AppDynamics Acquires Node.js Monitoring Solution Nodetime

I’m excited to announce that the AppDynamics family just got a little bit bigger – we’ve acquired Nodetime, a monitoring and analytics solution for the Node.js platform. This acquisition allows us to offer the best Node.js monitoring solution on the market to our customers, and allow them to use AppDynamics to monitor Node.js alongside Java, .NET and PHP.

Why Node.js?

Node.js, for those that haven’t heard of it, is essentially server-side JavaScript. While JavaScript itself has been around for a while, the idea of using it on the backend is pretty new. So why would we choose to support Node.js instead of a more established platform like Python or Ruby? The answer is that we believe Node.js will be the next big thing in enterprise software and especially mobile applications. In the last year, usage of Node.js has more than doubled, and it’s already the 17th most popular application server.

Node.js growth

But it’s not just another trendy programming language – companies like LinkedIn and Walmart are already using it, and several of our bigger customers have already requested that we add support for the platform, including FamilySearch.

Node.js quote

Why is it so popular? Node.js has an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, which means (essentially) it can service more requests with fewer resources than other major thread-based programming languages. This makes it a good platform for building scalable web applications, but what it’s really great for is mobile applications, which typically rely on an API server to service requests from thousands of devices at once.

So Node.js is great for building fast apps that scale well. The Internet giants like LinkedIn and eBay already know this, but the enterprise is catching on. Several of our customers have already requested Node.js support because they’ve realized how well Node.js aligns with their business requirements. We wanted to stay ahead of the demands of our customers, so we decided to add Node.js support to our application performance management (APM) solution.

Why Nodetime?

We chose Nodetime because it’s simply the best Node.js monitoring solution on the market. Nodetime monitors over a thousand Node.js applications, with customers like Kabam, Change.org, Condé Nast and more. Nodetime is easy to install and use (which meshes well with our existing product) and will allow us to offer our customers the best Node.js monitoring solution in the world very quickly.

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For the next few months, Nodetime will continue to operate independently. You can still go to nodetime.com and sign up to use the product for free. In the meantime, we’ll be working hard with the team from Nodetime to build the best APM solution for Node.js on the planet. Stay tuned!

Where Good Tools Go To Die

Over the years working in the field of IT I’ve seen many products come and go. Some weren’t all that good in the first place, while others were very promising but ultimately failed to deliver on expectations. When I was working in the large enterprise world, we (those of us who cared) compared notes on what small companies were ripe for takeover and which of the much bigger software companies would buy and ultimately ruin their product. Basically we were betting that some software giant (usually companies with 2 or 3 letter acronyms) would buy a useful product and kill it over time.

How Do You Kill Software?

ripWhat do I mean by “kill it”? It’s not like software is a living, aware entity (yet). Here is what it means to me to “kill” a software product:

  • Let it stagnate so that it falls behind the times and becomes outdated
  • “Integrate” it with your other products in a loose (i.e. crappy) way such that it is a pain to configure and provides little value anyway
  • Ignore the needs (new features and functionality) of the majority of your customers and focus solely on the needs of a few large customers who spend the most money and scream the loudest
  • Provide poor customer service after the sale (slow response to issues, unresolved support calls, etc…)

Who?

Time to take a trip down memory lane…

  • Remember Cyanea? They were founded in 2001, bought by IBM and rename ITCam in 2004. Currently a high ranking member of my “Promising Tools that Went Nowhere” list. Thanks IBM!
  • And who can forget Mercury and HPs brutalization of Performant Diagnostics? So very young. So very sad.
  • Then there was the absolutely horrific beat down of Precise i3. Precise was bought by Veritas, who was then bought by Symantec. Then when Symantec had brought i3 to the brink of death they sold it to a VC company which brought back the Precise name but did little to revive i3. Another promising tool ruined.

There have been other similar acquisitions in the past few years and only time will tell if the trend of large companies snuffing out promising tools will continue. You can see a list here.

Why??????

Why does it always seem to happen? Why can’t a large software vendor keep a product they purchased relevant? I really believe that it is not so much a case of “can’t” as “won’t”. “Can’t” implies that the company is incapable from a technical perspective. “Won’t” has a much worse connotation. “Won’t” is a calculated decision that the company can realize more net profit by selling a product based upon what it once was than by investing and keeping that product current and relevant (more risk). “Won’t” is about putting Wall Street expectations for your next quarter ahead of the needs of your paying customers. “Won’t” seems like a good idea in the short term but ultimately leads to the death of a product in the long term.

Choose Wisely

customer-service

I really hope your favorite software products are not in the process of being killed by a giant software company. It’s really a shame to watch it happen over and over again.

When you’re deciding which software products to purchase it is important to understand what type of company you are dealing with. Look at their history, look at their customer satisfaction and Net Promoter scores, ask about their corporate goals and direction. If you choose the wrong company to do business with your new favorite software product might be headed toward an early demise.