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New Relic moves ahead with mobile-app performance monitoring

Application performance management player New Relic, running on a recent $80-million round of funding and aiming for a 2014 public offering, is adding support for native Android (s goog) and iOS (s aapl) mobile apps, showing further evidence of the importance of mobile devices for business.

The approach differs from the application performance management for mobile devices available from Compuware (s cpwr) and Hewlett-Packard, (s hpq) as “they’re generating fake mobile loads in order to tell you how a fake mobile app is doing,” said Jim Gochee, senior vice president of product at New Relic. Compuware disputes Gochee’s claims, saying in a Thursday statement that its application performance monitoring software lets users monitor actual end users’ experiences on mobile devices. Still, New Relic responded by saying “New Relic is the only vendor with monitoring technology on the mobile device that can capture real-time data for every user and every version of the mobile app.”

With its mobile monitoring abilities, New Relic also differentiates itself from fellow application performance management vendor AppDynamics, which has been on a capital-raising spree of its own.

New Relic’s new mobile app support highlights the importance of smartphones and tablets in the cloud computing revolution, for consumer and enterprise applications alike. And the trend will likely persist. Forrester Research (s forr) projects sales of mobile devices will keep growing. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey found that 25 percent of kids aged 12-17 use their phones — as opposed to PCs — as their primary means of accessing the internet. That figure is 15 percent for adults. In other words, mobile apps could become the main route for customers to communicate with businesses. That’s why providing better monitoring for them is a smart move.

This story was updated on Thursday to add comments from Compuware and New Relic.

5 Responses to “New Relic moves ahead with mobile-app performance monitoring”

  1. William Louth

    “Everyone knows how finicky the European Union is when it comes to data protection in the cloud, but until now there hasn’t been much noise regarding the humble smartphone app. Now a group of privacy regulators from across Europe has published its opinion on that subject, and the result may be a world of pain for anyone involved in the mobile ecosystem.

    The group is called the Article 29 Working Party and, while it doesn’t make laws, it does have a great deal of influence over those who do, and over the way in which privacy laws are interpreted. Its opinion (PDF warning) on mobile apps will be unwelcome in many quarters because it states that just about everyone in the mobile industry — app developers, app store proprietors and even OS and device vendors — has a range of legal obligations around protecting and properly collecting and processing user data.

    Compliance with E.U. data protection law means sticking to several principles. First and foremost, the user needs to give full and unambiguous consent to having their data processed. Data processing has to be for a legitimate purpose — like the app’s stated use case — and everyone has a responsibility to keep personal data secure.

    We should all be thinking about this stuff. Low barriers to entry shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring a cumulative effect of privacy erosion.”

  2. William Louth

    Just in case you missed the relevant lines in the PDF

    “This might work today but what happens when cloud computing matures and clients take back control and ownership of certain aspects of the software execution in particular the data storage. In the diagram below we can see that for a particular client (or interaction) that the service point has been instructed to make its storage requests to a s3 account own and managed by the client.”

    I have not got sour grapes with any of the products…they are addressing low hanging fruit in poorly managed environments…which sadly is a huge market. I do have issue when they claim otherwise.

  3. William Louth

    Actually the legal requirements around the use of Google Analytics and cookies in Europe is what piked my interest in this whole area. So the same rules would have to apply…would they not?

    We are in the process of updating our site like many others, including NewRelic & AppDynamics that have not done so either though Compuware does have at least a notification on their site.

    With regard to the data issue…well that was triggered by a customer who wanted a much easier migration strategy away from a SaaS vendor after they found out the service was not accurate, not reliable and not at all comprehensive. In another case we had to integrate with an APM vendor but in not in real-time but instead offline via recording which made me realize we have it all wrong in the APM data space.

    But lets not forget that I raised the issue of external data storage in the context of general purpose cloud SaaS apps (Salesforce) in 2010. So your view is misguided.

  4. William Louth

    I assume customers of such “enhanced” apps will be notified that their activitiy is being monitored and precious (in some cases) bandwidth abused. William European customers will also have a similar means of opting of activity tracking as is the today on the web. Most desktop tools that support this make it very clear it is being done or FIRST ask for permission. There is also the issue of data collection.

    • William,

      A question for you… Are you notifying your website visitors at that you are sending their data to Google Analytics? Do you ask your website visitors for their permission to collect and use their Internet bandwidth to connect and send their website usage data to Google before doing so? I did not think so.

      Reading your blog post at Jinspired makes it seem like you have a case of sour grapes against the likes of New Relic and AppDynamics.

      Honestly, your blog posts attacking those companies is not helping your PR one bit.