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As we have seen, managing e-business applications requires that basic services such as communications, messaging, database, and application hosting are functional and well-behaved. This should be ensured by careful management of the infrastructural
However, ensuring the availability and performance of the application infrastructure is not always enough. Web-based applications are implemented in order to
In either case, the goal of the application is to provide useful information to the user and, of course, attract the user to return later. The service provided to the user, in terms of functionality, ease of use, and responsiveness of the application, is critical to the user's perception of the application's
The usefulness of an application is a very
Relevance to current needs
Easy-to-understand organization and navigation
Logical flow and guidance
The integrity of the information (is it trustworthy?)
Responsiveness of the application
Naturally, the application owner can influence all of these parameters (the application design can be modified, the data can be
Set the user's expectations by providing sufficient information up front.
Make sure that the back-end transaction performance is as fast as possible.
Neither of these will guarantee that users will return to the application, but monitoring and measuring the total response time and breaking it down into the various components shown in Figure 1-1 on page 4 will give the application owner an indication of where the bottlenecks might be.
To provide consistently good response times from the back-end systems, the application provider may also establish a monitoring system that generates reference transactions on a scheduled basis. This will give early
The need for real-time monitoring and gathering of reference (and historical) data, among others, are addressed by IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance. By providing the tools necessary for understanding the relationships between the various components that make up the total response time of an application, including breakdown of the back-end service times into service times for each subtransaction, IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance is the tool of choice for monitoring and measuring transaction performance.
IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance provides functions to monitor e-business transaction performance in a variety of situations. Focusing on e-business transactions, it should come as no surprise that the product provides functions for transaction performance measurement for various Web-based transaction types originating from external systems (systems situated somewhere on the Internet and not managed by the organization) that provide the e-business transactions or applications that are the target of the performance measurement. These transactions are referred to in the following pages as Web transactions , and they are implemented by the Web Transaction Performance module of IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance.
In addition, a set of functions
Figure 1-13: e-business transactions
It should be noted that the tools for Web and enterprise transaction performance monitoring complement one another, and that there are no restrictions, if the networking and management infrastructure is in place, for using Enterprise
In general, the nature of Web transaction performance measurement is random and generic. There is no way of planning the execution of transactions or the origin of the transaction initiation unless other measures have been taken in order to do so. When the data from the transaction performance measurements are being aggregated, they provide information about the
transaction invocation, without affinity to location, geography, workstation hardware, browser version, or other parameters that may affect the experience of the end user. All of these parameters are out of the application provider's control. Naturally, both the data gathering and reporting may be set up to only handle transaction performance measurements from machines that have specific network addresses, for example, thus limiting the scope of the monitoring to well-known machines. However, the transactions executed, and the sequence is still random and
The monitoring infrastructure used to capture performance metrics of the average transaction may also be used to measure transaction performance for specific, pre-planned transactions initiated from well-known systems accessing the e-business applications through the Internet or intranet. To facilitate this kind of
measurements, certain programs must be installed on the systems initiating the transactions, and they will have to be controlled by the organization that wants the measurements. From a transaction monitoring point of view there are no differences between monitoring
transactions; the same data may be gathered to the same level of granularity. The big difference is that the monitoring organization
The main functions provided by IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance: Web Transaction Performance are:
For both unknown and well-known systems:
Real-time transaction performance monitoring
Automatic problem identification and baselining
For well-known systems with specific programs installed:
Transaction simulation based on recording and playback
Web transaction availability monitoring
If the application provider wants to gather transaction performance characteristics from workstations situated within the enterprise network or machines that are part of the managed domain, but initiates transactions through the Internet, a different set of tools is available. These are provided by the Enterprise Transaction Performance module of the IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance product.
The functions provided by Enterprise Transaction Performance are integrated with the Tivoli Management Environment and rely on common services provided by the integration. Therefore, the systems from which transaction performance data is being gathered must be part of the Tivoli Management Environment, and at a minimum have a Tivoli endpoint installed. This will, however, enable centralized management of the systems for additional functions besides the gathering of transaction performance data.
In addition to monitoring transactions initiated through a browser, just like the ones we earlier called Web transactions, Enterprise Transaction Performance provides specialized programs, end-to-end probes, which enable monitoring of the time needed to load a URL and specific transactions
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