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Up your quality and agility factor – using automation to build “performance-as-a-self-service”

Organizations are being challenged, but also seizing the opportunity, to digitally transform their businesses with better customer experiences and new and competitive services, to increase business value.

The IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2020 Predictions highlights key trends for IT industry-wide technology adoption for the next five years and includes these predictions:

  • Hasten to innovation. By 2024, over 50% of all IT spending will be directly put towards digital transformation and innovation (up from 31% in 2018).
  • Industry apps explosion. By 2023, over 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches.

For software engineering teams, this demand means not only delivering new features faster but ensuring quality, performance, and scalability too.

One way to apply improvements is transforming the way application performance engineering and testing is done. This involves new software delivery models, adapting to complex software architectures, and embracing automation for analysis and testing.


At Dynatrace’s annual user conference, Perform Las Vegas 2020Neotys and Panera Bread joined me in a breakout talk called “Increase quality and agility with load & performance engineering as a self-service”.  Here is the definition of this model:

A good way to look at how this works can be seen through a few examples from Dynatrace customers that have set up this model.

#1 Performance-as-a-self-service at PayPal

This innovative model supports continuous delivery in a consistent and reliable way and stays true to the DevOps goal of code moving across the pipeline with more automation and less, or minimal, human intervention.

PayPal, a popular online payment systems organization, implemented a full performance as a self-service model for developers to get their code performance tests.

Read more details about PayPal in this blog who is an early practitioner for performance as a self-service.

#2 New roles and responsibilities at Panera Bread 

In order to scale the self-service model to multiple development teams, Panera Bread put a new team model in place that moves the test scripting and execution to the application development team and the focus the performance engineering team on deeper workload analysis and optimization, building automation frameworks and establishing best practices and education on tools and analysis techniques for the dev teams.

A look at Panera Bread’s role and responsibilities for the app dev team and performance engineering

Updating your team’s skillsets is vital too, so be sure to check out this blog for advice on the “Trades of a Performance Engineer in 2020!”

Try it today using Keptn

We recently announced Dynatrace is contributing to the open-source project Keptn, which provides a platform of pre-built and custom integration options for continuous delivery and automated operations for cloud-native applications.

One great feature of Keptn is the quality gate service that will evaluate specification files containing Service Level Indicators SLIs and Service Level Objectives SLOs. And depending on the level of quality of the new artifact, Keptn will either promote or stop an artifact.

In this visual, you can see the whole processing of Keptn deploying, testing, and evaluating performance tests against defined SLIs is automated

Get started today!

To implement performance as a self-service, you’ll need to look at how your organization currently prepares, tests and analyzes performance, including your current testing strategy, tools, monitoring technology, service virtualization, test data management, flow, roles, and skills.

Dynatrace has many capabilities and out-of-the-box features that support performance engineering and test. Here is a shortlist to get you started.

  1. Install the Dynatrace OneAgent to gather metrics and feed the Dynatrace AI-powered problem causation engine that automatically shows impacted users, system, and root cause during testing
  2. Check out Dynatrace’s Load testing tool integration
  3. Triage and Optimize many out of the box diagnostic tools
  4. Watch our video on Automate scoring and analysis Dynatrace API and Keptn Quality Gate Service
  5. Learn about Dynatrace’s Automation Cloud Enablement (ACE) services offerings that include a ‘quick start’ to your performance as a self-service proof-of-concept (POC) here.