(Part Two of a Five-Part Blog Series)
Enterprise APM involves monitoring applications across multiple technology stacks. In our last post, we talked about how important it was to “field deep” — to understand what’s going on at every hop, layer and stack involved in the performance equation for your Oracle Forms installation. In this post, we’re going to go shallow. We’re going to focus on the end-user experience.
So you have Oracle Forms. It’s working well most of the time, but suddenly, the call comes into your Help Desk: there’s a performance issue. Maybe it’s a form that doesn’t load. Maybe it’s a form that doesn’t finish loading. How does your Help Desk Tier 1 Support Rep handle the trouble ticket? Of course, they start by asking questions — hopefully the right ones. And there are definitely both right and wrong questions!
The wrong question to ask is one couched in technical jargon. There’s a big difference between asking, for example, “was the system slow at start-up, querying or loading?” and asking “when you entered the information on page three and hit submit, did you get a blank screen?” But getting to the second question — and understanding the implications of the response to it — is more difficult than it seems.
To ask the first question, you just have to understand the technical details of the system. But answering that first question requires that same depth of understanding — one that most of your Oracle Forms business users (the ones calling in the trouble ticket) don’t have. It’s unrealistic to expect the average end user to be able to respond accurately to that question.
So you need to get to that second question. To get there, you have to understand the end-user experience at the business level. You can guess at the right question, or you can refer to your Application Performance Management (APM) system for some insights. But are those insights technical in nature, or business-oriented? If your APM system delivers information in business language rather than in codes or high tech language, then IT staff knows what and how to ask users.
This means having transaction-level insights — including the name of the Forms window, the action performed, and item label used by the end user — at the fingertips of your support staff. Having all of this information in front of the support tech, along with the response time information, will improve the communication with users who are experiencing problems.
IT requires specific answers that actually aid the repair or upgrade process. To get to those specific answers, you need to ask the right questions — ones that the user can understand and answer accurately. How well does your APM system fare in helping your team ask the right questions and quickly address problems? How many support staff members do you have to involve in order to get your answers? I encourage you to ask yourself the right questions, not just your end users!
In our next post, we’ll talk about “application drift” — how far away from reality is your most current mental map of your system?
(Get all five blog posts all at once: Download our white paper describing all five keys to Oracle Forms performance success)