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APM: Is it Monitoring or Management?

DynaMight Guru
DynaMight Guru

This is really not a Dynatrace question, but well, posting it here anyway 😁

Me & @pdeodato shared some interesting thoughts about APM today, all because of a t-shirt:

This got us into an interesting exchange of ideas: what does the M in APM really mean? Is it "Application Performance Monitoring" or "Application Performance Management"? Or, of course, both? And which appeared first?

In favor of "Application Performance Management", we have for instance Wikipedia:"

In favor of "Application Performance Monitoring", we have Gartner:

In Dynatrace, we've got both. A quick search for "Management" APM in the domain gave me 1400 results, while "Monitoring" APM gave me 1270 results. A very good blog post explains some of the differences:

ChatGPT was not quite helpful 🤣

Another interesting article takes us back in time:

As I love History and the Wayback Machine (please support it!) I just had to check 😁 What I found out:


Now, I then wondered if I did not have some early document referencing it. And I found a PDF "INS 1997 Survey Results: Network Performance Management", from 1997-10-01, referencing "Application performance management":



On my journey to find an even earlier reference, I remembered Google Books. Books/Magazines/Papers predate the Internet we know, and so we have to redefine when someone started talking about APM. I kept my search only in the 20th century, and for Google Books, here are some references, prefixed with the year and a short excerpt:

  • 1971 - International Aerospace Abstracts
    In this application performance monitoring will provide levels of safety and economy of utilization beyond the level possible by the traditional means of redundancy and internal monitoring alone.
  • 1985 - Department of Defense appropriations for 1986
    [Not really related, but the APM sequence is there] On the submarine side , application performance monitoring of SSN - 637 class and later classes will complete in FY86 .
  • 1989 - CMG'89 Proceedings: December 11-15, Reno, Nevada : ... - Page 546
    [This is my favorite oldest reference to APM] For large application systems with periodically changing software releases , adding application performance monitoring tools even after the initial software has been delivered is well worth the effort and expense .
  • 1992 - Proceedings - Volume 1 - Page 323
    The monitor and its separate interconnection network are used to assist in application performance monitoring , program design , hardware and software debugging , and hardware analysis .
  • 1994 - Open Distributed Processing, II: Proceedings of the IFIP ... - Page 236
    The functions provided by DAPM are restricted to application performance monitoring but could make use of information collected by a network's network management system .
  • 1996 - Network World - Jun 3, 1996 - Page 50
    ... said their key requirements are seamless integration of management tools, application performance monitoring products and network simulation software.
  • 1996 - InfoWorld - Sep 30, 1996 - Page 53
    [about EcoNet 2.0 from Compuware] With this application-performance-monitoring solution, you can determine the applications and users that are consuming valuable network bandwidth at any given instance or over a period of time.
  • 1996 - CMG Transactions - Issues 91-94 - Page 102
    While you can get a lot of application information out of RMF, SMF and online monitors, if you are really serious about application performance monitoring, you need a program monitor.

I really didn't have more time to check out all references. Some of them have misleading dates, and the excerpts from Google are sometimes misleading. But it seems to be clear that Application Performance Monitoring is really how APM really started...

Do you know of earlier references? Or some more pieces in this puzzle?

Antonio Sousa

DynaMight Legend
DynaMight Legend

Interesting... maybe we should coin our own, APMM - Application Performance Monitoring Management 🤣


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