Bhaskar Sunkara, co-founder and CTO of AppDynamics, announced a new innovation initiative called AppD Labs during Day 2 of AppSphere 2016. It was a casual atmosphere billed as “quality engineering time”, as guests were treated to beer service upon entering the General Session. The show got started with a Q&A panel with some of the world’s largest and oldest companies about how they were tackling the issue of digital transformation. Following the panel, Prathap Dendi, General Manager, Emerging Technologies, introduced a series of forward-thinking demos from on-the-ground engineers showcasing AppDynamics innovation in taking on the new challenges of digital transformation.
Demo 1: Quick Search
Sunil Gattupalle, a software engineer from Bangalore HQ, showcased his hackathon creation that could potentially help both new and experienced users navigate the product with a greater degree of efficiency. Through periodic aggregation of the metadata provided by AppDynamics, Sunil developed a Spotlight-like search function directly into the interface. Command-F brings up a search bar and allows the user to use keywords to find direct links to navigation items like metric graphs and specific configuration screens.
Demo 2: Connected Millennials
With the advent of new smart shopping technologies, the Internet of Things team showcased how they imagine AppDynamics could play a role in bringing useful information to a retail store stakeholder. By journeying through a physical on-stage store, Balwinder Kaur, Principal Software Engineer, described how smart shelves, point of sale systems, and inventory management software could all work together to provide a single pane of analytics and performance metrics automatically. Detection of physical metrics such as shelf impressions, item take rates, and inventory stock were all shown to report to AppDynamics with rules to track the health of an in-store promotion.
Demo 3: Automated RCA
Jad Naous, Director of Architecture, demonstrated the power of combining AppDynamics baselining and relationship structures with machine learning to automate root cause analysis. After explaining every DevOps’ nightmare scenario, an interrupted lunch break with a P1 issue, Jad posed the what if: “What if the root cause could be found and reported automatically without interrupting your lunch?” Today, AppDynamics users correlate metrics and events by hand in a dashboard or in a war room view. But with the help of machine learning and baselines, Jad demonstrated how it is possible for AppDynamics to automatically traverse a causal chain of events, allowing users to resolve an issue in minutes instead of hours.
Demo 4: Conversational UX
Oliver Crameri, Principal Software Engineer, integrated AppDynamics with a few other popular DevOps tools: JIRA, PagerDuty, and Slack. However, the differentiator here was using Amazon Alexa as the tool to tie all these things together. Oliver demonstrated this new conversational UX by pulling up dashboards, reporting issues, and calling the dev on call all through voice commands. AppDynamics’ flexible APIs helped demonstrate the product’s capability in tying into any tools or 3rd-party integrations with ease.
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