Application Performance Management

When it comes to IT and applications, sometimes you really need to know what’s happening. That’s where application performance management tools come in. Application performance management tools help organizations identify how their applications are performing, and where there might be problems, bottlenecks, or concerns.

Application performance management is more important now than it ever has been, with applications that reside both in house and in the cloud, and applications that have components that are split across applications, systems, and environments. Organizations need to pay attention now more than ever to how well their applications perform under a wide range of potential operational issues.

The Applications Performance Management (APM) market received attention recently when traditional application management vendor Compuware recently announced its acquisition of dynaTrace, a leading innovator in the evolving APM space. The all-cash acquisition, valued at $256 million, closed July 1, 2011. The acquisition reflects the changing landscape of applications performance management. Check out our recent IT Briefcase column on application management for more insights into the impact of this acquisition and the application performance management market.


Compuware Refocuses—Optimization, Performance, Portfolio Management In, Quality Out

Well, okay, maybe that headline is misleading, but the details aren’t.

Detroit-based software giant Compuware isn’t really dropping the quality of its products, but it is selling off its Quality Solutions product line to help refocus its business on areas where it can compete most effectively.

On Wednesday, May 6th, Compuware announced an agreement that MicroFocus would acquire Compuware’s Quality Solutions line, including the products themselves as well as the 330 people in the development, sales, and customer-support teams. The deal is valued at $80 million and expected to close this quarter.

Compuware has never been a company that moves particularly fast—but for them, and their customers, that’s been a good thing. For years, Compuware has been a reliable, steady and practical IT partner for governments, mainframe-oriented IT shops, and large organizations.

But this announcement, which Compuware portrays as another step in its “Compuware 2.0 evolution” is expected to allow Compuware to invest resources and energy in what it sees as high-opportunity markets, from application performance and mainframe optimization to IT portfolio management and healthcare collaboration. Perhaps another way to read this is that while Obama’s stimulus package has the potential to jack up the need for new technologies, modernization of healthcare and other government IT environments, it doesn’t necessarily mean that companies will be spending significantly more on code testing or development tools.

In a fascinating move, MicroFocus also moved to acquire Borland Software Corporation (which, after all these years, I still have a soft spot in my heart for. Who can ever forget Turbo Pascal, SideKick, or my favorite, Turbo C ((that was a great development tool!))). Of course, more recently, Borland had spun off its traditional developer tools group into CodeGear (sold last year to Embarcadero Technologies), and had refocused on open application lifecycle management. MicroFocus hopes that by acquiring complementary technologies from Borland and Compuware that it will be able to create a market-leading position in the application testing/automated software quality market. Such a position would work well to broaden

MicroFocus’s leadership in the application management and modernization business.
And although this move makes some sense from Compuware’s perspective, don’t kid yourself that quality or good old testing is dead—it isn’t. And even though the next five years will no doubt see a big inflection point between traditional, workstation-oriented development products and processes and cloud-based ones, there are still plenty of applications and organizations that can benefit from solid application quality solutions. Longer term, however, the real winner that market will be the company (perhaps MicroFocus?) that’s able to deliver forward-looking (i.e., cloud-oriented) technologies that span these IT needs and deliver practical solutions to increasing software and application quality.


Compuware Changepoint

For over 35 years Compuware Corp. has been a leader in enterprise software and services. Over the past decade the company has increasingly focused on helping organizations transform IT investments into business assets. A good example of this strategy is Compuware Changepoint.

Changepoint, the company’s business-centric IT management solution, is designed to help IT and business managers gain better visibility into the enterprise IT environment. In addition the latest version, Changepoint 2009, demonstrates Compuware’s ability to meet the changing needs of its customers. Changepoint 2009 focuses on adding functionality in three key areas: financial management, resource management, and usability. These changes reflect the new economic climate that enterprises find themselves in today, enabling IT managers to improve portfolio management, identify priorities, and deliver on business and IT goals with tightened budgets and waning resources. By adding functionality in investment planning, resource management, and funding allocation, Compuware provides an even stronger solution that can help customers develop mature financial discipline, a necessity for today’s IT department.

Download the complete Compuware Changepoint Upside Research Product Brief.


J2EE Service Management: Are You Ready?

Java is increasingly being used in business-critical applications, primarily because it offers several advantages over older technologies. However, while most organizations have logically been focused on the task of developing Java applications, more organizations are now beginning to realize that there’s another important consideration to creating Java applications—deployment and management.

The Issue: Java Performance
Java has enabled organizations to take application development to a new level of functionality. While the increase of Java in the enterprise environment solves many of the previous limits of application development, it does not eliminate the traditional concerns of enterprise applications, namely the application service management challenges.

How to Begin ensuring Java Services Now
IT managers should make a number of service considerations when delivering J2EE applications to the organization. Identifying these performance considerations and beginning to anticipate these issues during development is the first step in being able to better manage J2EE applications.
VantageWhat a Good Solution for Managing Enterprise Java Applications Should Provide
Compuware’s Vantage is designed to provide IT operations staff with the highest level of monitoring and analysis capabilities to keep their J2EE applications running effectively.

Upside Research recommends that IT operations managers look for a solution that will not only enable them to respond quickly to J2EE application performance issues, but also proactively manage J2EE applications in a way that meets service levels and contributes to business goals. Compuware’s Vantage is a solution that accomplishes both of these objectives.

Upside Research report on Compuware Vantage