Application Performance Management 

Developing mobile apps the CA way

Why you should be using CA App Experience Analytics

A lot of thinking and testing goes into creating commercially viable mobile apps.

It starts with a great idea, carries on through cycles of finance, design and development, and usually ends with user acceptance testing. As Chris Kraus says in his blog, ‘Real testers use real mobile devices’, testing should be done with a real device, which means distributing the app binary to several, perhaps even a few hundred beta users, in order to decide when the app is ready for the App Store.

With both testing and subsequent monitoring, due to the nature of mobile apps, there is a problem. With desktop apps, we can use cookies to track usage patterns, manage advertising and make the end-user experience smoother. On mobile devices, however, cookies do not work very well due to a multitude of device types, apps and mobile browsers.

Another problem is getting detailed crash data and performance analytics from mobile devices.  We can see the number of app downloads, but without real app monitoring, that might be all we know. Once the app is downloaded, is it actually being used? Is the end user rejecting the app because of crashes, poor performance, bad design or something else?

Enter the App Economy

In 2015, Apple’s App Store generated $20 billion in revenues, leaving a profit of $6 billion for the company. Downloads have generated a lot money in the App Economy, but this is rapidly changing as an increasing number of users want their apps for free.

Today, 70% of Facebook users access the service using their free mobile app. As Facebook is a free service, how did they make $10 billion last year? In short, the answer is advertising, those very clever and sometimes spooky promotions that use personal information and behavior patterns to pinpoint the audience. This type of revenue stream looks to replace traditional download fees, and with it, the need to analyze user behavior becomes even greater.

Regardless of the way an app makes money, there is an imperative need to gather analytics at every stage of its lifecycle. A mobile app analytics solution, like CA App Experience Analytics,  allows the gathering of valuable app session data, including user location, crash stacks, navigation flows and screenshots. With such detailed data, we can easily identify user flows and issues. Developers can fix crashes, design can fix layout and flows, marketing can fix branding, and business analysts can figure out the best way to sell advertising space.

Don’t forget the desktop

But let’s not forget the old desktop apps. It may be that mobile apps have taken over as the most important portal to services, but a large chunk of users still access the internet using desktops. Desktop apps are accessed by millions of users, and cookies can only do so much – they cannot monitor app or back-end performance, which is a major reason why good monitoring software is required.

CA Application Performance Management (APM) is a solution that can help developers and business analysts generate maximum revenue from both mobile and desktop apps. And to make sure that your app can deliver the right end user experience, your hardware must perform as well. CA Unified Infrastructure Manager can help make sure your service levels stay where they should be – on the top of the leaderboard.

It is easy to get started and you’ll never look back. Whether your app is a great new idea, or the latest version of a ground-breaking corporate app, check out our free CA Trials to see how these tools can help you get the best out of your innovation and hard work. Start with CA App Experience Analytics (fomerlly CA Mobile App Analytics) to see how easy and quick it can be to get great insight from your customers and your app.

Janne Koponen is a Principal Architect at CA Technologies Enterprise Management Solutions. Prior to joining…


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