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This topic gives you an overview of how to quickly get started with the AppDynamics Application Performance Management (APM) Platform, from getting a Controller to start deploying agents.
Get a Controller
The first step in using the AppDynamics APM Platform is to get a Controller. The Controller sits at the center of an AppDynamics deployment, and it's where AppDynamics agents send data on the activity in the monitored environment. It's also where you go to view, understand, and analyze that data.
To get a Controller, start a free trial at www.appdynamics.com.
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, AppDynamics hosts the Controller 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.
You can download the Controller, like most installable components of the AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring (APM) platform, from the AppDynamics download center at https://download.appdynamics.com/.
If you are investigating or learning about AppDynamics, the quickest way to get started is with a SaaS Controller. If you are ready for a closer look at AppDynamics, however, and interested in an on-premises deployment, see AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring Platform for details.
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, log in using the administrator credentials you created during the installation.
Install AppDynamics Agents
Once you have a Controller, install the AppDynamics agents in your environment.
The AppDynamics product module types use different types of agents. For example, for application monitoring, you need one of the AppDynamics App Agents.
For most types of agents, you can use the Agent Download Wizard in the Controller UI to quickly get started. The first time you log in to the Controller UI, the Agent Download Wizard appears. Follow the instructions in the wizard to install the agents in your application environment. You can access the wizard directly from the home page in the Controller UI.
For more information on installing an app agent, use the following links:
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 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 is 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)
For the Controller to send notifications, such as those for health rule violations, 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 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.
Roadmap for an AppDynamics Deployment
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 is 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 the best use of AppDynamics for your environment and requirements.
The following timeline describes a typical getting started journey.
First Day with AppDynamics
- Get a Controller.
- Download and install an AppDynamics agent.
- Add users to the Controller UI.
- Configure Email/SMS settings to enable notifications. For SaaS, AppDynamics preconfigures the SMTP server. For an on-premises Controller and SMS configuration, see Enable an Email Server.
- Get to know the AppDynamics defaults, such as built-in health rules and baseline calculations.
- Learn about the key performance indicator metrics.
- Explore the ways that the different AppDynamics products work together.
First Week with AppDynamics APM
- Create and organize your business applications.
- View and customize flow maps.
- Create custom dashboards.
- Verify or adjust your tier groups, nodes, and remote services.
- Customize your health rules.
First Month with AppDynamics APM
- Tune your service entry points.
- Manage user roles and groups, or connect the Controller to an external authentication provider.
- Capture contextual information, information points, and data collectors.
- Extend your health rules with custom actions.
- Create custom metrics or add integration modules to AppDynamics.
Learn more about specific areas of the AppDynamics APM Platform by following one of these tutorials:
- Platform Installation Quick Start (on-premises installations only)
- Install the Java Agent
- Install the .NET Agent for Windows
- Instrument iOS Applications
- Instrument Android Applications
- Instrument Xamarin Applications
- Instrument Applications with the IoT C/C++ SDK
- Instrument Applications with the IoT Java SDK
- Instrument Applications with the IoT REST APIs