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A Dose of Web App RealiTea

By Jim Wagner     Feedback

It's all science for the new Web analytic from TeaLeaf Technology, which pinpoints user breakdowns at the source.

Officials at TeaLeaf Technology, the only SAP spinoff, released RealiTea for businesses that want to track down Web site failures at the source.

According to Geoff Galat, TeaLeaf vice president of product and marketing, said companies today need to focus on more than just the three- or five-nines of uptime or five-eight second load times, the metrics used by many companies to determine the availability of a Web site.

"Many people bought applications to bring down their costs, instead they're going up as they try to find out what went wrong," Galat said. "Most companies are at the three 9s or five 9s already; if problems continue it means that that isn't the issue and they need to find a solution to the problem."

Instead, he said, IT managers should be looking at each lost customer purchase and finding out the root cause for the error. Enter RealiTea, which promises to show the company exactly what the user sees when the online error occurred.

"It all comes down to the fundamental fact that IT can't see what the end user can see," Galat said. "When they can see that, then they can at least find the category of problem, if not the problem itself."

RealiTea works like this: every Web-generated action created by every single customer on a Web site is cached by the software; if the online transaction goes without a hitch, the information is scrapped, but if there is an error the information is collected and IT is alerted to the error. Looking through the log, they can then determine where the error came from and make changes.

"An application can only be considered available through successful production-level usage," said Corey Ferengul, an analyst at the META Group. "Web application availability must be managed from the perspective that matters most, that of the ultimate end user of that application. If a user cannot use an application, regardless of the reason, that application has failed."

In addition to the RealiTea platform, which officials break down into capture, server, portal and viewer, the software comes with several add-ons for increased functionality.

One of them is the synthetic scripts that can be generated from actual users, as opposed to scripts created by IT staffers who try to think of every possible error point in the Web application. The software is also highly customizable, avoiding the many "false positives" that crop up when new functionality is introduced into a Web site.

While not going into specifics on pricing, Galat said the software would be charged by the number of Web server CPUs and end user seats using the software; the average price tag, he said, would be around $150,000. TeaLeaf is the brainchld of Robert Wenig, former SAP Labs director of advanced technology. SAP didn't want to continue working on a product so far outside its enterprise application core business, so the company let Wenig take the technology and create a spin off company, the only such occurrence at SAP, said Galat.

This article was originally published on October 6, 2003
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