Application and transaction management

To define applications and transactions, define an application for each business application that exists in your environment and then, to see a more detailed view of the applications, supplement the application definitions with definitions for specific transactions.

Before configuring applications and transactions

Before configuring the applications and transactions, ensure that:

  • You have established the sniffing points. For more information, see Install NAM Probe.
  • You have configured software services in the NAM Console. In the most common NAM setup scenario you need to first acquire traffic information and allow NAM Probes to report software service statistics. The information provided by data collectors is accessible via the Business units screen and can be used to formulate transaction rules.
  • Tier configuration matches your requirements and network topology. To see report data on applications and tiers, you have to configure tiers. The data presented on these report groups is based only on tiers that are user-defined.

Defining applications and transactions is one simple process. Some of the steps are optional depending on the level of detail that is necessary in the reports or how much information you can provide about the monitored web applications. Remember that every transaction requires a parent application and that each transaction can have only one parent application.

To define applications and transactions:

  1. Define an application for each business application in your environment, for example, car rental, holiday booking, or accounting. In the most simple case you need to fine-tune the rules for the application and add at least one software service to the application definition.

    For more information, see Defining a new application and  Defining an application rule.

    By default the NAM Server assigns one “All other” transaction to your newly created application. This transaction does not have any rules and you cannot edit it. You will see the “All other” transaction on reports when the report server receives monitoring data.

  2. Optional: To see a more detailed view of your applications, supplement previously defined application definitions with definitions for specific transactions, for example, “search a car by type” or “book a hotel”).

    This requires adding at least one new transaction to the already defined applications. You will need to fine tune rules for the newly added transactions and add at least one operation or operation mask to the transaction definition.

    For more information, see Defining transactions for application.

If your NAM Server is connected to Business Service Management, you can select applications and transactions from lists of applications and transactions recognized by Dynatrace in your configuration.

Further configuration may not be required if you configured sequence transactions on the NAM Probe or integrated Enterprise Synthetic with the NAM Server. For more information, see Advanced transaction and application configurations.

To validate your configuration steps, display application-related reports on the NAM Server. Click Home on the top menu to display the report. Note that data for the applications have just been defined is available only after one of the monitoring devices (for example, a NAM Probe) reports data matching criteria for the transaction definitions.

Note

To immediately view the transaction statistics, instead of using the Business Units tool, which is based only on traffic that has already been reported by the NAM Probe, define the transactions in a text file and copy it to the NAM Server configuration folder. The reporting server reads the content of the file and automatically presents the data on the application-related reports.

Defining a new application

Applications act as containers for transactions. By default, there are no applications defined on the NAM Server, but adding a new application is simple. Defining applications in combination with defining transactions enables you to see data on the Applications report and use the Application dimension to filter the data on your reports. Note that if you also define reporting groups, you must not use the Application and the Reporting Group in the same report section as this may result in no or unreliable data in your report.

To define a new application:

  1. Log on to the NAM Server as a user with administrative rights.
  2. Go to the Business units screen. Access options:
    • From the NAM Server menu, choose Settings ► APM model ► Business units.
    • From the NAM Console top menu, choose Configuration ► Tiers, applications and transactions, and then choose the server for which to access the Business units screen.
  3. Click Add and select Application.
  4. Type an application name in the dialog that appears on the screen.
    Every time an application is successfully stored in the report server database, a notification confirming the operation is displayed.

Then do one of the following:

  • Define the data that is shown for the newly defined application.
    For more information, see Defining transactions for application.
  • Define an application rule and create a transaction to collect a greater level of granularity and gain greater control over the application data shown in reports.
    For more information, see Defining an application rule and Defining transactions for application.
  • Define the application without configuring detailed transaction conditions. This step enables you to define rules for the newly created application and complete the process of creating the applications and transactions.
    For more information, see  Defining an application rule.

Defining an application rule

To define an application rule based on traffic information coming from NAM, you need to specify a software service and optionally narrow down the scope by selecting a server and a level in the reporting hierarchy (for example, an operation or a group of operations) using wildcards. NAM rules are set on the Business Units screen.

To define a rule:

  1. Log on to the NAM Server as a user with administrative rights.

  2. Go to the Business units screen.
    Access options:

    • From the NAM Server menu, choose Settings ► APM model ► Business units.
    • From the NAM Console top menu, choose Configuration ► Tiers, applications and transactions, and then choose the server for which to access the Business units screen.
  3. Select an application.

  4. Click Add rule.

  5. Choose a monitored entity.

    You can define rules based on data provided NAM Probe (Real Users - Probe), Dynatrace Application Monitoring UEM (Real Users - Browsers) or Synthetic Backbone. If the NAM Server is connected to more than one user experience measurement sources (Real User - Probe and Real User - Browser), you can choose the primary source for Real User data presented on the Application Health Status reports. Note that when you choose the Browser data, the notion of Total Unique Users refers to the unique visits, not the actual users.

    NAM Probe

    Click the Real Users - Probe button and then the Software service field and start typing. A list of all available software services appears. Select the required service and it is added to the rule.

    Dynatrace Application Monitoring UEM

    Click the Real Users - Browser button and then the System Profile field and start typing. A list of all available system profiles appears. Select the required profile and it is added to the rule.

    Synthetic Backbone

    Click the Synthetic Backbone button and then the Account field and start typing. A list of all available DPN accounts appears. Select the required account and it is added to the rule.

  6. Define the other rule components.

    Real Users - Probe

    Server IP address

    Enter the IP addresses of servers to be included in the rule (non-matching servers are excluded). You can enter only one address per line. Only full addresses are supported.

    An empty Server IP address matches any IP address. Note that an empty field will be replaced by the asterisk symbol.

    Type

    Choose the reporting hierarchy level: Operation, Task, Module, or Service. You can also choose Expression to create detailed rules.

    Label

    Choose operation or another entity matching the Type selection. Depending on the choice in the Type column, select the values filtered by the matching criteria.

    To exclude a given entity from the rule, you can surround the string to be excluded with the character combination “~()”. For example, if you are defining a transaction as a container for SQL operations and want to exclude all SELECT operations, use the following structure:

    ~(SELECT *)

    Operations or other hierarchy levels (for example, tasks or modules) are not shown on the reports for the given business unit.

    Note that an exclude rule can be the only definition in the Label field. Negation can be used in combination with any hierarchy level set in the Type column.

    For expressions, use the following structure:

    parameter1="value1",parameter2="*mask2"

    Expressions consist of parameters and their values. You can use the following parameters: operation, task, module, service, host, method, and protocol. They must be separated by commas, with no spaces.

    Parameter values must be enclosed in quotation marks.

Example expressions:

Example expressions
Example expressions

If the expression is invalid, a warning icon appears next to the Label field.

Real Users - Browser

Dynatrace Application Monitoring Application

Start typing or select from the list one of the Dynatrace Application Monitoring Applications available for a selected System Profile.

Synthetic Backbone

Test

Start typing to match one of the tests executed for a selected DPN Account.

Page

Start typing to match one of the pages accessed as a result of executing a selected test for a selected DPN Account.

Threshold

Set the threshold in milliseconds that classifies the page as slow.

The report server database is updated immediately after the rule constituents are entered.

Then do one of the following:

  • If it is not necessary to define the detailed transaction conditions, see the reports to see the status of your monitored application.
  • Optionally define the data that is shown for the newly defined application. For more information, see Defining transactions for application.

All Other transaction

All of the traffic matching rules assigned directly to an application in Business Units Configuration are presented on reports as the “All other” transaction. You cannot edit this transaction and it does not possess qualities such as the steps that are part of regular NAM transaction configuration. The “All other” transaction plays an important role when you define applications and transactions. It can either carry an entire configuration or serve as a filter that enables you to see the data pertaining to an application but is not covered by more specific rules.

Transaction within the reporting workflow

You can create three different configuration models in which the “All Other” transaction is included in the reporting workflow:

  • Rules that only apply to the application.

    This is useful when you want to use the NAM Server reporting workflow but are not interested in details or specific categorization of the monitored traffic. In this case, the reporting workflow shows an application and collective statistics for the servers, software services, or operations, depending on the number and detail of rule granularity. “All other” is the only transaction shown on the reports.

    For more information, see Defining an application rule.

  • Rules for the application and transactions.

    This approach enables you to gather the most complete picture of your monitored application. In this case, you define more general traffic categorization rules and specific rules. This is later reflected in the reports showing you the data for specific transactions or the “All other” transaction. If the application definition combines application and transaction rules, consider the “All other” transaction as the rest, complementary to the other transaction configurations.

    For more information, see Defining an application rule and Defining transactions for application.

  • Rules for transactions only.

    This is useful if you are interested only in specific portions of the monitored traffic. In this case, the reporting workflow shows you the data matching the specific rules and categorized as transactions. The “All other” transaction is not visible in the report; it shows only the data for transactions that have rules assigned in the Business Units Configuration.

    For more information, see Defining transactions for application.

When you define rules for the application and transactions, the configuration becomes a set of complementary elements. The recommended steps are first to create application rules based on the most generic criteria (for example, software service or chosen servers). Next, create the transactions where you choose only the significant elements, such as operations or groups of operations (tasks, modules, and services). In this way, you can see the details meaningfully categorized and the additional less significant background information.

Example of a website application

Assumptions:

Your NAM Probe monitors a software service whose rules consist of two different web servers.

These servers work together as a front-end application showing your customers the calculation data you sell to them.

  • Server A data is the most important to you because this is the basic platform your customers use;
  • Server B performs on-demand calculations.

You are interested in the overall statistics for the entire set of operations on both servers, but you want details on part of the operations Server B executes and all operations Server A executes. The configuration is as follows:

  • A rule for the application comprising all traffic for the software service.
  • A rule for the WT1 transaction based on all operations on Server A .
  • A rule for the WT2 transaction based on a group of operations on Server B .

In effect, the “All other” transaction provides details for the traffic on Server B that does not match the WT2 transaction rules.

Defining transactions for application

A unique transaction is defined by a pair of names: application and transaction name. Use the Business units screen to define a new transaction.

Creating a transaction

  1. Log on to the NAM Server as a user with administrative rights.

  2. Go to the Business units screen. Access options:

    • From the NAM Server menu, choose Settings ► APM model ► Business units.
    • From the NAM Console top menu, choose Configuration ► Tiers, applications and transactions, and then choose the server for which to access the Business units screen.
  3. Select Applications and transactions in the navigator.

  4. Select the application for which to create a transaction.

  5. Click Add and select Transaction.

  6. In the dialog box, type the transaction name and click OK.

    Every time a transaction is successfully stored in the report server database a notification confirming the operation is displayed.

    After the transaction is added to the list, a step is created as a part of the transaction configuration. The step contains a single rule or a set of rules that constitute the transaction definition.

Defining the transaction step rules

  1. Create a transaction definition - edit step rules.

    The same transaction may be based on several rules, each containing data originating from the NAM Probe. The configuration set for a transaction (steps) is automatically applied to its parent application.

    Because you are configuring a business mapping of the real monitored application structure in the NAM report workflow, you must determine the required level of granularity. A transaction may consist of one or more steps. The decision to define a single-step transaction (less granularity) or a multi-step transaction (more granularity) depends on how granular the data is to be presented in the reports. The granularity of your configuration, the number of transactions or steps, is reflected in the reports.

    After successfully configuring the NAM Probe, define a transaction rule.

Defining a transaction rule

To define a rule based on traffic information coming from NAM, you need to specify a software service and optionally narrow down the scope by selecting a server and a level in the reporting hierarchy (for example, an operation or a group of operations) using wildcards. NAM rules are set on the Business Units screen.

To define a rule:

  1. Log on to the NAM Server as a user with administrative rights.

  2. Go to the Business units screen. Access options:

    • From the NAM Server menu, choose Settings ► APM model ► Business units.
    • From the NAM Console top menu, choose Configuration ► Tiers, applications and transactions, and then choose the server for which to access the Business units screen.
  3. Select an application and expand its transactions.

  4. Select a transaction.

  5. Click Add and select Step.

  6. Select the newly added step and click Add rule.

  7. Choose a monitored entity.

    You can define rules based on data provided NAM Probe, Dynatrace Application Monitoring UEM or Synthetic Backbone.

    NAM Probe

    Click the Real Users - Probe button and then the Software service field and start typing. A list of all available software services appears. Select the required service and it is added to the rule.

    Dynatrace Application Monitoring UEM

    Click the Real Users - Browser button and then the System Profile field and start typing. A list of all available system profiles appears. Select the required profile and it is added to the rule.

    Synthetic Backbone

    Click the Synthetic Backbone button and then the Account field and start typing. A list of all available DPN accounts appears. Select the required account and it is added to the rule.

  8. Define the other rule components.

    Real Users - Probe

    Server IP address

    Enter the IP addresses of servers to be included in the rule (non-matching servers are excluded). You can enter only one address per line. Only full addresses are supported.

    An empty Server IP address matches any IP address. Note that an empty field will be replaced by the “*” (asterisk) symbol.

    Type

    Choose the reporting hierarchy level: Operation, Task, Module, or Service. You can also choose Expression to create detailed rules.

    Label

    Choose operation or another entity matching the Type selection. Depending on the choice in the Type column, select the values filtered by the matching criteria.

    To exclude a given entity from the rule, you can surround the string to be excluded with the character combination “~() ”. For example, if you are defining a transaction as a container for SQL operations and want to exclude all SELECT operations, use the following structure:

    ~(SELECT *)

    Operations or other hierarchy levels (for example, tasks or modules) are not shown on the reports for the given business unit.

    Note that an exclude rule can be the only definition in the Label field. Negation can be used in combination with any hierarchy level set in the Type column.

    For expressions, use the following structure:

    parameter1="value1",parameter2="*mask2"

    Expressions consist of parameters and their values. You can use the following parameters: operation, task, module, service, host, method, and protocol . They must be separated by commas, with no spaces.

    Parameter values must be enclosed in quotation marks.

If the expression is invalid, a warning icon appears next to the Label field.

Real Users - Browser

Dynatrace Application Monitoring Application

Start typing or select from the list one of the Dynatrace Application Monitoring Applications available for a selected System Profile.

User action name

Type to select one of available user actions, for example Loading of a Page or Click on Book Now.

Type

Type to select the client type: desktop, mobile, or synthetic.

Source URL

Source URL

Destination URL

Destination URL

Synthetic Backbone

Test

Start typing to match one of the tests executed for a selected DPN account.

Page

Start typing to match one of the pages accessed as a result of executing a selected test for a selected DPN account.

Threshold

Set the threshold, in milliseconds, that classifies the page as slow.

The report server database is updated immediately after the rule constituents are entered.

Advanced transaction and application configurations

In certain conditions, and depending on the level of integration between your Dynatrace components, configuring new applications and transactions may not be necessary.

The following are examples of when the applications and transactions appear automatically on the NAM Server reports:

  • You have configured sequence transactions on the NAM Probe using NAM Console. When you configure sequence transactions in HTTP, XML, or SAP GUI monitoring, you assign an application name for each transaction. The transaction and application names are sent to the NAM Server and are automatically displayed on reports.
  • You have assigned software services on the NAM Probe to an application. By default, this software service is associated with an appointed application and is used as a configuration rule for the “All other” transaction.
  • You have configured the NAM Server to receive data from Enterprise Synthetic Agent Manager. Note that all transactions and applications that are received from agents are read-only and cannot be re-configured. To change their rules, you must do this on the Enterprise Synthetic side.
  • You are a Dynatrace Synthetic Monitoring Platform user and have integrated Dynatrace test definitions to NAM using NAM Console. Depending on how detailed the import of Dynatrace parameters is, if the data is later fine-tuned you will see a Dynatrace Default application with the test definitions mapped to transactions. If you have performed all configuration steps and renamed transactions or applications, they are shown according to your settings.

Synchronizing transactions between NAM Server and ADS

To be able to list transactions defined on NAM Server, the ADS must be synchronized with NAM Server so it is aware of the NAM Server transaction configurations.

To synchronize transactions between NAM Server and ADS:

  • In a farm environment, the NAM Server must be configured as a master server with the ADS configured as a slave server.
  • The same NAM Probe must be registered on the NAM Server and on the ADS.

A server cluster ensures synchronization of both servers about every 5 minutes. During this synchronization, ADS checks the last modification time for reporting groups, transactions, and applications from the NAM Server. If there is any transaction for which the configuration has changed, it is synchronized during cluster synchronization.

In addition to cluster synchronization, an additional synchronization task is scheduled to occur every 3 hours. This task ensures synchronization in case of any connection problems between the servers. Therefore, the maximum wait for synchronization is 3 hours.

After the synchronization task is executed and reporting group configurations are synchronized between NAM Server and ADS, you can examine the predefined Advanced Web Diagnostics Overview report on the ADS. The column Reporting group lists transactions that you have defined on NAM Server.