How a software is made, and how it works is always the main thing people want to know when considering a product. But of equal importance is why a product was created. The reasoning for creating a product is a good indicator of the effort put behind it, and thus how far the vendor will go to make sure you as a customer get your money's worth.
So why did we create AIMS for BizTalk in the first place? Simply put, we saw a gap in the market, and quite a significant one, when it came to monitoring and gaining insight into BizTalk. More precisely, we saw several gaps that needed to be filled. We could go on for a very long post about all of these, but we’ve picked out the main ones, presented below.The need for automatic monitoring
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Manually monitoring your BizTalk environment will never be sufficient. A longer post outlining this subject can be found here. In short, you, no matter how intelligent you may be, will never have the necessary capacity to monitor your BizTalk environment. That's a simple fact. You will spend hours and hours doing what an intelligent monitoring tool can do for you in seconds. Manual monitoring is therefore a huge waste of employees' time, time that can be better spent on other tasks.
Staggeringly though, this is exactly what many companies do, including our client Össur, who after installing AIMS finally can spend their time on more central tasks.
The need to connect IT and business - demonstrating the business value of BizTalk and making it accessible to non-BizTalk pros
For anyone unfamiliar with BizTalk, and without any technical education or background, it is a huge black box that seems impossible to make sense of. What does it actually do? The solution for many is to simply ignore it alltogether, leave it to the IT department. You focus on your tasks, and they will focus on theirs. We wanted to change this. The critical importance BizTalk has to many companies' business performance should not go unnoticed outside the IT department. We believe that better communication between IT and other stakeholders is key in any modern business.
One of the main features that distinguishes AIMS from other monitoring tools is our extensive analytics tool that facilitates this communication. It allows you to create custom reports on anything in your BizTalk environment that is easily visualized in graphs and diagrams. This means you can actually explain to someone without any prior BizTalk knowledge how it supports specific business processes, and thus is of vital importance to the overall business performance. See our video on how to create insightful report son your business processes here.
The end to static thresholds
Prior to AIMS, there were no option other than using static thresholds. Setting static thresholds to monitor your BizTalk environment is simply a horrendously bad idea. In short, it causes either a flood of irrelevant alerts due to low thresholds, or too few, causing you to miss the important ones that will crash your system. A recommended read is the longer blog post we have written about this exact topic, on why you should let static thresholds rest in peace.
AIMS for BizTalk has been one of the major drivers to fill these gaps in BizTalk monitoring. However, we can’t settle on merely solving companies’ challenges with one integration platform, we want to help them gain insight into all their systems and applications. In recent years, there’s been an explosion of connected apps that businesses use and rely on. This has brought an evident need to have complete insight into the performance of these apps and systems to avoid any performance issues.
A completely automated, machine learning monitoring solution that detects any anomalies and correlates anomalies across systems would enable businesses focus their IT efforts on development giving them the competitive edge in their market, instead of constant troubleshooting of existing systems.
This is why we are further developing AIMS from a BizTalk monitoring tool into a complete insight and analytics platform.
The new platform will cover the mentioned need we see in companies we interact with. The release of the new AIMS platform is right around the corner, and you can already see what to expect here.