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OpTier Enhances Business Transaction Management

OpTier Inc. has enhanced its Business Transaction Management (BTM) software to provide an easier- to-use dashboard-based interface that includes role-based views with more of an emphasis on business needs. BTM is used for user experience management, application transaction profiling, application diagnostics, auto-discovery of transaction dependencies, and complex event processing. BTM 4 now also includes a back-end online analytical processing engine for better analysis of application performance data, improved diagnostic capability, and the ability to track business transaction using existing application log files, as well as improvements in how the software is installed and deployed.

Spencer Holland, the London-based strategy architect for Capgemini PLC, a Paris-based outsourcer and consulting company, is particularly interested in the roles-based features and dashboard interface. "One of our biggest challenges is getting the right information to people," he says. Certain information might be useful to a technology person but not to management, he adds.  The dashboard interface is easy to digest and provides a better understanding of the impact of a problem, allowing people to drill down should something on the dashboard turn red, he says. His organization began using the OpTier software in 2006 for a government organization in the U.K. because they had been able to see it running on user sites and because of the range of extensions and products on which it could run, he says.

Other features in the new version include an adapter that gives users the ability to export data into a third-party configuration management database. In addition, OpTier has made it easier and more flexible to deploy the application. BTM can be installed in minutes and provide value in the first hour. The software uses its complex event processing capability to help users detect abnormalities in business operations and uses root-cause analysis to help isolate the problem area.

"As we get into a more complex set of environments, there's a real need for it to have a much finer grain and view of what's going on with the delivery of business services or applications to the end user," says Mary Johnston Turner, research director of systems management software for IDC. "In today's environment, there's not one tightly coupled stack of hardware, middleware, and software. It's all different pieces, with some outside the firewall and some traversing the Internet." This makes it difficult to track the user experience, do root cause analysis, and remediate problems, she says. Products such as OpTier's provide more comprehensive end-to-end views and put them into more of a business context, she says.

The software, which runs on Unix, Microsoft Windows, and the Apple Macintosh, is available now. The pricing model is based on environmental factors such as the CPU, but typically starts at $100,000. An interface for the Apple iPhone and iPad is also available.