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This topic gives you an overview of how to get started quickly with AppDynamics, from getting a Controller to start deploying agents. 

Get a Controller

The AppDynamics Controller can be thought of as the brains of an App iQ deployment. It's where the AppDynamics Agents send the information they collect on the activity and performance of the monitored environment. The Controller assembles, processes, and presents that data. 

The first step to start using AppDynamics therefore is arranging for your Controller. You can get one by starting a free trial at After creating your account and starting your trial, you can choose whether to install the Controller yourself or use a Controller hosted by AppDynamics: 

  • If you choose a SaaS Controller, the Controller is hosted for you and you do not need to install the Controller. 
  • If you choose an on-premises Controller instance, follow the instructions in the AppDynamics portal to download the Controller. See AppDynamics Platform for more information on installing on-premises platform components. 

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 SaaS 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, you log in using the administrator credentials you created during the installation.   

Install AppDynamics Agents

Once you have a Controller, the next thing you'll do is install AppDynamics agents in your environment. The different AppDynamics modules use different types of agents. For most types of agents, you can use the Agent Download Wizard in the Controller UI to quickly set up the agents.  

Application Performance Monitoring agents run in the application process and apply code-level instrumentation to the application, so you will need to integrate them in the start up routine of your applications. The Database Agent, on the other hand, is a standalone process that can monitor many databases.

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. You can access the wizard later at anytime from the home page in the UI. For an overview of using the wizard, see Install App Server Agents.

Follow the links below for more information on installing the agent for your application type: 

Install the Java Agent

Install the .NET Agent

Install the PHP Agent

Install the Python Agent

Install the Node.js Agent


Set Up and Access Browser RUM

Instrument iOS Applications

Instrument Android Applications

Install the Database Agent

C/C++ Application Agent

Connect the Agent to the Controller

If you are using the agent download wizard, the wizard automatically configures the settings for connecting the agent to the Controller. If you download agents directly, you'll need to configure the Controller connections.

The following graphic shows the connections the agents use to reach the platform. Naturally, they vary depending on whether you are using the on-premises or SaaS AppDynamics platform.

It's possible that you will need to adjust the configuration of network components, such as firewalls or proxies, to permit traffic from the agent to the Controller. The connection is single directional, meaning that agents always initiate the connections to the Controller.

Enable Notifications (Configure an Email Server)

To send notifications, such as health rule violation notifications, the Controller needs to be configured to use a valid email (SMTP) server.

For a SaaS Controller, you can use the SaaS-provided SMTP Server or your own SMTP Server. For an on-premises Controller, you need to configure an SMTP server after installation.

See Enable an Email Server for information on configuring an email server.  

Start Using AppDynamics

After you've installed agents and restarted your applications, AppDynamics automatically builds an environment of your application. You can see the model in the dashboards and flow maps view of the Controller UI.

As it monitors your application workload, AppDynamics 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 environment and requirements.

The following timeline 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 Enable an 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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