We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"It helps with releases because we monitor them in staging. We can tell if something is critically wrong before it gets into production, e.g., if it was load related or function related and also what was different in the dev stage. It then alerts us straightaway inside of our production monitors once it has been released. Therefore, it has improved how we run our systems since we monitor multiple environments."
"From our standpoint, there are a number of valuable features. The WebHooks are obviously really great. The alert framework is really good and then the reporting and visualizations that you get from the dashboards is good. Those three areas are primarily what my team's focused on in terms of usage from day to day."
"With the ZebraTester, the ability to have and store dynamic variables, when setting up the monitors, means you can extract that value and use it in a subsequent service call. This is something that has made our lives easier... This is one of the features that I like the most because it helps us in configuring these services, in a certain flow, without the need to re-record the whole thing."
"As always, within the IT industry, everybody's always looking to upgrade and update everything else like that. Apica has been one of those things but it's really hard to replace because it offers us the unique capability to see what the customer is seeing. A lot of other ones can do Selenium script and things like that, but there's a lot in Apica that we use right now. We utilize a lot of the scenario options in Apica right now, and there's a lot of other ones that do parts of it, but it doesn't do everything that Apica does."
"One of the biggest advantages of moving to Apica is the ability get to a hybrid model with the architecture in the cloud and our agents on-prem. We also have access to Apica's cloud agent across the globe. That has changed the way that we have our load testing setup at this point. Previously, it was always internal. Now, with this change in the way it is implemented for load testing, we can test anywhere across the globe and from the list of agents available within Apica's cloud. If I don't have an agent available in a second location, it just takes an email to their customer support, then it is spun up within 24 hours. That flexibility has changed the way that we perceive our load tests, not just in the US, but globally."
"You can tell from the operational space of people who are using and consuming this data that they are more integrated. It is not dependent on one team anymore. It saves a lot of time by capturing and pinpointing the exact problem that is happening quickly. We have moved from getting escalations manually to getting escalations synthetically."
"Our application SREs do script checks in such a way that closely mimic our customers' actions using the platform. Because there are so many different ways and options to be able to configure checks to closely mirror your applications' capabilities, it provides a lot of optionality for teams to create the right type of check that can notify when there are any issues. At the end of the day, we want our monitoring tools to be able to catch any outage before our customers do. This is where Apica Synthetic does a great job."
"We see the benefit almost every day. It allows us to be alerted whenever there is a store that is not responding properly around the world. We do have a network operation center (NOC) who receives these alerts, immediately checking if everything is okay."
"The most valuable feature is the alerting. As soon as we click on an incident, it takes us directly to the problematic PC. It's a direct solution. We click on an alert and it takes us to the incident details. The details show in different colors, in a graphical representation, and I like that the most."
"Aternity provides metrics about actual employee experience of all business-critical apps, rather than just a few. It does some out-of-the-box monitoring for the Office suite, but you can create custom monitoring for any of your applications, whether a web client or a desktop application."
"The most valuable feature is the application performance troubleshooting because Aternity is able to provide the performance from the end-user perspective. It doesn't just give the standard application logon time, etc., rather it's also able to measure the performance inside the application, the performance of specific transactions in the application, and break it down into three elements: the client time, the network time, and the server time. This gives us a lot of insights into what we need to focus on to improve the performance of an application."
"As a financial institution, we have a lot of applications that are either written internally or bought from a vendor and customized for us. Having a tool that lets us monitor specific transactions in those applications allows us to focus on the transactions that are important to the business."
"It is a tool that helps me check users' computers really quickly without having a help desk administrator logging in and doing analysis. Anyone who has access to Aternity, including our support team, can log onto Aternity and do a quick, basic analysis."
"DEM-Q (Digital Experience Management Quadrant) is very useful. This is where they stand out with their dashboard, because it gives us a picture of how our company is doing compared to the other businesses out there."
"There are also built-in activities that let you measure things like preview mail, open address book, and send mail. Those are the activities that we are able to get measurements on, and those are things we have not seen in other software monitoring tools."
"We've looked at the Digital Experience Management Quadrant (DEM-Q) to see how our digital experience compares to others who use the solution. We have used that to see how we are trending and it gives us some insight into areas that we might need to focus more on. That's helpful."
"The initial screen on their dashboard could have a bit more data, but this is a small thing. It could have more data, so we do not need to drill down to a screen behind that initial information. I would like them to get a little better on the user interfaces that we need to go into."
"The having to install an application on your desktop to utilize something like ZebraTester is a little cumbersome. It would be nice to see that become a web-based application. Having the documentation a little more accessible, and easier to digest by people who are just learning how to use the framework, especially when it comes to more complex or more edge-based cases would be really helpful to have."
"When it comes to the way the internal agent is installed, because you can install an application on a server, I would love to see the application Docker-ized. If you could install internal agents using Docker or using containers, it would be easier for us to manage them and spin up internal agents."
"Alerting needs improvement. It's a little noisy. It needs some better options. Currently, they have an issue, when you set up a synthetic monitor, you can set up where it's monitoring from, a data center that Apica owns."
"The accuracy of alerts can be improved a little bit. Right now, it's pretty good in terms of alerting pretty quickly about failures or changes in response times. However, what we have seen happen is the number of alerts that we are getting is very frequent, and we would like to tone down the number of alerts. That's the only trouble we have. Apica could tone down those settings because there is no option for us to tone it down to a level that would reduce the alerts to a minimum. As a platform, it does send us good alerts, but it could be improved a bit."
"Learning the tool has always been a little difficult from a scripting perspective because the framework is proprietary and unique. Once we became used to what it does and how to perform it, then it became easier for my team and me. I would like to see some of the testing steps be part of a more well-known language, like Java or Python. That would be a big improvement."
"We have been focused on reducing polling times for synthetic checks. We have gone from 10 minutes down to five minutes for a pretty broad swath, but there is some appetite to reduce that further, which could be an improvement."
"The reporting part that we use for our executives needs a bit more customization capabilities. Right now, you can use only the three main templates for reporting. We would like to be able to customize them."
"When it comes to what is called creating signatures, it's not easy for a non-coding person for desktop applications. You need to run the recording and you need to have some exposure and knowledge. That is an area where they can improve. For web applications, they have the Web Activity Creator and that's an awesome and easy tool. Anybody can use it and capture the signatures. With the desktop applications it's a little more cumbersome and difficult."
"Being able to add custom monitoring to dashboards would be nice. Right now, if you want to monitor the value of a registry key on your systems, to get that added into the dashboard you have to reach out to Aternity so they can start looking for that value. It would be interesting if that were more of a self-serve function."
"Aternity does provide performance numbers, the data. However, it doesn't tell you what you can do about it. It just presents the facts. How to interpret the data, and how to draw conclusions from a lot of the data, requires knowledge and experience. That's the part that I would hope Aternity can continue to explore and give us that kind of capability."
"The other place for improvement, as an on-prem, non-SaaS customer, is that the system administration and management in Aternity are very difficult. They've even told me that most of their support calls come in due to configuration and system administration on their on-prem. Their on-prem solution is not easy to use."
"Right now, the user information being displayed by Aternity is received from AD. Ideally, we would like to see integration with other sources for user information, like other databases, so we are not limited to AD."
"We are waiting for the GA release of their agent. I hope they can do better when they release their endpoint agents. Right now, we are not able to measure some applications, core applications, because it's relying on a specific version of the agent and that agent has not come out yet and there's no ETA. I would like to see them speed up time to market when they release agents."
"Aternity doesn't currently provide metrics about actual employee experience of all business-critical apps. It's something you have to build out. It's not 'canned' that way and there is a lot of configuration that you have to do to the environment to collect the data you want to collect and that is important to you."
"When it comes to a lot of the features that I would want, they will tell you they are in their SaaS version, which we don't use... They put all the new features on the SaaS solution and that's where you get the latest and greatest stuff... Why not have those features available for on-prem users?"
"The pricing and licensing are very reasonable. At the end of the day, you are using their technology/software and getting X amount of checks for a very decent value. As for discounts, they try to meet your budgets as much as they can. For example, if you need 100 checks and you have X amount of budget for it, then they will try and get down to that price. Costing-wise, it is a reasonably cost product. They will always try and come down to your price if you need them to come down to it by knocking off certain areas."
"Apica is pretty cost-effective if you buy both solutions together: Synthetic and LoadTest. If you are going for one solution, the cost is on par with any tool in the market."
"The level of alerting accuracy has saved us time and money in operational costs. Overall, it has automated a lot of the manual efforts which have been more complex with some of our other scripting tools or monitors. So, it brings things together by doing things faster and saves us money."
"License management is another area that Apica could do better. We have already had these conversations with our account teams. This is something that they are looking at largely improving in upcoming releases. I believe that this is already on their roadmap."
"The pricing is very reasonable, but it is not cheap."
"Another main difference between Apica and the other products was the cost. We really thought that the balance in Apica between the features and costs was the best among all the products on which we did a PoC."
"In my opinion they are asking a lot for their SaaS solution, but I also know that that's the direction they're going... The current, on-prem solution is probably a fair price."
"The pricing for the users and agents is reasonable compared to other solutions and vendors."
"Regarding cost, compared to other solutions, Aternity is pretty low. It's definitely lower-cost than others that we looked at, like Nexthink."
"The pricing is fair."
"It's not a cheap product. There are no two ways about that. If you compare it with a couple of the other solutions operating in the space, it might be on the slightly more expensive side, but it is one of those tools where, once you've got it, you understand the true value. You will get that money back."
"It is definitely a premium solution; it is not an inexpensive product. We have to ensure that we are getting the most out of it in order to justify the cost. However, it is not cheap, especially when you want to install it on all your endpoints."
"You have to purchase it for 12 months, which is an issue because a lot of our customers are on a per-user-per-month type billing. There are a few additional costs. A lot of customers only get the essential licenses, and then they get what they call the application add-ons on top. They have to pay depending on how many customers and applications they want to monitor."
"Its licensing cost is very low. That's one of the reasons why we have kept it for so long. We get more than a 70% discount on the maintenance licenses. Its cost is very low for us, but if you buy it new, it would be much more expensive at the retail price."
Apica Synthetic is a powerful monitoring tool built for enterprises seeking predictive insights into the performance and uptime of websites, applications, APIs and IoT. By simulating user journeys from locations across the globe, IT and DevOps teams are able to proactively monitor applications around the clock, identifying performance and availability issues before they affect internal or external end-users.
What is Aternity: Aternity, the enterprise-class Digital Experience Management company, transforms the employee experience in the digital workplace, with enterprise-scale analytics for every application, all transactions, any device, and all users. Aternity’s AI-powered visibility and self-healing control help IT optimize business application performance to improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction, mitigate the risk of IT transformation, and drive down the cost of IT operations.
Apica Synthetic is ranked 7th in Application Performance Management (APM) with 9 reviews while Aternity is ranked 4th in Application Performance Management (APM) with 12 reviews. Apica Synthetic is rated 8.6, while Aternity is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Apica Synthetic writes "Monitors every single touch point that can fail inside a user's journey". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Aternity writes "Not only helped us know which devices to refresh, but helped us determine if a refresh was even necessary, with factual data". Apica Synthetic is most compared with AppDynamics, Dynatrace, Micro Focus Voltage SiteScope and Instana Dynamic APM, whereas Aternity is most compared with Nexthink, Dynatrace, AppDynamics, SysTrack and Splunk. See our Apica Synthetic vs. Aternity report.
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