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I’ll have a Web apps and Tonic, please

Sep 24, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* A Tonic for managing transactional integrity of Web applications

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You’ve watched you Web applications evolve from a handful of exciting, bleeding edge technology tests into a complex environment of scores of mission critical applications. And it probably didn’t happen slowly. One minute it was small and manageable and now, time to reach for the anti-depressants.

The problem is that like all good technology, Web applications went from zero to sixty before we even knew it and Web applications management grew up as the applications grew. So if you haven’t started to develop and implement a Web applications management strategy, now is the time to do so.

And a number of companies are ready to help you including Tonic Software (see links below). In fact, Tonic, founded in 1999, is one of the more established competitors in this market.

Tonic’s focus is specifically on managing the transactional integrity of Web applications. Tonic WebCommand’s modules include Active Monitoring and Real-User Monitoring to assess the quality of the end-user experience, Problem Isolation to diagnose Web applications problems, and service-level management to monitor service-level agreements.

Tonic’s focus is to monitor Web applications from the end-user perspective from both inside and outside the firewall to simplify diagnosis of network, servers, and application problems. The techniques used involve “synthetic transactions that model even the most complex and dynamic Web applications with no scripting required.”

The system provides support for sites that use JavaScript, ActiveX, dynamic content, pop-ups and client- and server-side certificates and provides performance checks, availability checks and integrity and accuracy checks with extensive alerting services.

WebCommand for BMC Patrol integrates with (surprise) BMC’s Patrol network management suite. Support for Tivoli’s Tivoli Enterprise Console, HP’s OpenView and CA’s Unicenter are planned.

Tonic’s WebInsight for BEA WebLogic Server and WebInsight for IBM WebSphere Application Server are products that “automatically correlate metrics across all tiers of the infrastructure” to isolate problems occurring “within and between clusters/server groups and the related J2EE applications, databases, Web servers, legacy systems and underlying operating systems.”

WebInsight also provides management of individual and cluster or group-level server performance, EJBs, execution queues, JMS message queues and JDBC connection pools and recommends specific performance tuning fixes, as well as predicting possible failures and capacity bottlenecks and recommends “corrective actions for immediate resolution of business-impact problems.”

Tonic’s final offering, Tonic WebLens, monitors transactions within and across BEA WebLogic Servers and IBM WebSphere Application Servers with, the company claims “a barely noticeable impact on the overall performance of the servers.”

Tonic’s products are designed for large scale Web applications management. Prices start at $40,000 for a departmental deployment and up to $1 million for enterprise solutions.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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