dynaTrace, best known for its namesake application performance management software, has extended the solution to business transaction management (BTM) to provide business service intelligence.

The solution shipped on Tuesday. It builds on dynaTrace 3.2 with new agents that provide visibility into applications that run on mainframes as well as Apache and Microsoft IIS Web servers. Customers may also build their own agents.

The company may ship additional agents for Oracle’s Tuxedo and for Smalltalk by the end of the summer, said Eric Senunas, senior director of marketing and communications at dynaTrace.

dynaTrace has traditionally been an application performance management tool for .NET and Java. It is capable of tracing transactions across geographically distributed systems, including clusters and virtualized environments.

Those capabilities give dynaTrace a leg up on competing BTM products that take a similar bottom-up approach to BTM, said senior Forrester analyst Stefan Ried. “I believe that dynaTrace has a unique proposition, but the competition will catch up soon,” he added.

Other tools might monitor specific single application elements (such as a JavaBeans or Classes within an app server) but cannot determine the relation between them, Ried said. “Maybe a piece of Java code is waiting for a database or for functionality provided by another packaged business application. dynaTrace came from a bottom-up approach, understanding technical details very well, but invested a lot into the understanding of business transactions.”

In practice, correlations could be found from a Web application to a database call, Ried explained. “dynaTrace is capable of running constantly in a productive environment and helping operational people to understand how to run business processes fluently, even though these people never were involved in the application design or process model.”

Grouping can help an organization identify its most valuable transactions, such as by looking at revenues or user IDs, Senunas explained. A search is eBay’s most valuable transaction, but its search functions are within applications that reside behind the firewall and are never seen by network or BPM professionals, he said.