New Tools Diagnose App Problems

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-08-29
 
 
 

Two new methods of application problem resolution will find their way to market this week, targeting both service-oriented architectures and Java application server-based environments.

IBM is expected to announce new software based on its Tivoli and WebSphere platforms and leveraging the BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) to advance BPM (business process management) in SOAs.

The new software, known as BPEL Tracking for TMTP (Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance), enables enterprises to view a single business function instead of monitoring individual IT transactions, said Angel Diaz, director of on-demand software development at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y.

"[This] helps customers look at the overall health of a business process," Diaz said. "And you can view that graphically and look at particular services and set service thresholds."

Diaz said the new technology is based on Tivoli foundational software but also borrows from the WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation and from IBMs DB2 Alphablox technology.

BPEL Tracking for TMTP works with Tivolis software to monitor transaction performance, identify problems and improve performance, IBM officials said.

Users can relate business processes to IT transactions and the particular components that support them, said Diaz.

For instance, an insurance company could use the new software to view a single business process such as claims processing rather than having to monitor individual transactions.

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Moreover, the new software lets users implement distinct monitoring policies for different business processes, said Bob Lee, product manager for the new Tivoli-based system at IBM. The software also will allow users with different roles to have unique role-based "looks" at the systems being monitored. Business analysts could have one view while IT staffers choose another, Lee said. The new software will be available on IBMs AlphaWorks site and will be added to the next version of IBMs TMTP technology, Lee said.

Meanwhile, Identify Software Ltd., in New York, is attacking the problem resolution area from a different perspective. Identify this week will announce support for the JBoss Application Server with its AppSight Application Problem Resolution System. AppSight uses a software-based "black box" approach to monitor applications. It captures data, such as code execution, user actions, system events, and performance and configuration data, similar to the way the data recorder on an airplane does, said Lori Wizdo, a vice president at Identify.

AppSight can be used to find and fix problems throughout the application life cycle, from development through quality assurance testing and on to production environments. The technology works across Microsoft Corp.s .Net and Sun Microsystems Inc.s J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) environments.

Steve Weiskircher, CIO at Crutchfield Corp., based in Charlottesville, Va., said his company uses AppSight in the .Net environment to gain knowledge about its applications "that isnt readily available with any other tool."

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