Update August 2016Dynatrace Free Trial and Personal is now serving the latest Dynatrace 6.5 version. We also updated our “What Is Dynatrace and How To Get Started” YouTube Tutorial.

Update October 2015: The Dynatrace Free Trial now automatically converts into a Personal License after 30 Days. This means: “Free For Life to analyze your Applications on your local machine!” This is our contribution to building better software right from the start!

I am pleased to announce that Dynatrace 6.3 Beta is now available for everyone that is interested in building better performing applications. Dynatrace 6.3 includes many enhancements requested by our 100k+ user community.

We took the feedback we received from our users and invested heavily in Ease of Use and more Automatic Diagnostics. Follow these steps to setup Dynatrace for a typical Java Web Application – or watch my YouTube Tutorials (for Java, .NET and PHP) – to see how easy it is to setup it up for all our supported technologies. If you are a Mobile Developers (iOS, Android) check out the following blog post: Speeding up Fifa’s World Cup App for Android, Monitoring iOS/Swift based Apps.

What is it you get?

Once you have everything installed and configured you get deep insight into every single transaction that is handled by your application. The core technology is called PurePath – the analytics on top are handled by our dynaTrace Server and are accessible through our Rich Client as well as HTML Client:

The new Home Screen gives you an overview of how transactions flow through your system, how your end users are doing, whether your applications or your infrastructure has an issue. From here it’s just a single click to root cause of potential performance issues
The new Home Screen gives you an overview of how transactions flow through your system, how your end users are doing, whether your applications or your infrastructure has an issue. From here it’s just a single click to root cause of potential performance issues

What do you end up installing?

This is a common question. You are going to install several components on your system. I drew the following diagram that shows all the components that make up the Dynatrace 6.1 installation.

This gives an overview of what you end up installing. A configuration wizard will guide you through installing your agents in your application tiers
This gives an overview of what you end up installing. A configuration wizard will guide you through installing your agents in your application tiers

In case you have any questions along the way – reach out to us via the Online Forum, register for one of our Live Q&A Sessions  or just send me an email. But now let’s get started with a couple of easy steps.

Step #1: Register, Download, Install

After you register for your free trial you will receive an email with a link you need to follow. This will create an account on our Dynatrace Community as well as sending you another email with a license file (this is needed in case the machine you want to test drive Dynatrace doesn’t have access to the internet). You will eventually end up in your My Dynatrace Trial space that guides you through all steps.

Step #2: Connect your Application

After you have successfully installed Dynatrace and activated the license you get to the Welcome Screen:

Congratulations: you just installed Dynatrace – now it’s time to add the dynaTrace Agents to your application and web servers. Click on Configure to get started with that guided process
Congratulations: you just installed Dynatrace – now it’s time to add the dynaTrace Agents to your application and web servers. Click on Configure to get started with that guided process

Now it is time to tell Dynatrace how your overall system looks like. In this blog I focus on a standard web application consisting of a web server and an application server that accesses data from a database. I use Alfresco – which is a Java-based content management system that you can download for free. Additionally to Tomcat as Application Server I run an extra Apache as frontend web server. So – here is what my architecture looks like:

Typical Web Application Architecture: Web Server, Application Server and Database
Typical Web Application Architecture: Web Server, Application Server and Database

That’s why I choose Web / Java / .NET as my application type and then start clicking on the Add buttons for the individual tiers to walk through the setup process for each agent:

This wizard guides your through all the steps necessary to get an agent into your individual application tiers
This wizard guides your through all the steps necessary to get an agent into your individual application tiers

Adding my Java Agent

My application runs on Tomcat. So I click on the Add button below Application Server and walk through the wizard as shown in the next screenshots:

Wizard will tell you exactly what to do. For Java the goal is to get the command line option on your AppServers command line.
Wizard will tell you exactly what to do. For Java the goal is to get the command line option on your AppServers command line.

In my example I run Tomcat which allows me to specify any additional command line parameters through the catalina.bat (or catalina.sh file on Linux) by specifying the CATALINA_OPTS parameters:

set CATALINA_OPTS=%CATALINA_OPTS% -agentpath:”C:\Program Files\dynaTrace\dynaTrace 6.1.0\agent\lib\dtagent.dll”=name=Tomcat_Monitoring,server=YOURSERVERNAME:9998

Once I’ve done that I continue with the wizard which tells me to restart my application.

If everything goes according to plan we are back in our initial wizard page – able to add more tiers. If you have problems click on the help links
If everything goes according to plan we are back in our initial wizard page – able to add more tiers. If you have problems click on the help links

Adding my Web Server Agent

If your Java Application doesn’t have a Web Server (Apache, IIS, NGINX, …) then you can skip this step and already start analyzing your web traffic from Browser to Database.

I continue by clicking the Add button under Webserver or PHP Engine:

The wizard will tell you what to do after you picked your web server. The first part is to configure the dtwsagent.ini on the machine where your web server is located.
The wizard will tell you what to do after you picked your web server. The first part is to configure the dtwsagent.ini on the machine where your web server is located.
A dynaTrace Web Server Agent actually contains two parts: the dynaTrace Web Server Agent Service and the Module we load into Apache or IIS.
A dynaTrace Web Server Agent actually contains two parts: the dynaTrace Web Server Agent Service and the Module we load into Apache or IIS.

Configure UEM for Web and Mobile

The last step in this wizard is to configure User Experience Management which gives us visibility into the browser or into your mobile web and native application. Click on Configure UEM and explore the options you have. By default UEM for Desktop and Mobile Web is enabled. For iOS and Android Native you follow the instructions by clicking on the respective technology logo:

Configure User Experience Management for Mobile and Desktop. Gives you End-to-End Visibility starting on the End Users Device
Configure User Experience Management for Mobile and Desktop. Gives you End-to-End Visibility starting on the End Users Device

Step #3: Generate some load

Once we close the wizard we are promoted to execute some load before switching over to actually analyzing the monitored data:

Time to generate some traffic: either through a load test or by manually clicking through your main application use cases. If you are ready to look at the data click on Start Monitoring
Time to generate some traffic: either through a load test or by manually clicking through your main application use cases. If you are ready to look at the data click on Start Monitoring

Once we have some traffic on the system we can analyze the performance from different perspectives starting in our new Home Screen:

Home Screen gives you access to all common analysis options, whether through the Transaction Flow or some of the other analysis dashboards. Explore by hovering your mouse over the different areas.
Home Screen gives you access to all common analysis options, whether through the Transaction Flow or some of the other analysis dashboards. Explore by hovering your mouse over the different areas.

Step #4: Deep Dive Analysis

Now that we have load on the system we can drill into the different dashboards and views that Dynatrace has to offer. I am sure you will find it very intuitive and you will find many cool dashboards such as the Web Request Performance, Response Time Hotspot, End User Experience, Database or PurePath. Here are some screenshots so that you get a feeling of what is out there:

Once you have a single agent installed on a machine you get full Host and Process Monitoring including CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, GC, Threads, Throughput, etc.
Once you have a single agent installed on a machine you get full Host and Process Monitoring including CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, GC, Threads, Throughput, etc.
Web Request Performance: Analyze your performance based on significant URLs. Click on a URL and see why certain URLs are slower or have a higher failure rate
Web Request Performance: Analyze your performance based on significant URLs. Click on a URL and see why certain URLs are slower or have a higher failure rate
Response Time Hotspots: Which layers of the application contribute most to response time? From here drill down to Method and PurePath level
Response Time Hotspots: Which layers of the application contribute most to response time? From here drill down to Method and PurePath level
PurePath: The ultimate data source when analyzing problems. Every single request is available end-to-end with lots of context data.
PurePath: The ultimate data source when analyzing problems. Every single request is available end-to-end with lots of context data.
End User Visibility: With UEM turned on you can track every single visitor and every single action. Find out which actions are slow and drill to the root cause
End User Visibility: With UEM turned on you can track every single visitor and every single action. Find out which actions are slow and drill to the root cause

Ready to test it out on your own?

Now it’s your turn. Register for the 30 Day Free Trial – download the latest version and let us know what you think. If you need more than 30 Days look into our Share Your PurePath program.

If you have questions let us know through the online forums or register for one of the upcoming Live Q&A sessions that we host.