Splunk Completes Acquisition of Plumbr Learn more

To blog |

Everyday Use Cases That Help Realize Benefits Of Plumbr

June 28, 2019 by Ivo Mägi Filed under: Blog Plumbr

Identifying the right things to fix, and helping teams stay in control of the latency and errors on their applications is a big part of Plumbr’s mission. Plumbr aims to improve the performance and availability of web applications by improving processes that are followed by engineering teams. In the examples that follow you will learn how to use Plumbr and the information, it presents in relevant scenarios. 

Use case #1: When planning sprints

Usually, when product owners come together to plan sprints, there is a lot of clarity about which features to work on next. However, there is no clarity regarding: 

(a) What current features are broken the most for users? 

(b) Are there any parts of the application whose performance is affecting users a lot?

As a product owner, what you really need is a list of failures affecting your users and a list of potential performance improvements. And that is where Plumbr helps. To see the errors affecting your users the most, open the list of errors on Plumbr. For frontend errors, click here. Use this link for checking the errors on JVM/API.

The list will show you the errors in your application. They can be ordered by the number of impacted users or failed interactions. By knowing this information, you can quickly decide which errors to fix this sprint. If the number of affected users or interactions is high enough, it is a easy decision to make. If not, then the sprint can comprise new features. 

In a similar vein, Plumbr lets you pick from an ordered list performance issues. 

Using this view, you can pick the bottlenecks affecting most users at the beginning of each sprint, if they are acute enough to warrant immediate attention. Based on the information here, you can decide if you’re going to devote engineering effort in the current sprint for improving performance.

Use case #2: Observing releases

Are you able to observe the effects of releases on your users? Your release calendar may be to release a few times a year, a month, a week, or even a day. Irrespective of what this cadence looks like, you should be able to verify how these releases are affecting your users. 

With Plumbr it is possible to tell exactly how new releases are affecting your users. 

By looking at the trend of users or interactions versus error rates over time, you can tell if an application is causing a poor experience for users. You can set time windows configured before and after the release windows. 

You can also examine the performance of web applications and check if new releases have made applications slower (or faster) for your users. In the performance summary for the application, there is a chart that will show the trend of response times. This will help tell if the recent release has made the application slower for your users. 

Use case #3: Answering customers

Often times, when customers connect with your support channels, it is a long stream of questions about what operating systems they are on, what browser they were using, what time did errors occur, what step did they take, etc. This leaves users twice as frustrated. First, the application does not work. And now they have to go through all these questions. Often times, responses from users will not include evidence, and context will be incomplete. How do you answer your users’ complaints without having to burden them additionally? 

Plumbr can help trace interactions of a user and provide complete context of what individual users have been doing. With the information about the entire journey that a user takes within the product, it is easy to tell what has been affecting them. With information about what, when, and how their experience was broken, communication with a customer becomes very easy. 

You can drill down on each bottleneck or error in the context of individual users and see what has been affecting them. Your teams can also learn of users being affected by multiple errors or bottlenecks. This will allow you to address complaints of users with clarity.

When viewing an application, a service, or a single error or bottleneck, click on the “Users” tab to check on how users are affected. Plumbr shows you a list whose pivot is users. This will help tell which users are currently impacted by failures and bottlenecks.

These are three out of potentially hundreds of ways in which you can benefit from Plumbr. If you want to speak to us about setting Plumbr up for these use cases in your specific context, please let us know. Write to us at csm@plumbr.io and our customer success team will be able to help you.