– Matthew Zanderigo, product marketing manager at Compuware, says:

Poor web application performance directly impacts customer loyalty, brand and sales. As response times increase, end-user interactions begin to slow and dissatisfaction rises, resulting in a staggering business impact. Amazon has calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year.

In 2005, Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, also known as AJAX, evolved as means of delivering lightning-fast end-user experiences for feature-rich applications. With AJAX, web applications can send data to, and retrieve data from, a server asynchronously in the background without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page. The application processing takes place in the browser, on the client-side.

With AJAX, feature-rich, dynamic web applications can now be served up to end-users much more quickly and efficiently than in the past. In contrast, in the 1990s, most web sites were based on complete HTML pages. Each user action required that the page be reloaded from the server, or a new page loaded. This process was highly inefficient, increasing end-user wait times due to excessive server round-trips.

The benefits of AJAX are clear, but AJAX technologies also bring with them some performance management challenges. Specifically, AJAX application traffic is not directed back to data centers, so “server-side” solutions that monitor server response times are not sufficient to gauge the end-user experience. “Server-side” solutions do not highlight any performance problems end-users might have with AJAX applications, due to the limitations of a specific browser. Not being able to proactively manage performance across browsers could hamper the very speed organizations are trying to enhance by using AJAX.

To remedy this problem, Compuware’s Application Performance Management (APM) business has announced Compuware APM AJAX Edition 4, a new version which enables organizations to test and diagnose AJAX application performance issues across all recent and legacy browser versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. Compuware’s APM AJAX Edition 4 leverages a new generation of APM centered on the end-user experience. It provides organizations with a bird’s eye view into how dynamic AJAX web applications are performing for real end users across a variety of browser types. This empowers organizations to pinpoint and address browser-specific problems that could be inhibiting a world-class end-user experience.

Compuware’s APM AJAX Edition 4 also features tight integration with Compuware’s SpeedoftheWeb.com. SpeedoftheWeb.com tests any site’s performance from locations around the world, and provides a comparison of performance across multiple locations. Organizations can then import test sessions into an instance of Compuware APM AJAX Edition 4, for diagnostics that help fine-tune performance on the front-end.

With more application logic sitting in the web browser than ever before, it is critical to measure and optimize the performance of dynamic web applications at the browser level. This is essential to keeping customers loyal and attracting new ones. With Compuware APM AJAX Edition 4, organizations can glean tremendous insight into client-side performance issues and immediately tweak performance for AJAX-based websites and applications. By addressing the complexity created by multiple browsers at the edge of the Internet, Compuware APM AJAX Edition 4 helps organizations deliver fast, feature-rich applications that promote revenues, customer satisfaction and brand image.