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Customer Success   
International Data Group, Inc.  
Framingham, Massachusetts  

"By using AppMetrics for Transactions during our testing cycle, we have been able to uncover performance bottlenecks in our new billing system, so we can take corrective action prior to rollout"

Stu Needels
Software Technology Manager

Business-based Benefits

  • Runs in real time without significant impact on system resources, and provides enough detail to pinpoint performance problems.

  • Enables developers to establish the level of granularity of reports, and to modify this as required.

  • AppMetrics for Transactions helps ensure the performance of the billing system of this $3.1B company. 75% of the company’s domestic revenue enters through this system.

Ensuring Bottleneck-free Billing
International Data Group is known worldwide for its leading IT media, research and exposition services. Founded in 1964, before the term "Information Technology" was even invented, IDG has emerged as an industry leader, offering diverse products and services in six key areas: print publishing, online publishing, expositions and conferences, market research, education and training, and global marketing. Now with revenues of $3.1 billion, IDG continues to help both track and shape technology trends worldwide.

Given its research capabilities, no one knows better than IDG the importance of the ongoing search for innovative, improved technology. "At the IDG Corporate Services Group, we evaluate new software applications to determine whether they will help meet business needs," explains IDG's New Technology Development Manager Stu Needels. "IDG wants to be sure it offers and uses the best solutions available. Our evaluation process is designed to ensure this."

COM+ Based Billing Maximized
One of the applications under evaluation was a billing system that had been developed within Microsoft’s COM+ environment. COM+ serves as an efficient, cost-effective foundation for many thousands of revenue-generating applications. "We want to implement a COM+ based billing system," explains Needels. "But we want to maximize its effectiveness. 75% of IDG’s domestic revenue will pass through this system. If it’s too slow, no one will use it, and if it fails, it will bring business to a halt. We need to ensure that it is running, and running well."

Application Centric Evaluation
The effectiveness of COM+ applications is measured in transactions, or a series of actions. Efficient, effective transaction performance is the basis for application success. To measure the success of the billing application, IDG used Xtremesoft AppMetrics for Transactions. "AppMetrics for Transactions provides more detail than other solutions," said Needels. "Most solutions are network-centric, and we needed a solution that was application-centric. Appmetrics for Transactions lets us monitor transaction performance, and also lets us examine results to a more granular detail – we can examine objects and method calls. We can learn how many threads are active and view the successful completion of transactions. AppMetrics for Transactions is the only product to provide this level of detail."

Proactive Assurance
The solution runs in real time, using actual data. "We’ve been using AppMetrics for Transactions for about a year now," said Needels. "It was easy to install and Xtremesoft’s Professional Services staff worked alongside us to make sure we were obtaining the data we required. By using AppMetrics for Transactions during our testing cycle, we have been able to uncover performance bottlenecks in our new billing system, so we can take corrective action prior to rollout."

Production Performance Ensured
Soon, the billing system will be in production. And AppMetrics for Transactions will continue to be useful. "We’re about to roll out the billing system, one magazine at a time," says Needles. "AppMetrics for Transactions will continue to monitor performance on these systems."

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