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A background task is a processing activity such as an administrative task or internal process that you want to monitor separately from primary business transactions.

While the process may be important to your environment, you may not want to monitor them in the same way as you monitor primary business transactions. Background task performance metrics do not count toward the average response time of the tier or node

During business transaction discovery, AppDynamics attempts to identify processes in the environment that are background tasks and classify them accordingly. You can modify the default configuration based on your requirements and manually change business transactions to background tasks. 

Viewing Background Tasks

Although background tasks are monitored separately, they are displayed along with the other business transactions in the Business Transactions list. The background task icon () identifies them in the list.

The following information is available on background tasks:

  • The Business Transactions list shows currently executing background tasks and their statistics.
  • The Metric Browser shows the response time for each background task.
  • Transaction snapshots are generated for each execution of a background task. However, if a particular job runs frequently, the snapshot may not capture all details for each execution.

The tier and application-level metrics do not reflect background task activity. In addition, background tasks are not reflected on the application dashboard. 

Reclassify a Business Transaction as a Background Task

You can reclassify any existing business transaction as a background task by right-clicking on it in the business transaction list and choosing the Set as Background Task option. Choosing Set as User Transaction turns a background task into a primary business transaction. 

Enabling Automatic Discovery for Background Tasks

At transaction discovery, a transaction is categorized as a background task based on a setting in a custom match rule that matches the transaction. By default, the AppDynamics configuration comes preset with match rules that match processes likely to be background tasks. For example, the Java configuration automatically detects cron jobs based on the JCronTab and Cron4J frameworks as background tasks.

You can enable the match rules, modify them, or create your own custom match rules to have matched transactions categorized as background transactions. 

To enable background task detection configuration, from the application or custom tier level configuration, edit an existing match rule or create a new one. Enable the rule, and check the Background Task option to business transactions discovered by this rule categorized as background tasks.  

Configuring Thresholds for Background Tasks

You can configure performance thresholds for background tasks separately from primary business transactions. From the Configuration > Slow Transaction Thresholds page, click the Background Tasks Thresholds tab to access settings specific for background tasks. 

AppDynamics recommends that you configure a threshold that is suitable for the background task in your environment. Use static thresholds for slow background tasks they have infrequent load patterns, for example, once every night. This is because the dynamic moving average-based thresholds are more suitable for production load scenarios and will automatically classify a background process as slow or very slow. 


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