The Benefits of APM in a Staging Environment
The earlier you can integrate APM metrics into your application, especially in your staging environment, the better. Why? Using APM metrics can help with visibility in your application development process, as the sooner you can see how your latest code performs, the faster you can optimize your application. Using an APM in your staging environment, where engineers are trying to understand performance and simulate load before it goes live, will ensure your application passes any load tests and does not break under pressure.
Application development involves everything from playing around with code, solving bugs, adding new features, and refactoring. With all of these changes happening, your application can have fluctuations in performance that might be beneficial to be tracked before pushing your code to production. Having insights from an APM about the performance of your application with these new changes, like isolating a few specific lines of code causing issues, can help you narrow down the areas of the project that need to be focused on, as well as help prevent significant breaks before it hits production.
Seeing detailed traces of new endpoints and code that was added, changed, or refactored can help you see how those changes are executing. With these detailed traces, you might be able to pinpoint something you didn't know was there, may it be a performance issue or for debugging.
Using an APM in your staging environment can help you understand which endpoints are heavily tracked before entering production. If an endpoint has made a complicated query in staging, it will make a ginormous query in production, which can lead to significant performance issues.
Having an APM solution in your staging environment can prevent large fires in production, especially with N+1’s. N+1 queries can cause extra overhead, as many additional queries are being called from a primary query. Catching these issues in staging, a more controlled environment can reduce overhead and slowdowns in production.
Overall, adding an APM to your staging environment can add many benefits to the performance of your application. Whether code is being added, refactored, removed, or experimented with, changes in performance are bound to happen. Using an APM to track and fix these performance changes in a controlled will save time from putting out fires in production that can be much larger and harder to solve.