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You can use information points to define custom metrics based on methods you configure.

Information points are similar to data collectors. However, while data collectors show application data in the context of a business transaction, information points reflect data state across all invocations of a method, independently of business transactions. They also let you apply computations to the values, for example, representing the sum or average for a method return value or input parameter.

This topic describes how to configure and use information points. For information on data collectors, see Data Collectors.

Permissions

To create, edit, or delete information points you need the Configure Information Points permission.

Information Point Data: Code Metrics and Business Metrics 

When you configure an information point, you automatically get the KPI metrics (called code metrics) for the information point method. The code metrics are:

  • Total call count
  • Calls per minute count
  • Errors per minute
  • Average response time 

You can supplement the KPI metrics with custom business metrics for the information point.

Business metrics reflect the value of runtime data, such as the method parameter, return value, or a value captured by getter chain on the object on which the identified method was invoked. The business metric value represents either the sum or average of the values of the code point you identify as the information point. 

Information points can give you significant insight into how the performance of an application corresponds to business performance. For example, depending on the nature of your application, you could use it to resolve business questions such as:

  • What is the average value of the credit card total?
  • How many credit cards did my application process in a certain time period, regardless of the business transaction?
  • What was the average time spent processing a credit card transaction?

A example of a practical use of an information point are ignored exceptions. Exceptions, especially one that occurs frequently, can contribute to CPU spikes in a JVM. If you configure the exception to be ignored in AppDynamics, for example, if it is generated in the underlying application framework and does not have a direct bearing on your application performance, it may not be readily evident to you when the exception is affecting your application. An information point that counts the exception occurrence can help you identify the additional overhead.

Creating Information Points

For information on creating information points, see: 

Viewing Information Point Data

You can view information point values in various places in the Controller UI, including the following:

  • Information Points page: The primary page for viewing and administering information points is the Information Points page. From there, click on an information point to view a histogram of the metrics for the information point for the selected time period. 
  • Metric Browser: The metrics also appear in the Metric Browser under the Information Points folder. 
  • REST API: Business metrics can be accessed from the AppDynamics REST API.
  • Business Transaction Snapshots: Information point data does not appear in transaction snapshots by default, but you can configure it to appear by setting the enable-info-point-data-in-snapshots node property to true. When the enable-info-point-data-in-snapshots node property is set, information point calls appear in the User Data section of the snapshot. For more information, see App Agent Node Properties

Watch the Video

For full-screen viewing, click What is an Information Point?


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