Monitoring Practices

Best Practices for Modern Application Monitoring – An Exploration


Regardless of your website or business, the use of Web applications for critical communication or business transactions is ever-growing. Because of the importance and influence applications have on digital reputations, and even business revenue, it’s essential that these applications are continuously monitored for performance, stability and availability. In order to establish a stable and high-performing environment, it’s imperative that you adhere to several application monitoring best practices.

Number of Applications

Perhaps one of the most damaging mistakes system administrator’s make is utilizing an application monitoring solution incapable of effectively monitoring their entire application library. With more than one-third of online businesses supporting over 10 internal applications, it’s imperative that your enterprise utilize an application monitoring solution capable of supporting this large number of applications. On the other hand, if you’re only hosting a handful of applications, then you may not need the scope of monitoring offered by select solutions.

Application Hosting Location

For years, Web applications were hosted locally on private or shared servers. However, as the complexity of applications grew, the need for equally complex/dynamic hosting also grows. Because of this, many application developers chose to host their applications on the cloud. Therefore, traditional monitoring solutions designed to monitor locally hosted applications may not be a viable option. While the latest research suggests 58 percent of applications are hosted on local servers, a staggering 56 percent of applications are hosted on private cloud systems. However, there is a unique trend among cloud-based applications. Out of the all applications hosted on non-local servers, 46 percent of applications have moved from private cloud services to the public cloud, which introduces a whole new set of unique monitoring requirements.

Integrated Monitoring Solutions

The use of integrated monitoring solutions is among the most effective ways to effectively monitor and manage your Web applications. In fact, 80 percent of application developers who utilize integrated solutions are able to correct errors before it has time to affect the end-user experience. When you compare this to only 48 percent of standalone monitoring solutions, it’s clear that integrated monitoring solutions offer faster error recognition as it learns and grows within your infrastructure, not alongside it.

Moreover, when you compare the actual time it takes from an error report to be sent to a correction being implemented, the difference between integrated and standalone monitoring solution is staggering. In fact, 52 percent of error reports sent via an integrated solution were corrected within one hour, while only 32 percent of standalone solutions were able to correct errors within the same time window.

Creating an Automated Browser Test That’s Resistant to User Interface Changes

Regardless of the purpose or size of a website or Web application, it’s size and complexities will only grow as time progresses. Because of this, browser automation software must be flexible in how it interacts with page elements. The majority of browser automation software users utilizes their software as a means of testing different aspects of website or Web applications. While effective, as the platform progresses and transforms, the previous automation tasks are no longer applicable. If the automated tests are not updated along with the platform, vital elements could be missed. Because of this, it’s imperative to utilize a flexible automation software capable of dealing with enterprise changes.

How the Automation Software Identifies Objects

One of the most important qualities to look for in a browser automation software is how the software identifies its objects and locations to begin testing. When the automated tests were first established, they were given a specific object or location that triggers its tests. As the website or application changes, this starting point may change or be re-named. If so, the software is unable to locate its required objects or files, and it will no longer be able to execute its tasks.

Because of this, it’s essential that your browser automation software allows easy manipulation of starting point names and reference objects. A sign of an unacceptable automation software is one that requires intensive manual location and manipulation of these reference objects. Whenever the website or application is updated, it’s essential to ensure all task objects point to an active element. This can be done a number of ways, with various tools like Everystep-Automation and also other paid tools like Selenium.

Automatic Notification

It’s no secret that running a digital enterprise is filled with long hours and complex issues. When faced with a never-ending “to-do” list, it’s easy to forget the important things – such as updating browser automation software tasks when its websites and applications change. A sign of a well-performing browser automation software is one that automatically notifies system administrators if its source objects and reference points for required tasks have changed or are no longer available. These alerts can help save precious time when it comes to running tests or accessing specific pages within a network. Of course, there are software options where the automated tasks are flexible in terms of relying on control objects to run its designated tasks. This option eliminates the need for updating control object names or relying on system notifications. Typically, this feature is found in higher-end software suites. While more expensive, this built-in flexibility is generally worth its increased price.