Dynatrace today extended the application release management capabilities it provides to include synthetic tests for validating and assuring user experiences.
Saif Gunja, director of product marketing for Dynatrace, said the user experience validation and user experience assurance (UXA) capability spans everything from application availability and performance to actual engagement with specific features based on the service level objectives (SLOs) defined by a DevOps team.
Dynatrace views application release management as an extension of its observability platform, said Gunja. While application release management has historically been viewed as an extension of a continuous delivery (CD) platform, Gunja said that observability platforms—such as the Dynatrace platform, which is infused with a Davis artificial intelligence (AI) engine—provide the visibility required to better automate the process.
In fact, as DevOps continues to evolve, it’s apparent that CD and continuous integration (CI) are becoming more loosely coupled as DevOps processes mature, said Gunja. Most organizations have yet to implement CD simply because it’s been too difficult to achieve. Each platform that applications have been deployed is unique. Dynatrace provides the foundation for automating application release management via the agent software it makes available to instrument applications, said Gunja.
It’s not clear whether DevOps teams are reevaluating their approach to application delivery, but Gunja noted that much of the interest in the Dynatrace approach is coming from organizations that have already installed the Jenkins CI/CD platform. The number of extensions that have been built and that need to be supported has created a level of technical debt that is unsustainable for many DevOps teams, he noted.
Many IT leaders concluded they would rather allocate more resources to building applications than maintaining DevOps platforms, added Gunja.
Most DevOps teams are committed to ruthlessly automating as many IT processes as possible. Observability has always been a core DevOps tenet in pursuit of that goal. Applications that are not instrumented can be programmatically managed. The issue is that providing observability isn’t enough—DevOps teams need to be able to take actions across the entire software development life cycle based on the data collected by the observability platform, said Gunja.
Obviously, it’s still early days as far as observability is concerned. While application performance management (APM) platforms have been employed for decades, it’s only recently that observability platforms capable of correlating application and IT infrastructure data have emerged. Thanks to the rise of open source agent software, it’s also becoming less costly to instrument IT environments. The challenge, of course, is, as always, deploying and maintaining all that agent software.
Regardless of the approach to observability and DevOps, it’s clear that IT teams will soon have a lot more visibility into their IT environments. The days when IT teams determined the root cause of an IT issue by process of elimination are finally coming to an end. Observability, however, is not an end in itself, but instead is the end of the beginning of a previous DevOps era.