There are three main things to look for when performance monitoring your website, API or mobile app.
Specifically, and in this order:
- Is my API, web or mobile application available?
- Is it functioning correctly?
- Is it fast?
Those things may seem a bit obvious, but there are important implications when monitoring particular types of software. Here are some tips about what you should monitoring for each:
You want to be able to monitor a complete navigational path, just as a user would navigate. The data you want to look at includes each “step” in the path and the response times for each call. This could be just one page, or many pages.
- DOM Load: The time it took to complete parsing the page’s documents. Note: referenced style-sheets, images and sub-frames may not have completed loading.
- Page Load: The time it took for the page’s documents (all referenced objects and scripts, style-sheets, images) to be fully loaded into the browser. Note: This does not account for load time of dynamic content such as AJAX.
- Perceived User Experience (PUX): First Paint The time it takes for the page to start rendering then the time it takes for all visible content rendered on the page to “stabilize” above the fold
Monitoring Native Mobile Applications
Mobile websites need to be monitored in the context of their performance over mobile carriers and various devices. For mobile native mobile applications you want to measure the same things as web applications, however you need to be able to look at the performance
- Over a mobile carrier
- On an assortment of device configurations
- Possibly on real devices and local carriers
Web and mobile applications are usually built using component architecture with APIs gluing it all together. If you create applications with APIs you need to monitor them specifically as their performance is crucial to the application as a whole. If you produce APIs for others, they are counting on you to provide well performing APIs.
You can monitor an API in the test environment and then move to monitor in production. Monitoring in the test environment establishes a baseline for performance. Monitoring in production is crucial because the environment changes and you can measure your performance against your established baseline. API monitors should provide the following performance metrics:
- Response time for all calls made
- Data validation as requested
This information ensures that the API is not only available but that the data is correct.
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