Monitoring all user interactions

 Last year (in this article) I asserted that monitoring of all user operations on an on-going basis was highly valuable. At the time I was not aware of any automated tools to do this task, meaning that solutions would need to be implemented on a per-application basis. In the worst case, this could mean laboriously adding logging statements into application code and then providing analysis mechanism to extract meaningful information from this logging.

There have been tools available to inject traffic into a system and monitor that data for a while. There have also been tools available to allow such monitoring on a one-off basis when a problem is known or suspected. This doesn’t, however, really go far enough in overall system monitoring since both approaches would usually be used retrospectively. It would seem, however, that the tool manufacturers have started to fill this gap in the performance monitoring market.

The Compuware “Vantage” toolset is a good example of this class of tool. This suite has included a strong range of monitoring, investigation and analysis tools so some time. They have now added a “passive monitoring” facility that starts to meet the requirement to be able to monitor the performance of all client transactions. If you would like to know more about this particular toolset then Compuware have published a fact sheet about it here.

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