AltaWorks Pins Down J2EE App Problems

Panorama 2.5 allows QA testers to learn about key performance indicators before the application goes into production.

AltaWorks Corp. later this month will take the wraps off the latest release of its Panorama application performance management software.

The Nashua, N.H., vendor is one of a handful of J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application management tools providers that provide a deep dive into the production workings of the complex applications to help pinpoint problems that arise in the interaction of different components of multitiered Web applications. Others include Wily Technology and Dirig Software.

Panorama 2.5, due in mid-June, focuses on easing production application performance pain by working earlier in the application development cycle with quality assurance and systems testers to find problems that crop up in the "logical plumbing" of J2EE Web applications, according to CEO Dave Danielson.

"Theres a very painful range of problems with J2EE applications that are hard to pin down that are distributed and inter-related. And there is a group of interdependencies that only happen in production," said Danielson. Examples of components in the logical plumbing include ODBC connection pools, Java Virtual Machines, Web page hits, and processor high or low consumption.

Panorama 2.5 allows QA and system test professionals to create a detailed performance test profile of an application in the QA test phase. Such profiles allow QA testers to learn about key performance indicators before the application goes into production.

New performance views in the latest release are similar to the graphs created by common load testing tools to help QA testers better understand and use the metrics generated by Panorama. By combining metrics from Panoramas internal testing and external response time measurements gathered by load testing tools such as those from RadView, users can get a holistic picture of J2EE application performance.

Other new performance views allow QA testers to create graphs that plot load versus response time, load versus throughput, or a combination of all three.

For load testing, Panorama 2.5 adds new lock limits that can be executed from a console that allows QA testers to calibrate and then lock limits on all configured metrics. The lock limits allow users to perform experiments at the higher and lower user and transaction loads.

Panorama, which correlates data from multiple sources for performance analysis, also adds the ability to gather and correlate SNMP data as well as Apache internal behavior data.

Panorama starts at $50,000 for eight servers.