OCS: What is ARM?

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Application Response Measurement (ARM) is a simple application programming interface (API) that applications and middleware use to pass information about transactions to management software.

An application calls ARM just before a transaction starts and again just after it ends. An ARM agent receives the calls, measures the transaction, and provides that data to a management system.

ARM is an open standard defined by the [Open Group]. IBM, Hewlett Packard, SAS and Siebel are a few of the companies that support the ARM standard and have delivered ARM instrumentation in their software.

IBM has ARMed its middleware—including WebSphere and DB2—which provides a wealth of information about transaction performance.

But this doesn't provide the level of insight into application components that is necessary to perform root-cause analysis. To get a full picture of what is happening with an application system it is necessary to insert ARM calls into each component of the application. For instance, to get true end-to-end transaction tracing, particularly with a thick client, you need to ARM the client.

Until now, ARMing an application has required changing the source code, which is not feasible in many cases and not desirable in others. This situation has prevented most organizations from taking advantage of the many benefits of ARM.

ARM any application without changing source code

Now you can inject ARM calls into applications without modifying the source code. You do not need access to source code or to compiled code for C/C++ applications. You do not need the cooperation of the software vendor—you can ARM any application.

The ARM instrumentation is injected using RootCause, which allows you to insert ARM calls at runtime, as the application executes.

ARM instrumentation added with RootCause is more flexible than regular ARM calls. You can insert, delete or change ARM calls easily, without making any changes to application files.

This makes it possible to prototype ARM calls quickly and inexpensively. ARM calls can be inserted, tested, modified, load tested and finalized in a fraction of the time it would normally take.

You can significantly reduce the time, risk and expense involved in adding ARM instrumentation when you take this approach.

Read more:

ARM Instrumentation Services

Prototyping ARM

IBM Tivoli Solutions

ARM with RootCause (PDF, 265KB)