The Next Frontier for AppLand: Software Design Observability with Runtime Code Analysis

The Next Frontier for AppLand: Software Design Observability with Runtime Code Analysis

Remember maps? You know, those pieces of paper that were always impossible to properly refold. Or maybe you were more of a MapQuest print-outs person. Either way, we’ve come a long way since then. Today, thanks to the advancement of navigational technologies, maps aren’t really maps anymore. They’re interactive, robotic assistants that guide us and allow us to explore more freely and confidently.

The beauty of navigational systems like Google Maps is they’re assistive without dictating our every move. They help us get to where we need to go safely and efficiently, and as result, we’re able to use our brains for more worthy, interesting things. Why isn’t there a comparable tool for businesses engaged in software delivery? With reliability, performance, security and maintainability more important than ever, where’s the navigational system to help businesses develop high-quality software that won’t cause problems down the road?

Businesses already know all too well how critical software reliability, performance, security and maintainability are. The trouble is, the tools being used to optimize them are typically reactive and diagnose problems only at the network-level. Some businesses have embraced more proactive security efforts like pentesting and audits, but practices like these only search for vulnerabilities in code that’s already been written. Static code analyzers can help identify syntax or library weaknesses as software’s being developed, but as codebases grow larger and more complex, the most critical weaknesses become insufficiently visible. And structural software weaknesses represent the majority of the most dangerous and pernicious flaws today, with no tools other than code reads available to identify these flaws.

We’ve been conducting a survey on the State of Software Architecture Quality, and so far more than 40% of our respondents said the most challenging trade-off their organization faces is balancing improving software quality vs. delivering software quickly. With ever-rising costs, market competition and consumer demands, delivering software quickly has never been more crucial. As Tyler Jewell puts it, “If software is every company’s competitive advantage, then their ‘velocity of engineering’ – the speed at which safe code travels from cradle to grave – will determine which organizations can sustainably best their rivals.” But increasing the ‘velocity of engineering,’ while also optimizing reliability, performance, security and maintainability, isn’t easy. This is precisely why Jewell forecasts cycle time improvements and observability of the service catalogue as key trends in new approaches to DevOps.

What today’s businesses desperately need is situational awareness across all levels of their organization. They need DevOps to ‘shift left’ their software design review processes by allowing developers to explore and analyze software design in a whole new way, and gain access to early signals that software may be at risk due to bad design decisions or degradation. And access to these signals needs to come before it’s too late, i.e. as developers are actively writing and modifying code.

This is what we’re building at AppMap. Developers are the engine that powers business innovation and growth, so we are deeply committed to building tools that augment their abilities, make their daily lives easier and supercharge their organizations.

AppMap technology offers dynamic visibility and interactive analysis at the code development-level, as opposed to static monitoring and diagnosing problems at the network-level. By providing an actionable, big picture view of all software components and their interdependencies, and automatically aggregating all code-related data in a centralized repository, AppMap allows businesses and their developers to:

  • Improve the quality and security of complex software systems
  • Confidently meet and report on regulatory requirements related to data privacy, security and transparency
  • Optimize application performance and architecture properties
  • Deliver new features and values more efficiently

Our mission at AppMap is to create an observability system for software design. We’re executing on this mission by defining a new market: runtime code analysis. We want to empower businesses to make software safer, more secure and higher quality than ever before by allowing developers to see, understand and critique the design of the systems they work with – no matter how large, complex or monolithic those systems may be.

If you’re a business interested in learning more about what we’re building, I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me on Linkedin or reach out on Twitter. If you’re a developer, join our community to help us execute our mission even faster!

AppMap logo Get AppMap