Ease of Use

CitraTest APM® generates each monitoring script via an application wizard walking the user through each step of a transaction. This process is fast and easy. Further, each monitoring script is automatically generated in Microsoft Visual Basic. Because of this “Open Architecture”, individuals with Visual Basic experience can use any function available in VB. For example, reading/writing databases; interfacing with 3rd party products using their published APIs; using the Windows API etc. Using VB as the scripting language offers you unlimited flexibility. Anything that can be performed in VB, can be performed within a CitraTest APM monitoring script. CitraTest APM is also ideal for non programmers because CitraTest APM automatically creates each monitoring script via the scripting wizard. As such no programming experience is required.

Automated Deployment

CitraTest APM® along with the APM Agent are installed on each dedicated Windows Monitoring PC (Point of Presence) and execute monitoring scripts at a user-definable time interval controlled via the CitraTest APM® Web Console. Each Monitoring PC can be deployed anywhere across the enterprise (inside and outside of the corporate firewalls). Positioning monitoring PCs at strategic points across the enterprise allows for the profiling of End to End response times for different locations and assists in the production of true and actual response time service levels. This is also useful in establishing the actual cause of response time problems. For instance, placing a monitoring PC next to the users and one attached to the same network as the application server will allow comparison of the response time results to see if a problem is in the network or in the server.

Measuring End To End Response Times Just Like a Real User Actually Experiences

When using CitraTest APM®, measuring end to end response times couldn't be simpler. By default, the monitoring script will measure the total execution time. In addition, detailed timers can be inserted at any point within a monitoring script to deliver multiple timers for every aspect of each transaction that is being simulated. Anything can be measured. For example, application load time, login time, how long it takes after any “button” is clicked until the next window or item appears, etc.

The simple example below outlines a CitraTest APM® monitoring script that measure two responses: 'Full transaction' and 'Load Word'.
CitraTest Monitoring Script
All CitraTest APM®; transaction responses times are sent from each dedicated monitoring PC to the CitraTest APM® Web Console. Via the Web Console, management reports are automatically generated showing the overall performance of all enterprise applications from every location. In addition, there is a Real-Time Dashboard view of each mission critical application allowing for constant surveillance.

Availability monitoring

Because CitraTest APM® drives an application periodically to measure end to end response times from anywhere across the enterprise, not only are the performance measurements gathered on an ongoing basis but more importantly, the actual availability of each application is also determined. Traditionally, availability is monitored by constantly checking the application's underlying infrastructure components such as network, database, files, ports, processes etc. This is time consuming, resource intensive, very expensive and still may not be accurate in many cases. For a Web site or web based application, if the ASP is not available, PINGing the server or simply downloading the page will not tell you if the ASP is not functioning. The ideal method of determining the availability of any application is to execute real transactions against each application from several locations across the enterprise to ensure that all the applications are operational. This proactive approach will allow IT organizations to instantly know if there is an availability issue and correct the problem before the problem results in costly business losses.

Availability Monitoring - Intelligence - The next level

CitraTest APM®; takes availability monitoring to the next level. Even in production environments, new releases of software, database rollbacks, roll-forwards, infrastructure changes etc can affect the accuracy of applications. CitraTest APM® can execute transactions against any application and intelligently validate the results. If there are any inconsistencies in data, processes or calculations, automatic alerts will be generating flagging the changes.

Open Architecture - 3rd Party Integration

CitraTest APM® simplifies 3rd party integration. End to End response time data and alerts can be distributed to any 3rd party Network & Systems Management Console such as Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 (MOM), Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, IBM Netcool, Tivoli, HP OpenView, BMC Patrol, and SightLine Systems SightLine to name a few. CitraTest APM features ARM (Application Response Management), SMS, SNMP, E-Mail Alerting, Relational Databases, Crystal Reports, and much more.
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