solution designed for small to midsized businesses. This unique combination allows companies that are using or considering cloud-based applications, to continuously monitor the performance from their offices to these critical services. With AppView Web, network engineers can easily determine if a hosted service will provide them with the performance and responsiveness they need for their employees to be efficient. And, when performance is not where it needs to be, AppView Web identifies the source of the delay, determining if the problems are caused by the network, the internet provider or the website.