Viewing Recent Activity of Your Application

The following procedure describes how to get an overview of the recent activity of a particular application, or for all applications currently deployed, and then how to drill down to the details of a particular application event.

  1. From the main Spring Insight dashboard, click the Recent Activity tab:

    The Recent Activity screen displays traces from your application. A trace is a breakdown of the activity of a request. The Recent Activity screen answers the question What just happened?

  2. In the top-right Application Selector drop-down box, select the name of your application.

    Use the Application Selector to view activity for all applications or for just a single one. Viewing all applications at once is useful when you deploy many Web applications and are interested in activity across the entire set. Viewing a single application filters out activity not related to that application.

    The Trace History panel shows a timeline of the recent activity of your application as real-time requests, represented by bars in the chart. Each bar represents all requests that occurred within a time slice, as measured by the chart. The full time range has 60 time slices. The height of the bar is equal to the longest request that occurred during that window.

    The Trace History graph shows activity that Spring Insight has monitored over the past N minutes. When Spring Insight captures a trace, it draws a new bar on the graph on the right-hand side. As time passes, bars move left until they fall out of the time range.

    Click on bars to drill deeper.

  3. Click on a bar in the Trace History chart.

    Spring Insight displays a list of traces in the Traces panel that executed during the window of time (or time slice), and then details about a specific trace. Spring Insight automatically shows details about the first trace in the Trace Details panel. If you click on a different trace, Spring Insight refreshes the details panel with corresponding information.

    The Spring Insight dashboard shows the Traces and Trace Detail panels.

    You can sort the traces in the Traces panel by Duration (how long did the trace take?), Label, Start (when did the trace start?), End Point (what was the request?), or Error (did the request result in an error?)

  4. Click on a trace in the Traces panel to view its details in the Trace Detail panel.

    The Trace Detail panel contains a breakdown of a trace's activity in a tree format. A trace consists of a top-level operation, usually a Web request, and all nested operations.

    Spring Insight uses "smart collapse" to determine how to collapse the tree of trace details so that you do not get pages and pages of trace information. You can, of course, uncollapse operations to drill down into their details.

    Operations are the fundamental building blocks of traces. An operation can represent a Web request, a transaction, a call to an MVC controller, a file opening, a service request, and so on. Each operation may have other operations nested within it. The nesting structure shows the normal stack-based method invocation pattern.

    The operation timing graph shows two pieces of information:

    • When the operation executed in relation to the other operations. This information shows whether the operation executed towards the end of the request or the beginning by the location of the green bar in relation to its borders.

    • How long the operation took to execute, indicated by the width of the green bar. Because operations can be nested within operations, the green bar shows only how long the particular operation took, not the sum of duration of the nested operations. This way you can scan all the nested operations and find the particular one that took the longest time, based on the width of its green bar.

    Click on an operation's label, or the entire row, to drill further into the operation details. The details of this panel are specific to each type of operation, and contain the finest granularity of collected data.

    Click on Filter to filter the trace details shown in the panel. See Filtering Trace Details for additional details about this feature.

    Click on Related To to navigate to the Trace's corresponding End Point or application in the Browse Resources tab. This button is useful when you want to see how similar requests (requests to the same End Point or application) have performed over time.

  5. The buttons above the Application Selector help you control the information you see in the Spring Insight dashboard and perform additional administrative tasks:

    • Change the global time range using the first drop-down list. The time range specifies how many minutes worth of data shows up in the Trace History graph.

    • Play or pause the graph movement by specifying now or pause in the first drop-down list. If the graph is in Play mode, the word Live appears under the right hand side of the graph. If you have paused the graph movement, the time when you clicked the pause button appears instead.

    • Click the << or >> buttons to rewind or fast-forward, based on the specified time ranges. Spring Insight persists all trace information about all your applications to disk, which means you can rewind and look at trace information from when you first began to track the performance of your application.

    • In the right-most drop-down list, choose Refresh to refresh the trace history by reloading all data within the Trace History graph.