I work on a site that has a lot of backend processing. As I understand, the page load process begins with the backend, followed by front end. I want to measure the time it takes for the backend data such as database query/lookups, processing, etc. To measure that, should I use TTFB. Is that correct? I am basically trying to find out the time of backend processing versus frontend.
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Dynatrace can give you the server contribution time using UEM. You can see for this user action, different web requests comprised this action. For each web request, there was subsequent execution time that contributed to the server contribution. There is no network contribution detail as I haven't enabled bandwidth measurement (network contribution is a calculated time).
To answer your question directly, it's not always clear if TTFB will give you the actual back-end processing time as it depends on how the application operates. There really isn't a specific timing that will universally give this to you. This is especially true the more complex your application becomes.
This is where Dynatrace enters. It's giving you individual timing, by tier, for each request.