HP has been making pretty significant efforts in building a SaaS delivery product. In fact the SaaS delivery was called out in the recent earnings call as a highlight for an otherwise struggling HP Software business. Within the Pronq (I know the name is a bit odd) brand they include several SaaS delivered products with a lightweight sales motion including try and buy with online credit card transactions. These offerings include Fortify on Demand (Security), Agile Manager (Dev), Vertica (Analytics), LoadRunner (Performance Testing), HP Anywhere (Mobile Dev/Distribution), StormRunner (Mobile performance testing), Virtualization Performance Viewer (for VMWare vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-v), and App Pulse (synthetic monitoring and full featured APM), and finally the focus of this posting App Pulse Mobile (Beta). The product is very easy to sign up for and get a trial:
Within the Pronq products HP does share pricing until you get into larger deal sizes in which case you do need to contact them. For AppPulse mobile, the pricing will be released when the product is made generally available. The pricing, according to HP will be competitive and based on the standard monthly active user(MAU) we see most Mobile APM products using. The product works by downloading a wrapper which instruments an iOS or Android applications, which can then be loaded onto the device or via a MDM app store. This is something other vendors also offer. In this screenshot you configure a new mobile app:
I took an apk file for Android and instrumented it with the wrapper below:
After installing the app on my device, and starting to use it a few times, data started flowing in 15 minutes, since I did my testing HP informed me this was reduced to about 5 minutes, and will be 1 minute when the product is released and generally available
Once you drill into the app here is the dashboard. This is after using the app for a while and getting some good data.
I had some poor experience, and this is how the dashboard looks:
This is the drill into why the “Fundex” was dropping (not a fan of the name, but the concept of a performance index makes sense). The idea of the index is user experience focused, similar to what Apdex was intended to do around user experience measurement on the web, HP has taken this concept further by looking at slow user actions, crashes, and device level resource consumption. By simplifying APM to these concepts and focusing on ease of use HP will better appeal to less technical users.
In my case even though the app was crashing, it wasn’t detected. After speaking with HP this was a bug which was fixed in the latest push. HP is releasing code every two weeks to production. HP’s crash detection includes the list of steps the user did before the crash helping developers understand the path of actions needed to replicate the crash.
More details from within the app. HP records and extracts user actions from within the app. This is much closer to what we expect to see with end user experience monitoring within web applications, but applied to native mobile apps.
Overall this is a good product offering for mobile APM, but it could go much deeper on the network analysis, device, carrier, and location based analysis. This is a beta, hence there will be more features added along with having a larger install base once this is released. HP is moving from a traditional software delivery cadence towards a SaaS first delivery method including weekly hotfix releases, monthly content updates, and quarterly major releases. Additional features seen in some other products include mobile app store integration and a deeper overall visibility from the mobile operations perspective. Once again the focus here seems more around MDM versus developer centric Mobile APM.
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