Velocity was probably the best stage for this announcement and it was great that we got a slot on the Lightening Demo’s to show what’s new from dynaTrace.
What is new in dynaTrace AJAX Edition 2.0 Beta 1?
Even though we got a lot of requests to support Firefox, we saw a bigger need for making the data more easily accessible, providing more automatic data analysis and extending the performance metrics that we already provided. This does not mean we don’t work on building support for Firefox – we in fact do – but the real pain of our growing user base we want to solve is making it easier to make sense of the collected data.
Automatic Performance Analysis based on dynaTrace, Google and Yahoo Best Practices
You may have seen my recent blog posts where I analyzed sites like FIFA World Cup 2010, Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010 or the Masters golf tournament. I did these analysis based on Best Practices from Yahoo, Google, Steve Souders and our own dynaTrace Best Practices that we have collected over time. We are in the fortunate situation of interacting with many big web shops around the world helping them to solve their performance problems using both the dynaTrace AJAX Edition to solve their Client-Side problems and dynaTrace continuous APM to solve their Server-Side problems. The feedback we collect in these interactions moved into our Best Practices and heavily influenced this next version of the AJAX Edition.
The following illustration shows the new Performance Report which is the successor of our previous Summary View. It automatically opens when double clicking a stored or live session in the dynaTrace AJAX Edition Cockpit:
The Performance Report analyzes every single URL in the dynaTrace AJAX Session based on Key Performance Indicators and grades the page in 5 major performance areas:
- Key Performance Indicators on End-User Web Site Performance: this includes Time to First Impression, Time to onLoad, Time to Fully Loaded and the number of HTTP Roundtrips it takes to fully load the page
- Usage of Browser Caching: this includes analysis of resources without any cache settings, cache settings in the past or cache settings with a very short expiration date (<48 hours)
- Server-Side Processing: here we look at all dynamic requests that make it to the application server and pick those that have a high server-side time. We give advice on our dynaTrace Best Practices on Server-Side Performance Problems such as we did recently in the Top 10 List of Performance Problems taken from engagements we had with Zappos, Monster, Thomson and co
The 5 links on these 5 performance areas lead you to our dynaTrace Best Practice documents on Web Site Performance Optimization. The documents explain what our criteria are for fast web sites and they also give a detailed explanation and an example calculation of the underlying page ranking system. The Ranking itself is aligned with tools such as YSlow and PageSpeed. It is a rank from 100 (best) to 0 (worst) and it corresponds with a Grade from A (best) to F (worst).
Extended Key Performance Indicators
The KPI tab on the Performance Report shows detailed metrics centred around End User Performance Experience such as Time to First Impression, Time to onLoad, Time to Fully Loaded), Server vs. Client Time vs. Interactive Time, Network Breakdown in DNS, Connect, Transfer and Wait, … . The following screenshot shows the KPI tab with all the new metrics to analyze:
A description on how we calculate most of these KPI’s can be found in our Best Practice on Web Site Performance Optimization. Certain KPI’s are color coded based on whether they violate our thresholds for being good, acceptable or not acceptable. These thresholds are also explained in the Best Practices paper. There are some interesting KPI’s that I want to mention here as they are probably new to most of you:
- First Impression: this is the time it takes from entering the URL till the user actually gets a visual indication of the page. We take advantage of capturing rendering activity and this is the time of the first Drawing event
- Single Resource Domains: Domains that only serve a single resource (image, js, css) pay a high penalty on DNS and Connect Time. dynaTrace AJAX Edition lists how many resources are delivered per domain and what the individual network times (DNS, Wait, Connect, Server, Transfer) are.
We believe that these metrics will help you to get a better understanding of the performance characteristics of your individual web pages
Integration to showslow.com
If you don’t know about ShowSlow.com you should check it out. Sergey Chernyshev built this performance repository solution and hosts one public service instance on http://www.showslow.com. Tools like YSlow and PageSpeed already had an integration to ShowSlow where the performance analysis results can be uploaded to a ShowSlow instance – allowing you to compare your web site’s performance ranks over time. ShowSlow also lists the Top 100 Alexa Sites which makes it easier for us to compare these biggest sites to one another as well as compare the results of our own sites with the big ones.
dynaTrace AJAX Edition 2.0 Beta 1 now provides the same integration by allowing you to upload your performance ranks to the public ShowSlow.com instance. The Beta 1 only allows you to upload it to the public instance but this is likely going to change to be configurable for the final release so that you can upload your results to your internal ShowSlow instance as well.
There are two ways of uploading the data:
a) Click on the “Upload your results to showslow.com” link on the Summary Tab
b) Use the context menu on the list of URLs on the top of the Performance Report
You get prompted whether you really want to upload the data when clicking the link or the context menu in order to avoid accidental uploads to the public ShowSlow.com instance.
Join the Community
This is dynaTrace AJAX Edition 2.0 Beta 1 – a big milestone for us and hopefully also for you J – so get your hands on it and download it here
Complete Walk-through Webinar
In order to give you a detailed insight into the new features of dynaTrace AJAX Edition 2.0 Beta 1 we are hosting a webinar where we give you a detailed walk-through of the new KPI’s, the Best Practices and the Performance Report. Sign up for this free webinar which will take place on Wednesday, Jun 30th at 12 AM EST (9 AM PST, 6PM CET). The webinar will also be recorded and made available shortly after.