10 Must-Haves for Your Application Monitoring Strategy— A Comprehensive Checklist

by Shagufta Syed

Application monitoring refers to the process of overseeing an application’s performance, its availability, and the end user experience to assess whether or not it is performing optimally. An application monitoring strategy is made with the aim of identifying problems and rectifying them in order to ensure smooth application performance at all times.

Since this is a crucial and tricky process comprising numerous factors to look into, it is advisable to have a comprehensive monitoring strategy to assist you. 

A strategy is important to outline all your goals and set a standard according to which you measure the performance of the application. It also involves a checklist to be used as a reference point to verify different parts of the application. A strategy is like a blueprint for proceeding with the application monitoring that sets a clear path, eliminating time wastage and confusions. 

In this article, we will look at a comprehensive checklist for application monitoring strategy that will make the process smoother for you. Dive in as we unlock these 10 essential touchpoints in the application monitoring process. 

Your Go-To Checklist With The Top 10 Must-Haves for Your Application Monitoring Strategy

Building a strategy becomes easy with the help of the following 10 must-haves on your list. These will take you through all the essential features of the website that need monitoring and checking. 

Bonus

Download a PDF version of this Checklist. Access it offline anytime. Bring it to team or client meetings.

Today we will discuss each pointer in detail, covering its importance and also the best practices to monitor and assess them. By following the list one by one, you will be ready to have a flawless application. 

1. Real-Time Monitoring Capabilities

The application must have a good real-time monitoring capability. It gives updated data about the systems and processes with zero latency so as to minimize the time between data collection and analysis. The real-time monitoring capabilities are necessary in an application because they help in spotting the anomalies quickly and finding out performance issues of the application. 

The real-time monitoring assesses the status of the IT environment. It can give you important details such as application response time, latency, transaction times, web server issues and memory utilization, all of which are important to get important data based on the application. 

You must define your monitoring goals to help monitor if the application’s real-time monitoring is working fine. It is crucial to use the right set of tools for real-time monitoring. The right tools and technologies implemented can help you monitor the application performance interface and track errors to rectify them timely. 

2. Performance Metrics Tracking for Application Monitoring Strategy

It is crucial to employ a few metrics to assess how well the application is performing and its usability. These metrics will provide you with a glimpse into the end-user experience, resource availability, responsiveness, and application reliability. 

The purpose of tracking the metrics is to ensure that the end-user has a smooth experience, can avoid downtime, and that the application’s performance is always optimal. Some of the key metrics to track for application monitoring strategy are Apdex scores, average response time, error rates, request rate, application availability, application and server CPU, memory usage and throughput. 

One of the best practices to keep in mind to make the most of the performance metrics is defining the performance objectives before you begin tracking. You should know what performance metrics are most relevant for you and what you should track. 

Additionally, while interpreting these metrics, keep in mind that the front-end usage must be prioritized to provide the users with the best experience. Ensure stability in tracking the metrics to ensure stability in your analysis. 

3. Error and Exception Handling

It is crucial to handle errors and exceptions with care to ensure that your application’s code is secure and reliable. This aspect is spread across multiple aspects of the application, such as the application code, critical business logic, and security features. This aspect of application monitoring is also crucial from the perspective of intrusion detection. 

To identify errors and expectations efficiently, you must handle them in a centralized manner. This will help avoid the try/catch blocks in the code. You must also ensure that the error messages that are displayed for the users are not leaking any important data, yet they are efficient enough to help the users follow the right steps for error handling. 

Lastly, also take into account that the exceptions are logged in a way that enables the support to get enough instructions necessary. You can also employ error and exception-handling tools to get the relevant information. 

4. Scalability and Resource Management

Scalability testing refers to the process of assessing the application’s ability to handle increased workloads when they occur. This helps keep you safe from overprovisioning and underprovisioning, which might lead to the wastage of resources and cost more money. 

The Task Manager in Windows and Activity Monitor in iOS have graphic tools that indicate the performance of an application’s resources, such as memory, energy usage, disk, CPU, and network. 

You can also use auto scaling so that the instances running based on your application automatically increase in cases of high demand and reduce in cases of less demand. Some other ways to handle the increase in traffic are cloud computing, vertical scaling, horizontal scaling, cache configuration, clear code, architecture patterns, and database management. 

5. Security Monitoring for Application Monitoring Strategy

Security Monitoring for Application Monitoring Strategy

Security monitoring is an integral part of application monitoring to identify any vulnerabilities in the application or its configuration. These issues can include data integrity failures, vulnerable and outdated components and infections. 

This process must begin by identifying areas that are weak from the security perspective and coming up with ways to tackle them. This monitoring helps the team understand the cause of the security concern, its nature and its impact. Based on this data, they can investigate and remediate the issue. 

Rapid identification is crucial in ensuring that the security concern is remediated as soon as possible. By continuously monitoring these issues, you can ensure that the issues are easily assessed and that the time needed to fix them is reduced. 

One way to go about security monitoring is to take the high-impact security concerns first and prioritize them first. 

Some of the common threats to look for are data breaches, malware, SQL, broken access control, insecure APIs, misconfigurations, insufficient logging, DDoS attacks, insider threats, broken authentication, phishing attacks and worms.

6. User Experience 

The end-user experience monitoring is done to see if the experience of the end user is smooth using the application. It gives an insight into every aspect of the application journey from the end user’s point of view. 

These factors include performance analyses and issue resolution that determine the overall user experience. By undergoing this process, you can ensure that any issues are identified and the end user has a positive experience using the application. This helps in understanding the application limitations before the users raise a complaint. 

Some ways to assess the end-user experience is by assessing the response rate, page load time, bounce rate, network latency and gateway performance. 

Another way to go about user experience monitoring is to analyze the feedback that you get from the users. This feedback will help you identify the weak points of the application and work on them. By addressing the feedback, you can continuously improve the application’s performance. 

7. Cross-Platform Compatibility

Cross-platform compatibility ensures that the applications work seamlessly across different platforms and devices. It is a crucial factor in ensuring a good user experience and hence is important for application monitoring. It helps in making the reach of the application wider, ensuring consistency and also minimizing costs with the help of a single compatible application. 

To ensure cross-platform compatibility, you must test the application on different devices and browsers. You can also employ certain tools to test the compatibility of your application on different devices and browsers in real-world environments. 

Additionally, to ensure that the application is compatible with different platforms, you must follow the guidelines. It is also important to adhere to the recommendations for web app development. Additionally, optimize the images, text and script of the application for faster loading and use progressive enhancement. 

8. Alerting and Notification Systems 

It is crucial to send out notifications and alerts to push the user to take an action. These can also help with the tasks that they might have left in the middle. The alert and notification system of the application is another important part to check. 

The first thing is to define the actions for which you wish to set up an alert in your application. Once this is done, choose an alerting tool that matches your requirements. Next, configure the alerting rules to decide when and how the alerts will be sent. Now, before making it live, you must test the alerting system to check for any problems in the time or manner of alerting. 

Alerting and Notification Systems 

It is crucial to review the alerting system from time to time. This makes sure that the alerts are relevant and are helping you achieve your goals. Study the performance, utility and impact of the alerting system to see how well they are performing. You can also follow it up by changing the required alerting features. Look for inefficiencies in the alerting system, add new features and keep the alerting up to date for your application. 

9. Compliance and Regulatory Monitoring

Ensuring that the application meets all compliance and regulatory requirements is important to having a smooth experience. It must adhere to the internal standards as well as the external industry standards imposed on the application. It is crucial that you verify compliance from time to time. This ensures that the application’s updated compliance requirements are met. 

The compliance requirements assessment helps protect against cybersecurity risks and establish security controls to keep the application safe. You must outline the compliance requirements and delegate responsibilities to verify them. Additionally, it is crucial to determine a good frequency at which this requirement must be assessed. 

10. Integration with DevOps Practices

Lastly, the final point in the checklist is to verify the integration with DevOps practices. Continuous development, monitoring, cautious testing, integration, delivery, and infrastructure as code are some of the important DevOps practices. The application must follow these steps at all times. 

All these steps are necessary to ensure that the application is moving towards enhanced performance. A seamless integration is important to ensure that the application constantly improves and performs better. 

Conclusion

This checklist marks all the important aspects of the application. All these are integral to be assessed for a smooth application functioning. The strategy for application monitoring includes all the points to ensure that no aspect of the application functioning is left untouched. It is advised that these steps be ordered based on the immediate requirements in individual cases. 

Additionally, you can decide the frequency of performing these operations based on individual requirements and application performance. Once you tick mark this checklist, you will have thoroughly monitored and verified the functioning of the application and give it a green flag. Since the list takes into account all aspects concerning the application monitoring, you will be ready to go once you tick mark these pointers in the checklist!

If you wish to explore application monitoring strategy for your business, turn to our experts at Practical Logix and we will get you started in no time!

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