Best practices with BTM transaction pathways

This section describes some best practices in using events with BTM transaction pathways.

The best way to monitor the health of the transaction pathway is through the use of events. Event templates defined in the Event tab can be selected when configuring the transaction pathway model. When the base transaction pathway model is generated, the selected event templates are associated with the new generated transaction pathway model instance. They remain associated until the generated transaction pathway model instance is removed.

You can select event templates as per the following table.

BTM Event type

Sample trigger

Purpose

Performance warning

Console alert supported

SLA Metric Thresholds

btmMetricsElapsedTimeOverThreshold

Identify individual transactions that exceed elapsed time expectations.

No

No

SLA Metrics

btmSLAExceeded

Identify periods of time when transactions exceed service level agreements or expectations.

No

Yes

SLA Payload Metrics

btmPayloadMetricExceeded

Identify periods of time when payload values do not meet expectations or are unexpected in relation to the SLA's filters.

No

Yes

Model Deployment Status

btmDeploymentFailed

Identify a deployment failure.

No

No

Summary Metrics

btmTransactionPathwayElapsedTimeOverThreshold

Identify periods of time when the average elapsed time exceed expectations.

Yes

Yes

Activity Extension Update

btmUpdatesReceived

Trigger off a particular touchpoint and act on it, perhaps by return code.

Yes

No

Payload Value

btmTransactionPayloadDataGreaterThanEqualToValue

Trigger off a particular touchpoint's payload value.

Yes

No

Payload Metrics

btmPayloadMetricExceeded

Identify periods of time when payload values do not meet expectations.

Yes

Yes

Some event templates require monitoring of each and every transaction update which can require significant CPU and memory, especially in high volume environments. Each of these is denoted with a performance warning on their configuration dialog box. Best practice is to use events on summary, SLA or Payload Metrics to alert you to a possible issue during a time period and use P&A and BTM history to help diagnose the root cause of the issue for that time period and identify individual transactions with SLA excursions. 

When configuring events on SLA Metric Thresholds best practice is to restricted the event to incomplete thresholds where the threshold is set high enough to detect transactions with abnormally high elapsed times but not so low as to have flood of events fire if you have a technology failure that affects all transactions.

Each type of BTM event template requires an event trigger with a unique typed topic node. Rather than describe how to create an appropriate trigger and typed topic node, sample triggers have been provided that can be copied and modified as required. After making a copy of the sample trigger, you can edit the typed topic node and select the required attributes. For example, you might not want to use the AverageElapsedTime attribute but instead use the MaximumElapsedTime attribute in your trigger. The table above identifies each sample trigger for each type of BTM event.

Additionally, the copy of the Payload Value trigger must have its Typed Topic Node altered so that it filters on the name of the payload value required.

To use events with BTM Transaction Pathways

  1. Go to the Events tab and enter edit mode.
  2. Select the Triggers tab.
  3. Select the Trigger.
  4. Right-click the TT icon and select Properties.
  5. Select the Topic Configuration.
  6. Replace replace_with_payload_name in the filter column of the BTM Transaction Payload Data type with the name of the payload value.

    Note

    Leave the caret (^) and dollar sign ($) at the beginning and end of the string as this is a regular expression and these anchor the search. Without them you might get sub-string comparisons (ex. cat would match catch).
  7. Commit the workspace and leave edit mode.

Optionally, the copy of the SLA Metric Thresholds trigger might need to have its Typed Topic Node altered so that it filters on the comment field of the threshold. You can define a trigger that applies to all thresholds or one with a filter to isolate it to a specific filter.

To isolate it to a specific filter

  1. Go to the Events tab and enter edit mode.
  2. Select the Triggers tab.
  3. Select the Trigger.
  4. Right-click the TT icon and select Properties.
  5. Select the Topic Configuration.
  6. Add ^comment$ to the filter column of the BTM Thresholds type where comment is the comment on the threshold.

    Note

    Leave the caret (^) and dollar sign ($) at the beginning and end of the string as this is a regular expression and these anchor the search. Without them you might get sub-string comparisons (ex. cat would match catch).
  7. Commit the workspace and leave edit mode.

A sample btmLogToFile action is provided that uses a sample btmLogToFile format script to log the information to a file. This format script also shows how to include a URL to launch the Monitor Console and open the transaction pathway dashboard and BTM History tab with the timeframe of the event used to query transactions. This allows you to quickly navigate to the transactions with elapsed times of concern.

You can also create your own action. Some BTM events do not support console alerts as the trigger must be able to go from a true to false state. These BTM event types are identified in the table above.

Once you have created your trigger and action, you can create your event template by selecting your new trigger and an action. You should now be able to select the newly created event template from the BTM dialog boxes. 

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