Traditional application performance management was built from the ground up to be for infrastructure operations and the emergent DevOps teams. They were not designed for product and engineering teams.
But if you’re a developer, and you’re writing code to deliver to your customers in the form of an application or a service, you’d likely want to know after you deliver it that it’s working the way you intended.
This engineering-centric view of performance management has taken on the name “application stability management.” James Smith, co-founder of ASM solution provider Bugsnag, said his company and another, Sentry, are the first two to raise the banner for application stability.
So what’s the real difference between APM and ASM? Smith explained: “There’s this big gap in the APM space — figuring out when to promote builds from data to production, figuring out when to roll out an A/B test from 5% to 100%. You need to know when you’re making these rapid iterative changes, ‘Are the changes we’re delivering actually working?’ And this is just not something that the APM providers are thinking about. It’s an afterthought for them.”
It’s this focus on this persona of product and engineering teams that is making a difference. Smith said that when used alongside a traditional APM solution, his company found that less than 5% of the engineers were logging into the APM, while 70% of the engineering team was logging into Bugsnag on a weekly basis. “That’s meant that we’ve built what essentially is a daily dashboard for the engineering and product teams,” Smith said, “instead of waiting from the monitoring team to tell the software engineer that he screwed up and needs to fix it. It’s a tool those people are using every day to hone their craft and get better at being a software engineer.”