Hey app developers, here's a way to monitor your users for free!

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Compuware's latest foray into mobility is a free bundle of cloudy code for dropping into mobile apps, which it will then monitor and measure for developers' (and Compuware's) benefit.

Compuware's Application Performance Management (APM) lurks quietly in the corner of an app, reporting back every now and then but mostly watching for a show-stopping event to let the app's developer know what went wrong and how it might be avoided next time.

Their website describes it thus:

This new generation of application performance management provides the only unified coverage of the entire application delivery chain – from the user, through the cloud, to the data center -- with the deepest 24X7 application visibility by tracing every transaction in production from user-click to code-line.

Compuware's APM was hitherto a paid service under the Gomez brand, but now APM will monitor mobile apps for free and provide devs with basic analytics, though one has to cough up for the paid version to access in-depth analytics going back more than a week.

This isn't a new idea. Flurry is widely installed, but making money from the process is more complicated. Flurry funds its free edition with an advertising platform and by upselling users to its AppCloud services, while Compuware reckons it the money's in a premium software offering.

Flurry is also more concerned with mobile app use, while Compuware focuses on performance and failure; reporting environmental variables such as battery life and having the ability to track failures down to the line of code which failed to execute. Both features, however, increase the amount of monitoring which goes on and so the number of clouds to which its code reports.

Smartphone users already leave a cloudy trail across manufacturers and platform providers, network operators and app developers, and increasingly third parties like Compuware. But remember, citizen, it's all for our benefit. Of course. ®


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