This page applies to an earlier version of the AppDynamics App IQ Platform.
For documentation on the latest version, see the 4.4 Documentation.

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The primary unit that AppDynamics tracks in a monitored environment is the business transaction. A business transaction represents a distinct unit of business logic enabled by your application environment, for example, for an ecommerce website, searching inventory or placing an order.  

A business transaction is defined by an entry point (such as the function call invoked when a search button is clicked) and the various interactions between the components that participate in implementing the transaction, such as databases, application servers, and messaging queues. 

About Automatic Business Transaction Detection

AppDynamics automatically creates business transactions for your application by detecting entry points and tracking the activity associated with the entry point across the distributed components in your environment.

Using the default business transaction detection scheme, AppDynamics can build a model of your application that may be sufficient for effective monitoring. However, you can also define business transactions manually and customize detection rules.  In most cases, an AppDynamics implementation uses a combination of global and custom discovery rules. 

To enable detection of all the components in a distributed business transaction, downstream agents must be at the same AppDynamics release or newer than upstream agents. This is true whether the tiers are all built on the same platform (for example all Java) or multiple platforms (a Node.js tier calling a Java tier, calling a .NET tier and so on).

View Business Transaction Performance

AppDynamics displays all business transactions for a single business application on the Business Transactions List. The configurable list shows the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the business transactions during the configured time range.

  1. From the Home page or the All Applications dashboard, select a business application.
  2. In the left navigation pane, click Business Transactions.
    The list shows all the transactions for a business application with configurable columns that display performance data.
    Click a column to sort the business transactions based on the data in that particular column. 
  3. To access a dashboard for a specific business transaction, select the business transaction and click View Dashboard.

Performance Data

Business transaction performance metrics are relevant for the configured time range. The metrics include:

  • Health column shows red, yellow, or green icons corresponding to the health rule settings for the business transaction. Click the icon to get more information. See Default Health Rules.
  • Key Performance Indicators include the following:
    • Response Time (ms): Average response time (ART) spent processing the business transaction, for all instances of the business transaction, from start to end of the entry point invocation.
    • Max Response Time (ms): Longest time spent processing an instance.
    • Min Response Time (ms): Shortest time spent processing an instance.
    • Calls: Call volume, the total number of invocations of the entry point for the business transaction (all instances).
    • Calls/min: Average number of instances per minute.
    • Errors/min: Number of errors over all instances. See Configure Error Detection.
    • Error %: Percentage of instances that are errors.
  • Slow and Stalled Requests include the following:
    • Slow Transactions: The number of instances that meet the criteria defined for a slow transaction.
    • Very Slow Transactions: Number of instances that meet the criteria defined for a very slow transaction.
    • Stalled Transactions: Number of instances that meet the criteria defined for a stalled transaction.
    • % Slow Transactions:  Percentage of instances that are slow over the selected time frame.
    • % Very Slow Transactions: Percentage of instances that are very slow over the selected time frame.
    • % Stalled Transactions: Percentage of instances that stalled over the selected time frame.
  • Criteria for slow, very slow, and stalled transaction performance is determined by thresholds. See Configure Transaction Thresholds.
  • Spark charts (as shown below) show the response time, calls per minute, and errors per minute as a graph over the selected time range.
  • CPU Usage metrics include the following: 
    • CPU Used (ms): Average time spent using the CPU. An invocation might wait or be blocked when it is not using the CPU.
    • Block Time (ms): Average time spent when invocations are blocked for thread synchronization and locks.  
    • Wait Time (ms): Average time spent when invocations are in a thread sleep or wait state.
  • Other: 
    • Tier: Display name of the originating tier for the business transaction.
    • Type: Type of entry point. The types that are listed depends on the app agent (Java, .NET, PHP, and so on).
    • Original Name: default name applied by AppDynamics. If you renamed the business transaction, viewing the original name can be useful for debugging

Business Transaction Dashboard

The Business Transaction Dashboard provides single-click access to all performance indicators for any detected business transaction. On many of the tabs and subtabs, you  can select a transaction snapshot and click View Transaction Snapshot to drill down to the cause of the error. See Transaction Snapshots.

To view the dashboard for a business transaction:

  1. From the business transaction list, select the business transaction.
  2. Either double-click the transaction or click View Dashboard.

The Business Transaction Dashboard has several tabs:

  • Dashboard: Displays the transaction flow map, and summary panels  including events, transaction scorecard, exceptions, and key performance graphs for load, response time, and errors.
  • Events: Lists the events for the transaction and summary information about each. This is an embedded copy of the event list in which only events for the selected business transaction are reported. You can modify the event types reported in this list. For more information about the events list see Filter and Analyze Events.
  • Slow Response Times: Graphs slow transactions and displays the transaction snapshots for the slow and stalled transactions for the selected time range.

  • Errors: Graphs and displays the error transaction snapshots for the selected time range.

  • Transaction Snapshots tab lists the snapshots taken for this transaction during the selected time range. The Slow and Error Transactions or Diagnostic Sessions subtabs are the quickest route to drill down to the root cause of slow, stalled or error transactions. The subtabs are:
    • All Snapshots: Displays all the transaction snapshots captured for the selected time range. Error transaction snapshots are coded red, slow transaction snapshots are coded yellow, and stalled transaction snapshots are coded purple.

    • Slow and Error Transactions: This subtab displays only snapshots for slow and error transactions.

    • Diagnostic Sessions: Displays diagnostic sessions that have already been started. It also lets you start a diagnostic sessions by clicking Start Diagnostic Session. See Capture Details with Diagnostic Sessions.

    • Periodic Collection: Displays transaction snapshots that have been configured to be collected periodically, whether or not the transactions are slow or error. See Configure Transaction Snapshots for information about enabling and disabling periodic snapshot collection.

  • Transaction Analysis: Shows the Transaction Analysis Graph for the business transaction.

Take Action on Business Transactions

You can perform a number of actions on business transactions using the More Actions menu from either the Business Transaction List or the Business Transaction Dashboard.

Select a business transaction and right-click, or click More Actions

There are various actions available to you, depending on your permissions in the Controller UI, including viewing health rule violations and configuring thresholds for the transaction, starting a diagnostic session for the transaction, classifying a business transaction as a background task, managing groups for the business transactionand others. 

Additional actions from the Business Transaction Dashboard Actions menu include:

  • View Metrics By Individual Nodes: displays metrics for each node in the tier in which the business transaction started.
  • Start a diagnostic session on the business transaction. 
  • View Old Dashboard: Displays in the old Flash format. In this format, you can see an option to Export as PDF Report.
  • Configure Data Collectors


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