These release notes describe the new features, improvements, and fixed issues in AppOptics.
AppOptics is a SolarWinds Application Management product that inherits these security and support features.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), also known as Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA, is now available for your organization to protect your data from unauthorized access. MFA is a simple and robust method to guard against cybersecurity threats and provides another layer of security to SolarWinds Application Management user accounts. MFA does not replace the need for credentials, but requires an additional security code generated dynamically on another device. For more information about enabling MFA for your organization, see Enable MFA for your organization.
With the new Session Expiration section of the common settings, an organization owner or administrator can now determine how long user can stay logged into SolarWinds Application Management products before they must re-authenticate. The default for all users of Application Management applications is 14 days before the session times out, but that value can now be modified to meet your organization's needs. For security reasons, your company may require all user sessions to expire after a shorter time period. However, if security is not a concern, you can allow your users to continue to use the products for a longer time period before they have to re-authenticate. For more information about session expiration, see Set Session Expiration.
SolarWinds Application Management products protect the security of user accounts by verifying a new user's identity. For newly created accounts, a verification email is sent to the email address used when signing up for the account. You must click the link in the email before you can log into your new account.
Live chat in AppOptics has been upgraded to provide a single, simplified process to contact SolarWinds support that works across all APM Integrated Experience products. Click Support and click Contact Support to open the improved Live Chat client. Select the topic you need assistance with and click Start a chat to be connected to a support team member with knowledge in that topic.
You can now configure AppOptics metrics alerts to trigger based on a custom time duration. Rather than entering a predefined time interval, enter the number of minutes before the alert will trigger.
We updated the SAML single sign-on capabilities to expedite user management:
- Group Mapping: Group mapping allows you to define organization and product roles based on the account's IdP group membership. Members added to an IdP group will automatically gain access to any organization or product roles mapped to that group.
Service Accounts: Service accounts allow users to log in to AppOptics with either their SAML login or their SolarWinds Unified Login account's username and password.
The AppOptics application service map is created automatically based on application performance management (APM) data. All that’s needed is to add the APM libraries to your applications, and the relationships between services and dependencies will automatically be discovered. The application service map allows you to:
- Understand Context in Distributed Architecture — teams can easily view the relationships between services, and see how (or if) a service is connected to the end user. This relationship can be used to look at the performance of the upstream services to understand the scope of impact on the end user (if any). This helps teams prioritize issues properly, focusing on what’s critical.
- Understand Shared Dependencies and Resource Constraints — shows services and dependencies, allowing teams to see which services are querying the same database, with drill downs to see the frequency and latency of each query to understand where the load is coming from.
- Surface Unknown Dependencies and Misconfigurations — the relationship between a staging service and production database are visualized on the map, making the bad configuration stand out.
- Understand Architecture of Critical Business Transactions — understanding the services involved and dependencies of a critical business transaction helps teams set monitoring priority on those services and dependencies. This also helps teams work together to make sure a critical business transaction is provisioned properly and running efficiently.
The new service summary in AppOptics aims to answer the following two questions:
- Is this service behaving normally right now?
- If not, what’s the underlying issue?
Focusing on the four golden signals of application performance—latency, error rate, request volume, and saturation—AppOptics shows the current state of an application compared to a prior period such as one week ago. This puts the signals in context and makes it easy to see issues such as latency being 50% higher than this same time last week.
AppOptics will automatically evaluate service metrics and provide a simple explanation to pinpoint the highest source of latency. Is the service spending most of the time waiting on the database? No guesswork involved—AppOptics will tell you. Is there a single host running slower than the rest? No need to dig into the data—the problem will be spelled out.
APM tools typically use a waterfall-type view to show the blocking time of different components cascading through the control flow within an application. These types of visualizations are useful, and AppOptics has them, but they can be difficult to understand for those of us without a PhD.
The new trace summary automatically evaluates a transaction and highlights where the service is spending most of the time. If a transaction is mostly waiting on queries, it’ll be called out and you’ll even get a summary of which queries. If the transaction is slowed down by a downstream service or external API calls, that’s covered too. What happens if the application is looping through custom code? The new summary page paired with live code profiling will tell you which function was slow.
AppOptics has long had the ability to receive annotations and build them into your dashboard views, but to make this feature even more useful, we’ve now given each of your APM services it’s own dedicated annotation stream and built it directly into the APM Service Overview page.
Annotation events, written to an annotation stream, can be used to signify events occurring within your environment. Using the AppOptics API in conjunction with your CI/CD toolchain, you can record events/changes such as those listed above, allowing their effects to be correlated against any number of metrics being captured and viewed.
Azure integration enables you to view the health and performance of Azure services such as Load Balancers, Cosmos DB, Redis, Functions, and Azure Virtual Machines, alongside existing application and infrastructure metrics. Once the integration is set up, AppOptics will automatically pull metric data from the different Azure services and provide preconfigured dashboards to make the information easy to understand.
In the spirit of being customer inspired, we are excited to introduce two new features today:
Significant improvements to the AppOptics trial user on-boarding process - AppOptics customers can realize the power and value of AppOptics only when they have log data loaded and ready to support their trial of key features like search, delighted alerting, and dashboarding - the reasons users evaluate a log management solution in the first place.
Introduction of a new live support chat function in AppOptics, delivering users the ability to quickly get assistance in unlocking the valuer and power of AppOptics.
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