Scout APM vs. New Relic vs. Dynatrace
Application performance monitoring (APM) is important for the development of any web app. But monitoring software is not an easy process; you have to observe various metrics and be calculative in observing measurements like the application’s speed, error percentage, memory bloat, number of API calls per day, and much more.
Since it is not easy to manage it manually, you need to either hire a dedicated team or purchase an APM tool. If you go for the first option, you’ll have to pay a full-time salary, and still, you may not be 100% sure about the accuracy provided. However, if you go with the second option, you just have to purchase a reasonably priced APM software with good reviews, features, and a user interface that can make anyone a performance expert.
This article compares three APM tools - Scout, New Relic, and Dynatrace - in features, user interface, third-party integration, and installation. At the end of this article, you will be able to decide which APM is the best to pick for you.
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APM Product Features
Features are important because this is what we’ll need in any tool. The more relevant features an APM gives to its customer, the more valuable it is. Let’s discuss the top features of Scout, Dynatrace, and New Relic one by one.
Scout APM features:
Scout APM has multiple features such as Ruby monitoring, python monitoring, Elixir and phoenix app monitoring, NodeJs monitoring, and PHP monitoring. Using Scout, you can easily pinpoint issues, prioritize tasks and schedule fixing of issues.
You can enhance the performance of your application using Scout’s unique features like N+1 queries, memory bloat detection, slow database query, and much more. This APM always monitors your app to keep you updated on a real-time basis and get ahead of your competitor.
Application monitoring includes drilling down to the individual participation, path, and users affected by your slow API response. Whenever slow API responses are detected, you can easily use click and drag features over that time frame, and Scout will tell you the API requests that are taking so much time. After that, you can drill down deep to see which requests are performing below the average, making your website slower.
It does not end there; if you find many slow requests on your app, using Scout content-reducing powerhouse cross filter, you can quickly identify the common traits between those requests that are responding below average and go to the user-specific issues.
Identifying bottlenecks in your source code is also possible in Scout APM without any custom changes or tools. It is a general mistake that something unwanted gets merged in the production and causes a crash or bugs. With Scout, you can locate the line of code causing the issue and see which developer you need to contact.
New Relic Features:
New Relic is another famous APM in the industry. It provides the fine details of the application, giving the metrics of which feature is most catchy for the user and how much the user is spending its time on a feature. The data collection tool known as ‘out-of-the-box’ comes with various kinds of custom instrumentation, XML- based and UI-based instrumentation. Using custom attributes with each module, you can compare different business factors and drill down to the exact reason for the issues, providing you data-rich dashboards.
Its interface is easy to use, gives a rich user experience, and helps users see the performance levels rather than just saying numbers. New Relic also provides the experience at the customer level according to the data collected. It helps engineering teams to evaluate what is customer-friendly and what is not.
Dynatrace uses machine learning for detecting and eradicating defects in the application. Any problem in performance is researched to its deepest level and the exact cause, method or code causing the problem is solved by the APM or the user. Due to rich graphics, it can easily navigate through each layer of the application, hence errors can be solved easily. Dynatrace has alerts about rising issues that can be fatal in near future. Finally, with Dynatrace only a single agent manages the entire operation.
New Relic is one of the oldest APMs, but it lacks features like simple UI in the administrator section and alerts of future issues. Dynatrace provides new features like using AI in their tool and advanced alerts, but it also lacks some of the crucial features like resolving memory bloats, slow query detection, and reports of most used features by the user. Scout offers all features in a simpler way and explains them correctly through their documentation or UI. That's why their customers prefer Scout over other modern APMs.
Integrations are software that can be added to any software externally as a plugin. We need to use integrations because we can not have everything in a single tool and no organization needs all of the functionality at the same time. But if it needs something, it can add it externally. Integrations make our software lightweight and easy to use.
Scout APM Integrations
Scout APM offers the support of various third-party integrations, like Github, Rollbar, Sentry, and Slack. It also shows various additions in the UI using the Git repository of the associated application. It collects the exact backtraces collected from the transaction traces. The developer handling all the errors can easily annotate the code with the help of the git blame command and easily discover the bottlenecks. It also tracks down the deploys of the selected branch so you can see the details by hovering over a deployed branch. You can also access repositories under organization after you list Scout as an approved tool by reading GitHub’s docs on organization-approved applications.
Other integrations like Rollbar, Sentry, and Slack offer many features on the UI itself.
Dynatrace offers two types of third-party integrations. One is a problem notification system, and the other is test automation frameworks. Problem notification frameworks help in notifying the problems, crashes, emergency cases, or issues. It also includes a chat system that provides proper communication between the teams. The integrations that come under the problem notification frameworks are Ansible tower, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello, VectorOps, xMatters, Email, Jira, Webhook, Opsgenie, Servicenow, PagerDuty.
The test automation framework provides the ability to automate some unit tests in a formal fashion, comparing the actual outcomes to predicted outcomes. The integration tools that come under this category are Load testing tools, LoadRunner, and JMeter.
New Relic Integrations.
According to their website, New Relic offers overall 368 third-party integrations. They categorize as Amazon web services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Applications, Infrastructure, etc. New Relic’s integrations are Google cloud, Firestore, Amazon web service, Microsoft Azure, Drupal, Android, Akka, CakePHP, Codefusion, CodeIgniter, Cordova, etc.
In terms of the number of third-party apps supported by an application, New Relic is the clear winner. However, due to the lack of important integrations like Github, Slack, Sentry, and Rollbar, it is missing some features which ease the application management to the next level. Scout supports all those key integrations, so go for Scout if you don’t need so many fancy integrations that are of no use most of the time.
UI and Dashboard
UI and dashboard are what your users see when they open your application. Your tools should have an exemplary user interface, making it easier for users to get the most out of it. We will discuss the user interface section of ScoutAPM. Dynatrace UI, and New Relic.
Scout APM UI
Scout APM has everything on its dashboard. It makes good use of modern web visualization and is very easy to read and understand. Scout shows the exact part of the code causing bottlenecks to your application and which developer you should contact. Showing N+1 queries and slow queries with backtraces in an intuitive UI is not a simple task, but Scout does it seamlessly.
Using the database monitoring add ons, you can see which API is responding slowly or even not responding at all. You can track the database behavior, and most importantly, your APM should be lightweight and should not add any overload to your team.
Dynatrace UI is also very eye-catching and visually impressive, but there is not enough information about the application’s performance on the dashboard. You may have to go through various clicks from the dashboard to get all the detailed information about your application.
New Relic UI
New Relic’s dashboard mainly focuses on providing more and more information about the application on the first page. The graphical interface on the dashboard is very informative and easy to understand and users can drag, drop and double click on the graph to get more information on any issues.
Talking about User Interface, Scout APM and New Relic both show almost all of the important information on the first screen, and users don’t need to go anywhere to find necessary data. Though Scout’s UI is superior, New Relic is a comparable second option. Dynatrace needs to improve a lot on the User interface side as it is very crucial for the application.
Ease of use and usability refers to the various cases where the tool can be used and how easy it is to use. Different tools have different usability depending upon the features they have. In this section, we discuss the usability of ScoutAPM, Dynatrace, and New Relic.
Scout APM Usability
ScoutAPM is useful in many cases like detecting memory bloat, checking slow endpoint responses, detecting bugs, and much more. Also, it can manage your whole application; from writing the code to deploying it, it helps you monitor everything. Plus, it gives many third-party integrating(discussed in the section), giving users more power while monitoring their app. The documentation of ScoutAPM is also very simple and supports different languages like Ruby, Go, Java, etc.
Dynatrace empowers AI-based monitoring. Some of the cases in which Dynatace could be used are monitoring, continuous automation, AI assistance, etc. You can see where users have faced and recorded the exact steps they did. It makes bug reproduction easy. It also gives information about the vulnerabilities and future bugs that can happen. Dynatrace also produces alerts intelligently on bugs or failed builds. But these intelligent alerts sometimes bother by sending irrelevant notifications. Hence it is not recommended for new users to use Dynatrace directly.
New Relic UI
New Relic has developed many features with time and ultimately, you use it in many cases. You can use it for monitoring, sending alerts, deployment, fixing bugs, etc. If you are experienced in using APMs and have a large application to monitor, go for New Relic, as it has features that may satisfy your needs. Despite having so many features, the dashboard of New Relic is very complex to understand, and that is why we don’t recommend New Relic for new users. It is very difficult to find and navigate the features as the UI looks congested with many elements.
Having wide usability is crucial for a tool. But sometimes, while chasing for more features, some tools destroy critical usability metrics. New Relic has so many features, but bad UI makes make usability for new users quite difficult. Dynatrace is an AI-powered tool with almost everything running with AI’s help, but it sometimes creates unnecessary noise by producing alerts. ScoutAPM has a straightforward UI and still has many features. It also does not send unnecessary alerts and also gives you the power to control them.
Installation here means how easy it is to install the software. If your software has a large number of steps for installation, then there’s a lot of room for error. However, if you only have one or two steps, it will be easy to install.
Scout APM Installation
Scout is known for easy and automated installation for frameworks like Ruby, Elixir, NodeJs, Python, PHP, and various other languages. For Ruby, you have to type the first command for your Gemfile `gem 'scout_apm'` and type in shell bundle install. For Elixir, you have to first add the scout_apm dependency. For more detailed information about the installation, you check the official doc here.
Dynatrace also provides automated and quick installation. You need to install five things while installing Dynatrace, namely Dynatrace managed, OneAgent, Active Gate, Network Zones, and Integrations. Dynatrace managed is responsible for managing one or more environments. When you install the Dynatrace managed, you also install Dynatrace Server, Cassandra, Elastic Search, an embedded active gate, and NGINX. Dynatrace OneAgent offers Real User Monitoring, Mobile app Monitoring, Server Side Monitoring, Network Process, host Monitoring, Cloud and Virtual Machine monitoring, Docker Container Monitoring, and finally, Root Cause Analysis. You can learn in detail about them in the official documentation. Similarly, Dynatrace ActiveGate helps route One Agent traffic to Dynatrace, monitor cloud environments, and monitor remote technologies with extensions. Network Zones are required because they help you to route the traffic efficiently.
New Relic Installation
New Relic offers an automated and quick solution for installation and various plugins like Redis, MySql, Oracle, MongoDB, etc. They offer various services such as APM, Browser monitoring, Infrastructure, Mobile, Synthetic monitors, integration for third party services, and Data ingest APIs. You can install their APM for various programming languages like C, Go, Java, Python, Ruby, and Node.Js. For installing browser monitoring services you need to go through this browser monitoring installation doc. It also supports mobile monitoring on Android, iOS, and React.
All three APMs provide automated and quick install of the software. But ScoutAPM and New Relic provide various kinds of plugins during installation that make our tasks much easier.
Every customer has questions related to the product, whether it is before purchasing or after purchasing. People expect the company to answer customer’s queries efficiently and responsibly. Moreover, they should also provide detailed documentation of their product for supporting their customers 24x7. The more they engage with their customers, the more it would be beneficial for the company’s reputation.
Scout APM offers its customers excellent support. In their thorough documentation, you can find a detailed solution for most errors, but if you find a unique error, Scout APM support will help you. Customers say that customer support responds to their problem quickly and in every detail. The blog section on their website also consists of various articles containing how ScoutAPM works and some general questions regarding it.
You can chat on the website with Dyntarce's software specialist. The system of customer support is also known as Dyntrace One. It is a group of Dynatrace members who continually examine customer issues and obtain most of the software from Dynatrace. Their team is available worldwide. There are various kinds of resources available for customer support at Dynatrace like Dynatrace support center, Dynatrace documentation, Dyntrace University, Dynatrace community, support tickets, and live chat.
New Relic Support
New Relic has provided support for different sections separately. Categories in which you can ask for support are: Agents installation, New Relic Platform, New Relic APIs, Account, Billing and Alerts, and synthetics. For diagnosis and status updates, you can use Diagnostic CLI, Ticket Inbox, and System Status. If any of the above does not work for you, you can email them. You can also discuss your queries with discussion groups of the tech community, and learn from courses, webcasts, and workshops in New Relic University or go through their documentation.
Good support can stop customers from going for any other tool, so every company emphasizes how they can help customers more. Scout APM has provided options for email, chat, and the rich documentation of its product. Dynatrace has also provided almost the same types of features where you email or chat with them directly. New Relic has categorized its support system, making tasks easy in handling requests. So in support, all the three companies have provided the same emphasis.
Application performing manager is a crucial software for tracking the performance of your application and checking logs and errors. Each of the tools has its pros and cons. Some have a better user interface and provide easy functionality access, while others have limited integration facilities with third-party plugins. Some have a very feasible pricing system with multiple features, while some take the same price but provide fewer features. Some may provide a specific feature that you require during the management of your application, while some may offer more features than you need.
Scout APM provides many features like N+1 queries, memory bloat resolving, and finding and resolving bottlenecks through their very reasonable pricing system. Scout also has the edge over Dynatrace in terms of usability and user interface. Other APMs are also good in terms of features and pricing, but if you want a scalable and robust APM for all purposes and that supports a variety of tech stacks, then you should try Scout.
Choosing an APM tool is highly dependent on the use case of your application and your business. We have compared various parameters like core features, integrations, user interface, and finally, installation. Scout APM has advanced core features and provides some of the most critical third-party integrations, making it a high-quality tool. Choosing Scout APM over other tools will help you manage your software effectively and at a low cost.
Now it’s your turn to choose your APM wisely. Be sure your choice satisfies your requirements. If you’re still unsure which tool to go with, you can easily give Scout a try for free; no credit card required.