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In light of its potential for high performance, scalability, availability and openness, the Java 2 platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) has earned an enthusiastic welcome in the e-business market. That welcome, however, has come with strings attached. Implementing new technologies such as J2EE is only the first step; ensuring that those technologies perform as advertised is an equal if not more challenging task. J2EE components such as Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), Java servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSPs) are all mission-critical entities: if any one of them isn't performing correctly, it can not only slow the distributed application but also potentially cripple the overall business.

Unfortunately, monitoring, analyzing and managing the performance of J2EE components and application programming interfaces (APIs) has, to date, been a daunting if not close-to-impossible task. Understanding which components and APIs are important to manage requires in-depth knowledge. Add to that the fact that hundreds and even thousands of components and APIs must be tracked continually--all of which execute in seconds or even milliseconds--and the task of manually monitoring J2EE environments becomes unfeasible for the administrator or infrastructure manager. Utilities have been developed to help ease the pain, but to date they have been largely focused on preproduction development processes such as code profiling.

Ensuring top-notch performance in real-time production J2EE environments requires enterprise-class automated monitoring and management software. Such software must understand which J2EE components and APIs are important and monitor them in real-time without significant overhead--either to the systems or the applications it is intended to watch over. It must also monitor the performance of front- and back-end technologies in conjunction with J2EE components.

J2EE Component and API Performance--Critical to the Business

J2EE components, and specifically their individual performance levels, are crucial to the performance of the overall infrastructure. The poor performance of just one J2EE component or API, though seemingly insignificant, can give rise to system bottlenecks that disable the performance of an entire distributed application.

J2EE performance grows more complex--and more confounding--when evaluated in light of the performance of other infrastructure components. A bottleneck that manifests itself as a poorly performing J2EE metric on an application server, for example, may in fact originate in the enterprise's back end.


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