Gitlab hero border pattern left svg Gitlab hero border pattern right svg

Category Direction - Digital Experience Management

Introduction and how you can help

Thanks for visiting this category page on Digital Experience Management in GitLab. This page belongs to the Health group of the Monitor stage, and is maintained by Sarah Waldner who can be contacted directly via email. This vision is a work in progress and everyone can contribute. Sharing your feedback directly on issues and epics at GitLab.com is the best way to contribute to our vision. If you’re a GitLab user and have direct knowledge of your need for Digital Experience Management, we’d especially love to hear from you.

Overview

Determining service level quality and preventing degraded user experience is a difficult task. Tracking user interactions across distributed systems and proactively monitoring user experience cannot be accomplished with manual tools. At the same time, downtime avoidance remains critical for businesses. This is why having an automated tool constantly monitor service availability can help ensure a reliable and enjoyable digital experience for users.

At a high level there are two ways to achieve this: Passive monitoring and active monitoring of defined user journeys in software. Passive Monitoring gathers actual user data and analyzes it over time. Active monitoring simulates user behavior to complement passive monitoring to help provide visibility on application health during off peak hours when transaction volume is low.

The Digital Experience Management category at GitLab encompasses the following types of user experience monitoring:

We recognize that this category covers many types of monitoring. In the future we may choose to break out the different types of monitoring into separate categories.

Mission

Our mission is to enable DevOps engineers and Developers to efficiently identify and resolve experience degradations in the software services they own. It is no longer just about performance and availability. It is ensuring that our users customers can successfully perform desired workflows from anywhere in the world on whatever platform they wish.

Challenges

As we invest R&D in building out Digital Experience Management tools at GitLab, we are faced with the following challenges:

Opportunities

We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the following opportunities:

High-level Design

To accelerate time to market and value for customers, we are considering an MVC that allows us to leverage the scripted tests and actions that are built as part of a customers existing CI test suite. This will allow companies to get extra mileage out of their existing investments in CI. For example, E-Commerce sites are likely testing the end-to-end workflow for a user browsing for items, adding them to a cart, checking out, paying, etc. The tests written to test this pathways can be used for synthetics. These tests can then serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine, detecting problems within workflows that simple page load tests would not.

A potential solution could look like:

Target Audience and Experience

The MVC of Digital Experience Management will be aimed at enabling users who align with the Application Ops persona to quickly identify and fix performance degradations in the products that they own. These individuals work for smaller organizations and are responsible for writing application code and maintaining them.

Strategy

What is Next & Why?

We are not investing in Digital Experience Management tools now (as of March 2020). The following categories are not yet competitive in market: Metrics, Logging, Tracing, and Incident Management. Before we invest in Digital Experience management, we need a foundation on which users can visualize and investigate performance problems.

Maturity Plan

Digital Experience Management is planned but it is not currently a priority. Definitions of these maturity levels can be found on GitLab's Maturity page. In the meantime, please contribute to the MVC epic for Digital Experience Management to see what we are considering for the first iteration.

Competitive Landscape

We recognize that Digital Experience Management is an expansive category. The following list of competitors is not an exhaustive list. There are more competitors in market for the types of monitoring detailed in the overview.

Competitor Ping/Uptime API Website Speed/load time Real User Synthetics
Pingdom :white_check_mark: Link :x: :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link
StatusCake :white_check_mark: Link :x: :white_check_mark: Link :x: :x:
Datadog :white_check_mark: Link :x: :x: :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link
Dynatrace :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link
New Relic :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link
AppDynamics :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link
Elastic :white_check_mark: Link :white_check_mark: Link :x: :x: :x:

Analyst Landscape

Not yet, but accepting merge requests to this document.

Top Customer Success/Sales Issue(s)

Not yet, but accepting merge requests to this document.

Top Customer Issue(s)

Not yet, but accepting merge requests to this document.

Top Internal Customer Issue(s)

Not yet, but accepting merge requests to this document.

Top Vision Item(s)

Not yet, but accepting merge requests to this document.