dynaTrace has created a free tool called dynaTrace AJAX Edition 2 that the company says will help developers optimize Web 2.0 client-side applications. Introduced this week, the tool analyzes an application’s performance based on browser caching, network requests, server-side processing and AJAX and JavaScript execution, the company said.

After automatically analyzing every transaction, AJAX Edition 2 highlights problem areas, ranks overall performance, and recommends best-practice solutions for common Web 2.0 problems (such as reducing the number of roundtrips to the server for caching), according to dynaTrace.

The new edition also includes a built-in ability to compare Web pages, based on key performance indicators (KPIs) and industry norms (such as page load time, time to first impression and time to fully loaded). Web pages are assessed and given a performance grade, dynaTrace said, and KPIs for every Web page are also summarized in a dashboard, which helps to indicate code-level issues that need to be fixed.

Users can also upload their results to ShowSlow.com, an open-source performance benchmarking service, to compare their applications to those of competitors or to measure their own application’s performance over time.

In addition, AJAX Edition 2 comes with a built-in integration for Selenium and Watir (tools used to automate browser-based tests), allowing functional test scripts to be reused to measure Web 2.0 performance in the browser. The automated tests can also be integrated into continuous integration systems to uncover performance regression issues as they are introduced into day-to-day builds, the company said.

“Splitting application logic between front-end clients and back-end servers has always been tricky,” said Bernd Greifeneder, founder and CTO of dynaTrace. “AJAX Edition 2 was built to solve three major challenges for Web 2.0 developers: How to build better client-side code faster; how to better test client-side code to assure performance and no regression; and how to get a complete understanding of front-end to back-end interaction in a deep, yet automatic way.”

AJAX Edition 2 is available now as a free download.