The following is a decision-tree matrix to assist in choosing which recording mechanism should be used for various situations.
Transaction Definition Creation Mechanism Decision Matrix
There are multiple ways that transaction definitions can be recorded and created. But when to use each of these approaches may not be obvious. This document tries to do just that by providing various decision points.
Note that the approaches include:
AutoDiscovery Fieldpack (deprecated)
Introscope Agent Recorder
There are six typical use cases for APM CE transaction recording
- I have a few (1-30) Transactions to create.
All of the approaches could be used here. Definitions can be created manually or recorded using the Advanced Recorder (TIM or Introscope Agent), AutoDiscovery (referring to both Version 9 Built-in or Fieldpack unless otherwise noted), or Script Recorder. If time is of a concern, then AutoDiscovery or Advanced Recorder, or Script Recorder may be appropriate.
- I have many transactions (30+) to create.
For adding many transactions at once, AutoDiscovery is the fastest way to go as opposed to Advanced Recorder/Script Recorder. However, finding one transaction across many pages of recorded transactions could take far longer with AutoDiscovery. (Version 9 Built-in). The AutoDiscovery Fieldpack does a nice job of organizing the information by placing each recorded application in a separate folder. However, the transactions recorded usually include duplicates and it may take some time to find the correct transaction in a folder. It has been my experience that Script Recorder may have issues with importing large files.
- I want to capture the entire Business Transaction.
To meet this requirement, there is one and only one real approach -- Advanced Recorder. Starting and stopping the transaction marks the start or end of the business transaction. The manual definition can do this but will likely not include all the transaction components needed to capture the true application customer experience. AutoDiscovery and Script Recorder only capture individual URLS (transactions).
- I want to capture XML Transactions.
The easiest way to do this is with Advanced Recorder, which can import the XML from the recording using the matching rules in the transaction definition. Both AutoDiscoveries can record XML but cannot match on them in a transaction definition.
- I am doing this with the assistance of developers or application staff
If someone is volunteering to perform the transactions and has the time, then the Advanced Recorder can ably capture the transaction of the individual recording and nothing more. If they can provide Load Runner output or Network Packet Captures, these can be imported with the Script Recorder. If they are performing a Load Test, then AutoDiscovery can be used to capture all transactions for a specified timeframe.
- I am doing this without the assistance of developers or application staff.
In this case, AutoDiscovery "shotgun" approach is the best approach to use since it is capturing all unmonitored transactions.
A tech note of APM Customer Experience recording mechanisms can be found here