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This topic describes how to acquire and start using the AppDynamics software. 

Get a Controller

The AppDynamics Controller is the central configuration and monitoring point for an AppDynamics deployment. The Controller serves the browser application you use to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot your environment. AppDynamics Agents send application data to the Controller, which assembles, processes, and presents the data. 

You can get a Controller by starting a free trial at www.appdynamics.com. Once you create an account at the AppDynamics portal and start your trial, the instructions in the portal will walk you through the process.

After you start the trial, you can choose whether to install the Controller yourself or use a Controller hosted by AppDynamics by choosing the SaaS option. For an on-premises Controller instance, choose to download the Controller and follow the instructions in the AppDynamics portal. For more information, see Quick Install

Log in to the Controller UI

Once you have installed the Controller or arranged for a hosted Controller, you can log in to the Controller UI.

  • For a hosted Controller, you will receive an email from the AppDynamics Operations team containing the URL and access details for your hosted Controller instance. 
  • For an on-premises Controller, your first log in will use the administrator account you created in the installation process. Once logged in, you can add users or set up remote authentication.   

Install AppDynamics Agents

AppDynamics agents reside in the application environment and collect and send metrics about the performance of the application, database or other monitored system to the AppDynamics Controller.

Different AppDynamics modules use different types of agents. For example, Application Performance Monitoring agents run in the application process, applying code-level instrumentation to the application. The Database Agent, on the other hand, is a standalone process that monitors one or more databases, typically from separate machines.    

At first log in, the Controller UI opens to the Agent Download Wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard to download and install agents in your application environment. For more information, see Agent Installation and Instrumentation. You can access the wizard later at anytime from the Home page in the UI.

After you've installed agents and restarted your applications, put your applications under load to have the dashboards and flow maps in the Controller UI start showing performance information.  

Start Using AppDynamics 

AppDynamics gets you started quickly by automatically building a model of your environment. It determines what's normal for your environment and applies sensible defaults for detecting abnormal activity and application errors. You can likely start using and benefiting from AppDynamics immediately, without touching the instrumentation configuration. However, when you're ready, you can optimize the configuration to make best use of AppDynamics for your individual environment and based on your requirements.

The following timelines describe what a typical getting started journey may look like.

First Day with AppDynamics

  1. Create and organize your business applications.
  2. View and customize flow maps.  
  3. Get to know the AppDynamics defaults, such as built in health rules and baseline calculations.
  4. Configure Email/SMS settings to enable notifications. For SaaS, an SMTP server is preconfigured. For an on-premises Controller and SMS configuration, see Configure the Email Server
  5. Learn about the key performance indicator metrics.

First Week with AppDynamics APM

  1. Create custom dashboards.
  2. Verify or adjust your tier groups, nodes and remote services. 
  3. Optimize business transactions and entry points.
  4. Customize your health rules. 
  5. Add users to the Controller UI. 
  6. Depending on your license entitlement, explore the ways that the different AppDynamics products work together. 

First Month with AppDynamics APM

  1. Tune your service entry points. 
  2. Manage user roles and groups, or connect the Controller to an external authentication provider. 
  3. Capture contextual information, information points and data collectors.
  4. Extend your health rules with custom actions. 
  5. Create custom metrics or add integration modules to AppDynamics. 

 

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