Since the birth of the Internet, companies have struggled to present the perfect face to the browsing public. With every new release of a website, the web operations and development (or perhaps dev/ops) teams hold their collective breath in hopes that all goes well and customers flock to the newly updated website. But in today’s world of increasingly mobile-web commerce, where competitors are just one click away, companies can no longer afford this “cross your fingers” approach for critical online revenue generation and customer support functions. At a minimum, modern web application support requires full visibility into the application and underlying system performance and availability; but most importantly, it also requires comprehensive visibility into the user experience, in order to capture visual context of performance related issues, and in order to detect and diagnose issues with client side execution, including non-performance related application errors and other functional issues.

Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on that very challenge. I’m pleased to announce the release of FoglightTM APM - 5.9, application performance monitoring that merges real-user experience, application, and infrastructure performance data into a unified transaction model that provides application support teams with a unique, user and transaction-centric focus on web application performance that fosters cross-team collaboration. Foglight provides visibility into every step of single and multi-step transactions for a complete picture of the end user’s experience, combined with the exact execution path and other comprehensive details through the entire application stack, both horizontally from the browser through the network to the web, application and database servers, and vertically down from the code and middleware all the way through the operating system and hypervisor. Foglight’s unique transactionDNA technology delivers a data model that uses transactions as the framework for unifying all those sources of rich data for dashboards, visualizations and simple, preconfigured big data style analytics. With the ability to see the performance and content of every click within every session from every user on your site/application, and directly link that to traces of their transactions, including execution paths through your application and infrastructure from end to end, we have just taken application performance management to the next level.

I’m truly excited about this release – it raises the bar for application performance monitoring for external facing applications by focusing on the customer and their transactions first. The architectural advances in 5.9, including our unique Big Data storage and retrieval mechanism for high frequency, high fidelity data enables a complete view into every transaction – with simplified troubleshooting and insight into patterns of performance or user behavior.

If you are anything like me when trying to transact online, you loathe poor site performance, undecipherable error messages and broken functionality. The smartest web teams recognize that the technology is now available to make all of this a thing of the past. The benefits include reduced mean-time-to-resolution and customer support costs, combined with increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Why wait? Your customer’s surely won’t.