CAs Wily Technology Division on Aug. 14 took a different tack on change management when it launched an extension to its Introscope 7 application performance management tool.
Introscope 7, which gathers real-time performance metrics on Web applications, can now through the new ChangeDetector 7 add-on detect changes to complex Web applications and correlate those changes with changes it detects in Web applications performance.
While provisioning tools providers and vendors hawking configuration management databases attempt to create a single source of truth on the configuration of IT infrastructure elements and the applications that use those elements, CA with its new tool focuses on how to speed problem resolution when changes impact performance.
No other vendor combines real-time application performance metrics with real-time change detection, according to Ju-Kay Kwek, product manager in Brisbane, Calif.
"This is all about reducing mean time to repair. Customers really loved this aspect—the ability to correlate change information with performance information," he said.
ChangeDetector 7 can detect changes made in the application code and in the application configuration in real time.
The tool focuses specifically on business transactions and the changes that most affect those transactions.
"Rather than list of all of the things that changed in the IT environment, it looks at the ones that really count in these business transactions," said Kwek.
It can detect the time and nature of a change as well as differences between key application text files.
It also shows application code changes, configuration changes to an application server and links to back-end systems.
ChangeDetector 7 includes APIs that allow the tool to incorporate change data gathered by third-party tools.
It also includes dashboards that can be customized to fit a specific customers application view.
Dashboards, which can show change data and application performance metrics side-by-side, provide a high level view of changes.
They include charts and lists that show the rate of change detected and the top 10 application instances experiencing change.
Users can also drill down to look at localized information on change that is correlated with performance changes.
The combined data can be used to help speed diagnosis by giving application support personnel the data required to point the experts, such as a database administrator or developer, in the right direction.
"If Im an application support person diagnosing a stalled application and I can look down to this level [of detail], I can know changes that are happening and correlate those to the time the changes were made and what they were—down to a configuration file, and I can now call the application server guy and say we have a file that changed and was this right?" said Kwek.
The tool, available now, supports the major service-oriented architecture or Web services platforms including IBMs WebSphere, WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Business Integration; BEA Systems WebLogic, WebLogic Portal and WebLogic Integration; SAP NetWeaver and Enterprise Portal; as well as Oracle 10g, Sun Java Enterprise System and other J2ee platforms.