Django Monitoring and APM Benefits
Django Monitoring and APM Benefits
Django is growing to become one of the most popular web frameworks, and it's built on top of Python, among the easiest programming languages to start with. As the number of companies releasing Django apps increases, it is natural that the need for Django monitoring will also increase. In this guide, we will share the benefits of implementing monitoring in a Django application. Without further ado, let's begin!
What is Django
Django is a popular high-level web development framework built on top of Python. Django is known for high-speed development and has a more straightforward learning curve than other web frameworks. It also takes care of most web development practices, leaving you ample time to focus on your business logic.
The Django framework was introduced in 2005 and is free and open-source. It has accelerated significantly in recent years and is managed by the Django Software Foundation. While it takes care of a lot of web development hassles for you out-of-the-box, monitoring is an aspect that needs personalized attention, and this is why you need to set up your monitoring solution for Django apps. And in the following sections, you will learn why it is imperative to do so.
Key Benefits of Django Monitoring
Here are some of the essential benefits of monitoring Django applications.
Performance details on every web endpoint and background job
When you deploy a web app, you must ensure that each app component/route/endpoint is available to your users correctly. As your app grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor everything manually.
This is why opting for a monitoring solution for your Django app is essential. A Django APM tool can help you set up automated monitors and tests that are active 24x7 and help you know when an endpoint or a background job fails.
A Django APM can do more than check that everything is working. It can give you information on how frequently a job or endpoint is used. It allows you to configure your infrastructure resources to enable the correct scaling level for your users' demands.
Detailed Transaction Traces with Backtraces
Transaction traces track an event in your web app from start to end. It is advantageous in loosely coupled systems since requests go through multiple components, and there is no uniform tracking method. Most modern APM solutions can help you attach identifiers to user requests and help you trace them, and track the response time of each underlying component.
Django APM solutions can also help you debug issues faster by providing backtraces that help you understand where an error occurred and possibly point to its source.
Enhanced Database Query Monitoring
The database is an essential component of most Django apps. Monitoring how quickly your database server can serve requests is crucial to understanding the overall efficiency of your system. Django APM tools can help you monitor your database queries as well and help you look into issues like N+1 queries. Instead of opting for multiple monitoring tools for each aspect of your app, you can use one Django APM to monitor everything related to the app.
Detects Repeatedly Expensive Database Queries
Sometimes, lousy architecture leads to a skewed workload across your database queries and endpoints. There can be situations where some database queries are more resource-critical than others and bring down your app's overall performance. Django APM tools can help you identify the expensive database queries so that you can work towards designing them better and providing a consistent experience throughout your application.
Alerting is a crucial aspect of application monitoring. Without automated alerts, you will always remain in the dark about what's happening with your Django app in real time. Instrumenting your app to collect data is not enough; you need to set up active filters and alerts to notify your incident response team when a metric behaves weirdly. This can often prevent a downtime incident if picked up in time.
Most modern Django APMs support powerful alerting and escalation features. Once you set up the right Django APM, you can rest assured that you will receive updates about the events in your application in your preferred communication channels.
Another notable aspect of alerting is that a lot of its success lies in your hands. While most Django APMs support alerts, it is your job to set them up correctly. If you end up setting too many alerts or selecting the wrong ones, you are bound to have difficulty maintaining your application.
For teams that deploy Django apps regularly, tracking the performance and reception of each deployment among the users becomes essential. Without a Django APM tool in place, it can become challenging to know the user share of your active deployments and the issues arising in each.
Deploy tracking also takes things up a notch by allowing you to compare the requests and errors in multiple deployments at once. The deploy tracking feature can accommodate non-conventional deployments like canaries and blue-green deployment and also help you with broader metrics like the time between deployments and error rate per version.
Intelligent Performance Digest Email
Reporting is an essential aspect of monitoring. Without easy-to-understand summaries of the collected data and analyses, it is difficult for the business teams and other stakeholders to understand the health and situation of your application. Performance digest emails provide your stakeholders with insight into how your Django app has been performing recently and how it has improved or degraded over time.
Most modern Django APMs can help you quickly generate summaries and reports on the health of your application and split them into timeframes to understand the trends better. This serves as an easy way for the rest of your team to understand what's up with your app's performance.
Dashboarding is one of the primary components of any monitoring setup. Just like reports, dashboards enable product owners, managers, and other related stakeholders to know what's up with your app's health. But unlike reports, dashboards are not about summarizing the analyzed data; instead, a dashboard presents you with an accessible and customizable way of viewing your app's performance data.
With the right dashboard, you can view your app's performance data in charts and graphs that add meaning. And creating these charts and graphs manually can be a tedious task. This is why most Django APMs have the functionality to create graphs, charts, and more on the fly and create shareable dashboards to understand your Django app's performance better.
Integrates with GitHub, Sentry, Rollbar, Bugsnag, Zapier, and more
When monitoring a Django app, you often need to look up other tools for various tasks, such as GitHub for source code, Sentry for powerful alerting, Zapier for custom automation, and more. Modern APM tools like Scout support integrating with these platforms seamlessly and enable you to build a robust, intelligent observability setup that can take action on almost all performance changes.
For example, upon identifying an issue, a Django APM tool can tie it down to the line of code in your codebase that caused it. Then, with the help of git blame, it can tell you the names of the people that worked around that piece of code and are your best shots at resolving the issues quickly. In a more simple example, an APM solution that integrates with communication platforms like Slack and directly drops a message in your development channel whenever something goes wrong. Doing this lets you keep track of what's occurring in your app without constantly logging into your APM site.
Going by the 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Django stands at the 9th position in the list of most popular web frameworks and technologies. If you look at the response of people learning to code, Django jumps up to the 5th position, indicating that its popularity is increasing. Many upcoming developers will prefer it over other frameworks for developing apps. Keeping this trend in mind, it is crucial to understand why you should also focus on monitoring your Django apps.
Implementing a monitoring setup early in your application development lifecycle will help you stay ahead of your competitors. You'll know how all segments of your app are performing, which elements need more attention, and how good of an experience your end-users have received. This guide covered some of the most important reasons why you should opt for Django monitoring. Scout APM offers a robust monitoring setup for your Django application, and feel free to give it a try with its 14-day free trial.