Business Transactions (BT) are critical to APM configuration. Before you configure APM, you need to answer these questions: 

  1. What are my business goals for monitoring?
  2. What pain points am I trying to solve with AppDynamics?
  3. What are the typical problems that consume my time and resources?
  4. What are the most critical business operations that need to perform optimally?

You can use the Custom Match Rules to configure the BTs.

Refine the Business Transactions

A business transaction is a set of requests. An important part of implementing AppDynamics is verifying and refining the business transactions used to monitor your application. The business transaction you monitor should reflect those operations that are important to your application and business. You must consider the limits on business transactions, and apply your refinements accordingly. 

Refining your business transaction list requires a solid understanding of the important business processes in your environment. You should identify 5 to 20 key operations in the application that must work well for the application to be successful. 

Important services can be indicated by the number of calls or calls per minute received by the business transactions generated for the services. You can refine the list of transactions you want to monitor by locking down critical transactions and enabling automatic cleanup of stale transactions. For the Java and .NET environments, you can use interactive Live Preview tools to help identify important transactions.

To customize the business transaction list, you can use either of these approaches:

  • You can modify existing business transactions by grouping, renaming, or removing the business transactions. Most of these operations are available from the business transaction list. Use this approach to apply relatively minor, small scale changes to the current business transaction list. For more information, see Organize Business Transactions.
  • You can affect how business transactions are created by modifying the automatic discovery rules. You can modify rules to similarly achieve business transaction grouping and naming, and to exclude transactions. Discovery rules also enable you to define new entry points for business transactions. Discovery rule modification is a powerful mechanism for changing transaction discovery on a larger scale. See Transaction Detection Rules

Business Transaction Limits

When reviewing and refining your business transaction limits, you must consider the business transaction limits for the Controller and app server agents. Business transaction limits prevent boundless growth of the business transaction list.  

The default limits are: 

  • Business Application Limits: Each application is limited to 200 registered business transactions.
  • App Server Agent Limits: Each agent is limited to 50 registered business transactions.

There is no limit at the tier level.

The App Server Agent limit applies to each app agent, not to the machine. If you have multiple app agents on a single machine, then the business transactions originating from that machine could be up to the number of agents multiplied by 50.

All Other Traffic Business Transactions

View All Other Traffic

All Other Traffic displays next to other business transactions in the Business Transactions list. You can view the dashboard and key performance metrics for All Other Traffic in the Metric Browser

Controller Limits

As an organizational unit in the AppDynamics model, business transactions are meant to be used for the most important transactions in your environment. The Controller limits the number of business transactions (50 for a node and 200 for a business application). This limit controls resource utilization on the Controller, and also helps you focus on the most important services performed by your application environment. 

Virtual Business Transaction Group

Once the business transaction registration limit is reached or transaction lockdown is enabled, newly detected transactions are not registered as business transactions, but they are monitored and reported by AppDynamics. The transactions are grouped into a virtual business transaction named All Other Traffic - tier_name. An All Other Traffic group exists for each tier on which the limit is reached. 

Purged Business Transactions

To reduce the number of business transactions and only show relevant ones, AppDynamics periodically runs a purger to move registered business transactions that have not received metrics to All Other Traffic as  virtual business transactions named All Other Traffic - tier_name.

Promote Business Transactions

When refining business transactions, you may want to move certain transactions from the All Other Traffic bucket to make them first-class business transactions. You can keep within the limits by deleting or excluding other business transactions, such as those that have little or no load, by using a custom exclude rule. If the number of business transactions is below the limit and lockdown is enabled, you can promote a transaction from the list of All Other Traffic by registering it from the Traffic Details panel.

View Details for All Other Traffic

To view incoming calls categorized in the All Other Traffic transaction: 

  1. Open the dashboard for the All Other Traffic business transaction. 
  2. Click View Traffic Details

View Traffic Details

The Traffic Details panel lists the transaction entry points that are affected by incoming requests after the registration limits are exceeded or after business transaction detection is locked down. The Business Transaction Name column contains auto-generated names for the transactions. The Call column shows the number of instances of the transaction and the Type column shows the entry point type.

If the Fetch more link appears, click to view more calls. You can retrieve up to 600 calls each time you click the link. If the Fetch more link does not appear, there are no more calls to retrieve for the selected time range.

Use APPDYNAMICS_DEFAULT_TX REST API to fetch All Other Traffic details. For an example, see Use the AppDynamics REST API.

Add Business Transactions Manually

You can add business transactions manually from a virtual business transaction called All Other Traffic, which is populated with transactions once the business transaction registration limits are reached.

Lock Down Business Transactions 

After you determine a set of business transactions to monitor, you may want to lock down business transactions. Locking down business transactions prevents application changes, upgrades to the agent software, or other changes from affecting the number or selection of business transactions you monitor as the primary, first-class business transactions in the AppDynamics model of your environment.

A production implementation of AppDynamics involves an initial period of assessing, organizing, and refining business transactions by customizing your default business transaction discovery rules.

With business transaction lockdown enabled, the Controller moves newly discovered transactions into the All Other Traffic transaction collection for the tier. You can promote a business transaction from the All Other Transactions list by registering it as a first-class business transaction manually.

Business transaction lockdown provides a way to register business transactions individually, by manual selection. In certain scenarios, you may want to enable business transaction lockdown before discovery occurs and register transactions manually. For example, this may be useful if your environment would otherwise generate a large number of business transactions and you only want to monitor a relative few as first class business transactions.

To enable business transaction lockdown:

  1. From the left pane, click Configuration > Instrumentation > Transaction Detection > More.
  2. Under Business Transaction Automatic Cleanup, select Enable Business Transaction Lock down.

After locking down business transactions, you can promote a transaction manually by accessing the Traffic Details dialog from the All Other Transactions dashboard. In the dialog, select the transaction and click Register to promote the transaction. If the agent has reached the business transaction registration limit, you will need to delete a registered business transaction before registering one from the All Other Traffic list.

If you enable automatic cleanup, business transactions that you lock down but that do not meet the activity threshold are still deleted. To override automatic cleanup for a business transaction, right-click the transaction and select Mark As Permanent

Optimize Business Transaction Detection

If your system has hundreds of business transactions, you can leverage the rule system to fine-tune which transactions you want to detect and monitor. Creating rules provides you specific transaction visibility. For example, you can create rules to:

  • Detect transactions that are not automatically detected.
  • Prioritize monitoring some transactions over others.
  • Remain under the transaction limit. When you combine multiple transactions in a rule, the individual transactions no longer count towards the transaction limit; the rule is counted as a single transaction. 
  • Exclude transactions from monitoring.

For example, Val is creating transaction detection rules for an ECommerce application. Val discovers that the most critical transaction, user-checkout, is grouped into All Other Traffic, which obscures its visibility. To ensure that AppDynamics collects detailed metrics for user-checkout, Val creates a rule that detects user-checkout, and sets the rule priority to a high value, 50. For less critical transactions, Val creates a rule that detects multiple transactions: createaccountbilling, and delivery-options. Val sets the rule priority to a lower value, 15. Combining multiple transactions into one rule helps Val stay within the transaction limit. See Transaction Detection Rules.