ARCAD Insights: Assessing the ‘Health’ of your IBM i application

Understanding the ongoing health of any software application should be at the heart of any digital enterprise. Application health directly correlates to customer satisfaction, the application’s maintainability, and risks of bugs, outages, or security breaches. And the core of application health is application intelligence, or the ability to synthesize a variety of input and output data streams in order to make quantitative and qualitative assessments over the codebase’s total resilience. Having a robust monitoring system in place ensures your ability to detect problems sooner, long before they affect product quality, induce system downtime, or worse.

Built with the open source data engine giant, Elasticsearch, and extended with the powerful data visualization and management system, Kibana, ARCAD’s dashboards for IBM i are the only tools you need to monitor your assets’ health. Dashboards pull live data from your application, parse and enrich it, and finally index that data in order to run complex queries on it. Powered by Kibana, the window into the Elasitcsearch engine, dashboards then present clear, actionable metrics for DevOps and IT Managers alike, in order to make critical decisions over the health of the application. ARCAD has tailored its dashboards for IBM i, and can also report important information on source members, such as the number of source members without an object, or number of missing source members at any given time.

Code quality is one critical correlative aspect of health, and poor code quality can be quite damaging to an application down the line. High quality code is marked by functionality, adherence to standards, readability, and testability. (It should also be well documented.) Developers can spend from 50 to 90% of their time reading code–versus writing it–just in order to understand it. Low quality code adds complexity, which in turn leads to reductions in developer productivity.

ARCAD dashboards have built in metrics that assess code quality and automate the review process. Here too is a major advantage, as manual code review saps high-level developer resources and is not immune to human error. Dashboards also can bore down into another critical area of code quality, that is, complexity. Many sections of your codebase may be inevitably complex, but unnecessarily complex areas can lead to a rise in risk of bugs, increased time fixing bugs, and increased chances that testing will not identify a problem in the code. All of these issues contribute to longer lead-times, delays, and even the potential introduction of security vulnerabilities.

End-to-end health monitoring is an operational handshake between DevOps and IT Managers but also serves to protect and future-proof your business’s assets and primary objectives. And ARCAD dashboards give you that indispensable window into your IBM i application’s health.

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