From increased uptime and improved user experiences to reduced risks and decreased expenses, application performance monitoring provides organizations with several business benefits that enable them to move faster than their competitors and deliver more value to their users.
For this reason, it comes as no surprise that the market for application performance monitoring (APM) tools is expected to reach nearly $5 billion by 2019, an impressive uptick from the $2.72 billion the market hauled in during 2014.
With so many APM tools on the market, choosing the right solution can be tricky.
Every organization is different, so APM software that works wonders for one company might not meet another’s needs.
But by doing your due diligence and finding the APM tools that are the right fit, you can increase your organization’s effectiveness while ensuring the applications and services you deliver exceed customer expectations.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 19 APM tools that are worth checking out.
Raygun APM is a comprehensive solution that enables you to monitor the performance of your applications from one central location. Crash reporting, real user monitoring and APM software work together to provide real-time data about the user experience and performance, which you can easily leverage to identify bottlenecks. Simply put, this means you can figure out what needs to be done to speed things up. Use Raygun to determine whether a bug in your code, function, database or API call is causing a problem and take immediate steps to remedy it.
The biggest advantage of Raygun is the pricing model, which is much friendlier than some other tools on the market as it is charged per trace.
Raygun is currently available for .NET only and doesn’t yet support Java or Ruby on Rails. But both are in the product roadmap. Similarly, while Raygun integrates with GitHub, it can’t yet connect to GitLab or Bitbucket. But those integrations will also be available soon, too.
Scout is an APM solution that provides insight into the performance of apps built on Ruby on Rails. The solution works with several frameworks, including React, Angular, Backbone, and Ember.
While Scout offers a GitHub integration and enables you to detect inefficiencies in your apps, the solution leaves a lot to be desired because it only supports Ruby on Rails. Scout also offers two complementary products, DevTrace, and Server Monitoring, that you’d probably want to tack on to get a more complete solution; many leading APM tools offer similar functionality on their own.
SharePath, made by Correlsense, enables you to keep track of user’s experience across devices, down to the most granular level. That means you can quickly identify issues as they appear. The solution can be installed quickly, without support from the vendor. Real-time alerts can be sent to any of your devices, too, so you won’t have to worry about being kept in the dark about anything.
The solution works with the Java and .NET architectures. It also supports PHP, but that feature is in beta. Look elsewhere if you’re working with other languages and architectures.
Cisco’s AppDynamics is a powerful APM solution that helps organizations ensure their apps are working efficiently. The platform supports a number of languages, including Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, C++, Python, and Go.
While this solution is powerful and can help you improve the user experience, it can take a while to implement fully. Employees may also need to be trained to figure out how to use it effectively. What’s more, because the platform was designed for the enterprise, it may be priced out of reach for many smaller, independent developers.
Stackify’s Retrace is an APM tool that helps developers detect bugs during development and QA. It also monitors deployments to make sure apps are performing as designed.
While the solution delivers a lot of value, Retrace only supports Java and .NET applications. So if you’re working with other languages, you’ll have to look for another APM solution. The solution is also only available via desktop; they don’t yet have a mobile app.
Dynatrace provides real-time insight into your entire application stack that enables you to optimize the user experience. The APM solution illustrates application topology and changes in real time, leveraging artificial intelligence to detect performance problems as they materialize.
Despite the upsides, the platform’s reporting capabilities can leave much to be desired. But the tool should help you reduce your MTTR (Mean Time to Recovery).
Loupe is a lightweight APM tool that can be hosted in your own data center or delivered via the cloud as a SaaS solution. The platform, which can integrate with several tools in your tech stack, enables you to monitor every user’s behavior. That, in turn, allows you to figure out what went wrong for each individual and take steps to solve their specific problems.
As you begin your search for an APM solution, keep in mind that Loupe only supports .NET applications. Depending on your budget, you may find that Loupe is a bit pricey for your needs, too. But the app does offer a free trial, so you can give it a whirl before deciding whether to open up the company purse.
SmartBear’s AlertSite is a complete APM solution that enables developers to stay on top of the health of their applications—without worrying about drowning in false alerts. The platform provides actionable alerts in real time so teams can take immediate action to fix small problems before they balloon into big ones. AlertSite is known for its intuitive interface that balances usability with functionality.
AlertSite, in its current iteration, is a bit limited. But the platform offers integrations with several other tools, like AppDynamics, PagerDuty, Slack, and more to make up for its shortcomings.
Nastel’s AutoPilot is a real-time, end-to-end application performance monitoring solution that works for applications built on Java and .NET across distributed system platforms, middleware, mainframes, and mobile apps. Teams that use AutoPilot are able to spend less time proactively monitoring their applications thanks to a real-time alerting system that informs employees of situations that require action.
While the platform provides several benefits, companies may need to spend a good deal of time training their users. You’ll probably need to invest several hours in properly configuring the tool, too, before your team can become fully productive with it.
Pulseway is an APM solution that enables you to monitor the health and performance of Windows, Mac, and Linux apps all from one central interface. The platform integrates with a number of third-party services, including Zendesk, Slack, and PagerDuty, enabling you to extend the solution to get even more value from it.
Some Pulseway users say it can be a bit tricky to find some of the more advanced features in the tool’s interface. Others have difficulty implementing the software, though the company does offer support to help you enjoy a successful onboarding.
Recently acquired by VMware, Apteligent is an advanced APM solution that enables you to improve app performance, strengthen the user experience, and uncover business insights you otherwise might have missed. The solution provides real-time insight into how your app is being used, giving you the information you need to make adjustments and improvements as warranted.
Apteligent’s reporting and search features can leave something to be desired. The platform’s interface can be a bit confusing, too. But that’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a bit of training.
SteelCentral, made by Riverbed, is an APM solution that supports Java, .NET, and Ruby on Rails. The platform provides insights into how users are interacting with your apps, enabling you to identify any potential issues by application, user, transactions, business division, and location.
While SteelCentral is a serviceable APM, you’ll likely need to tack on several other Riverbed products to the solution in order to get access to the same functionality other APM tools provide out-of-the box. Critics have also said the solution’s interface leaves much to be desired.
Instrumental is a full-stack APM solution that supports Docker, .NET, Java, Ruby, Python, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, PHP, Node.js, and more. New metrics can be tracked by adding a new line of code. The low-cost tool offers a free trial that enables you to monitor up to 500 metrics for three-hour periods; advanced monitoring capabilities require a subscription.
While Instrumental provides a wealth of actionable insights, you do lose some granularity as you assess longer periods of history.
Opsview Monitor is an APM tool that enables you to test applications in real time. The solution offers deep extensibility, including native integration with Salesforce, so teams can easily use plugins to leverage the other complementary tools in their tech stack.
While you’ll be able to implement Opsview quickly, customized configuration can take a while. Some users may find that the tool’s documentation is out of date, too.
Quest Foglight, by Dell, is an APM solution that is designed for medium-sized businesses and large enterprises. It enables companies to optimize their hybrid clouds via robust real-time and historical data reporting, and it comes with impressive alerting capabilities. The solution supports Java, .NET, AJAX, and IBM Websphere WQ and enables you to automate and predict capacity for several different kinds of servers, including VMware, Hyper-V, Azure, AWS, and more.
While Foglight helps you ensure your applications are running smoothly, the interface is a bit hard to find your way around. Though the tool is great for monitoring purposes, options for remediation inside Foglight are few and far between.
LogicMonitor is an end-to-end APM solution that enables you to keep your finger on the pulse of critical business applications by ensuring they are working properly at all times. The platform currently works with over 1,000 other technologies, including Apache, Cassandra, Java, MongoDB, Nginx, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and more.
Like other APM tools, some users might be turned off by LogicMonitor’s interface, which can be confusing. But the company does offer support and has a decent library of tutorial videos. Technology-proficient users shouldn’t have too steep of a learning curve ahead of them.
Micro Focus SiteScope, made by HPE, is an agentless APM service that enables teams to identify problems faster and accelerate MTTR, thereby delivering stronger user experiences.
The platform is based in Java, so organizations that use other tools will probably want to look elsewhere for an APM solution. SiteScope can also be pricey for some organizations. The service offers a free 30-day trial, though, so you can get a taste of what it’s like before signing a contract.
18. New Relic APM
New Relic APM provides a complete view of your tech stack and application health. The solution supports several languages, including NET, Java, Ruby, Python, Node.js, Go, and PHP. New Relic APM boasts a sleek user interface that’s easy to navigate once you’re used to it.
While New Relic APM offers a lot of great utility in a free version, the company has periodically moved features that used to be free to subscription tiers over the last few years. So if you’re looking for additional functionality, get ready to spend a pretty penny on per-server pricing. The solution is also only available as a SaaS offering, so if you’re looking to host something in your own data center, you’ll have to find a different option.
Datadog enables you to monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize application performance of cloud-based applications all the way down to a single line of code or unique customer request. The platform provides a wealth of data in built-in dashboards that are visually appealing, including a flame chart for trace views.
On the downside, for unique requests, it can be difficult for the average user to create customized dashboards from scratch. New user onboarding may take a while, too, for those who aren’t as advanced as some of their peers. Datadog doesn’t currently have a crash reporting or a real user monitoring solution, either, so is limited to server monitoring.
Which APM tool will work best for you?
As you can see, there’s no shortage of application performance monitoring tools on the market. While many of these tools are similar, it’s worth analyzing their differences to determine which solution makes the most sense for your specific situation.
One thing is sure: if you’re looking to deliver more value to your customers and build stronger applications, you need to add an APM solution to your tool stack. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in less-than-optimal applications that are unreliable and buggy. And that will increasingly frustrate your users.