Application Insights: a game-changer for ISVs

As a developer, you want to know how your application is performing. And how your users experience the app. This information is crucial in order to make improvements that suit your customers' needs. By doing so, you keep your performance high and your users happy. To be sure that you are investing your resources in the right optimizations, monitoring is necessary. Microsoft offers an advanced tool for this, which is a real game-changer for Independent Service Providers (ISVs). It’s called: Applications Insights.

What is Azure Application Insights?

This is an advanced monitoring tool that helps you to control your applications. It also helps you to continuously improve the performance and usability of your application. The tool includes powerful analytics tools that analyze the performance and defects, which helps you understand what your users are actually doing with your app.

No more log-digging

Many software companies choose Application Insights because they are tired of endlessly digging through logs to find the problem. With Application Insights, that's in the past. It lets you know exactly how your application is performing. Regardless of where it is located: on-premise or in the cloud.

Three dashboards of Application Insights

The monitoring tool of Microsoft Azure gives you direct insight into where, when, and why errors occur. You can follow the performance of your application through live images and reports. Each of these elements has its own dashboard within Application Insights. We will explain all of them briefly:

1. Failures dashboard

You don't want your application to fail. If it does, you instantly want to know what went wrong, when, and why. That's what the Failures dashboard in Application Insights shows you. Here you can correlate failed applications, with exceptions and other events, on both the client and server. This allows you to quickly identify and address the causes.

2. Performance dashboard

How fast does your application respond? How many seconds does it take to execute a feature? With the Performance dashboard, you can see how your application is performing. In one clear overview. Find out which features are most popular, at what times of the day and what parts of the software your users are using.

3. Live Metrics dashboard

On this dashboard, you will find a live overview of your application. This is especially useful when you are implementing a new release. Then you are immediately aware, in case the performance decreases unintentionally. You can also check if, for example, the bug you solved does not occur anymore.

Smart Savings

In addition to providing insights, Application Insights also gives you the ability to make smart savings. Imagine that a component of your app is not performing as desired. Then it is easily fixed by scaling up resources. What if it was a memory bug that caused the issues? Then you can easily scale back once you have fixed the bug. The same goes for memory usage and CPU. If you discover that your application is not being used at night, then you can choose to scale it back at those times. That way you never pay too much.

Do you want to start using Application Insights?

Then subscribing to Microsoft Azure is step one. You can sign up with Azure for free. If your organization already has a subscription, you can add Application Insights to it. Next, you choose how you want to pay for the service: per usage (flexible pricing for the amount of data included) or per commitment level (fixed predictable costs starting at 100 GB per day). Read more about the pricing of Application Insights.

Prefer to dive into the world of Application Insights first?

Then sign up for Intercept's free deep-dive Application Insights workshop. This workshop is designed for developers and people interested in optimizing application performance.


  • Application Insights

The similarities between applications and F1

Formula 1 drivers, and their race cars, must perform at peak performance to win the world title. That's why specialist teams monitor millions of data points. To know how the elements of the cars are functioning at every moment of the race. It works the same way for applications. Here too, you need to collect data, to know what is happening within your application. Just like the race car, an application has different elements that affect each other. Think of the frontend and backend, the database, and all the other applications that need to be consulted to make the app work. If you can quickly figure out where problems are occurring, then you can respond proactively. Monitoring is therefore knowing and winning.