Tonic Catches Glitches in .Net

Tonic Software's WebLens identifies bottlenecks in .Net applications.

With Microsoft Corp.s .Net projects moving from development to production, users increasingly need to monitor and manage transactions. One applications management provider is stepping up to help with its first .Net management tool.

Tonic Software Inc. this week will launch its WebLens for Microsofts .Net Framework, which can trace the path of selected .Net transactions to determine which component within the application is causing performance glitches.

The rollout comes at a time when finding the source of Web application bottlenecks has increasingly become an exercise in finger-pointing between developers and operations staff, according to Steve Marcie, chief strategy officer at Tonic, in Austin, Texas.

"Weve heard from operations staffs that when they encounter a service-level problem inside the application server, they have no idea how the application is constructed, and developers tend to say that it works fine in the lab, so it must be a configuration problem," Marcie said.

The tool can identify problems with SQL statements, .Net service components and architectural issues. WebLens for .Net can trace transactions across system boundaries and identify problems in the interaction of components running on different servers.

An on-demand capability in the tool allows users to identify a specific transaction, which reduces the amount of overhead required.

"Thats good," said beta tester David Jacobson, chief technology officer at Microsoft-focused consulting company Catapult Systems Corp., also in Austin. "You dont want the overhead of always monitoring. You explicitly tell it what you want it to monitor."

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Although WebLens for .Net is intended for operations, it can also help developers find and fix problems in the design of their applications, said Jacobson.

"We had an instance where we were in the [dark] on some Active Directory calls. It helped us see exactly where some of our performance bottlenecks were in creating objects. We were able to do a redesign based on the results that it gave us," Jacobson said.

Whether the market is ready yet for .Net transaction management is an open question, and timing is everything, said Corey Ferengul, an analyst at Meta Group Inc., in Chicago.

"A lot of other vendors are questioning when market demand for .Net [management] is going to arrive. Is Microsoft just going to provide it at low cost and make it not a viable market for others? Theres a lot of talk but not a lot of activity," Ferengul said.

WebLens for .Net starts at $23,000.

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