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In AppDynamics, a tier represents a key service in your application environment. Such services may include ASP.NET front ends, WCF services, .NET web services, or standalone applications.

On flow maps, tiers show up as the primary visual indicators of the component services of your business application. Therefore, you want to name your tiers so your users find them logical and easy to understand.

The .NET Agent includes the AppDynamics Agent Configuration Utility (configuration utility) to map IIS sites to tiers, see Configure the .NET Agent. Some manual configuration options require you to edit the config.xml file, see "Where to Configure Agent Properties" on Administer the .NET Agent.

Name IIS Tiers Automatically

Name IIS tiers automatically using the configuration utility. Choose Automatic on the Assign IIS applications to tiers window. The .NET Agent instruments all IIS sites except the Default Web Site and names the tiers using the following scheme:

IIS site/app

The agent omits app when the application is the root application for the IIS site.

Use this option in the following cases:

  • You are new to AppDynamics and the .NET Agent.
  • You want to instrument all IIS applications and your team can easily understand IIS application names.

Automatic Tier Naming for the .NET Agent doesn't automatically assign virtual applications to a tier. If want to map virtual applications to their own tiers, see Name IIS Tiers Manually.

Name Azure Tiers Automatically

The .NET Agent automatically names Azure tiers using the following schemes:

  • Cloud Services: Azure role name
  • App Services: Azure site name

If you want to customize tier naming for Azure, see Edit the config.xml directly under Name IIS Tiers Manually.

Name IIS Tiers Manually

The .NET Agent offers two options for naming IIS tiers manually. Use this option to customize Azure tier names or in cases where it is not feasible to use the configuration utility. 

Use the configuration utility: On the Assign IIS applications to tiers window, choose Manual. The configuration utility lets you create new tiers and assign IIS applications to tiers.

Use this option in the following cases:

  • You don't want to instrument all IIS applications on the server.
  • You want custom tier names.
  • You want to combine multiple applications into a single tier.

Edit the config.xml directly: For each IIS site you want to instrument, add an application element as a child element of the IIS Applications element in the config.xml.  You can specify a static IIS site name or a regular expression which is helpful for variable site names like Azure site names. For the full syntax and an example, see "IIS Applications Element" on .NET Agent Configuration Properties.

For example, to add all Azure roles that begin with "MvcWebRole" to a tier named "My Azure Tier" using a regular expression:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<appdynamics-agent xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <controller host="nativedemocon1.cloudapp.net" port="8090" ssl="false">
    <application name="AzureEmailService" />
    <account name="customer1" password="SJ5b2m7d1$354" />
  <machine-agent />
  <app-agents azure="true" azure-role-name="" azure-role-instance-id="">
             <!-- Configure IIS tier names with a regular expresson. -->
             <application path="/" site="MvcWebRole.*" site-regex="true">
                  <tier name="My Azure Tier"/>
         <standalone-application executable="WaWorkerHost.exe">
             <tier name="" />

Name Windows Service or Standalone Application Tiers

Name the tiers for each instrumented Windows service or standalone application manually in the config.xml. See the following instructions: