Business monitoring

Business monitoring is an add-on for IBM® Instana Observability (Instana), available in Instana SaaS, that provides proactive monitoring of business processes.

Availability: Business monitoring is available only to invited customers. To learn more about requesting access, see Business monitoring with IBM Instana Observability.

You can monitor business processes that are running in the following business automation tools:

  • IBM Business Automation Workflow
  • IBM Business Automation Manager Open Edition (also known as Red Had Process Automation Manager or jBoss jBPM)
  • Camunda

The Instana host agent extracts running business processes and activities on those platforms.

Business automation (also known as business process management or BPM) tools are used by many companies to automate repetitive steps of their business processes. Such business processes can consist of workflows with automated or human-involved steps. A business process (for example, Standard HR Open New Position) might contain many activities (for example, GM Approval of a new request.) With Business Monitoring, Instana can now show users when a business process or activity has been affected by an IT problem.

Business Monitoring dashboard

The Business Monitoring dashboard provides a proactive view of detected business processes, process detail summaries (the number of instances started and number of activities) and their IT health. IT health is calculated based on whether there are any IT alerts impacting any of the IT architecture supporting the business process.

You do not need to configure the Business Monitoring dashboard, because Instana generates this dashboard automatically when Business Monitoring is enabled and supported tools are being monitored.

Business Monitoring dashboard

Viewing details for a business process

To view details for a business process, click a business process in the Business Monitoring dashboard.

The business process details page shows the following details:

  • How many instances of the business process have been invoked over time.
  • The top activities (by count) of the process.
  • Any changes in the infrastructure that supports the process.

To see specific invocations of the business process and details on the instance calls and full traces, click Analyze Instances.

To view issues that are related to the IT architecture supporting the business process, click Issues.

Business process details page

BPM in unbound analytics

You can use unbound analytics to filter and group BPM calls. By default, if you click Analyze Instances on the Business process dashboard then all invocations of that process are selected and grouped by Root Process Instance ID, which represents a single invocation of the process.

BPM in unbound analytics

Configuring Business Monitoring

You can use the following options to configure Business Monitoring:

  • IBM Business Automation Workflow:

    To enable tracing of IBM Business Automation workflow, add the following snippet to <instana-agent-dir>/etc/instana/configuration.yaml:

        bawEnabled: true
  • Data capture from executing business processes:

    You can configure Instana to capture and store business data from the business processes running in any of the supported tools. To configure Instana Agent to capture such data, the data field names need to be added to <instana-agent-dir>/etc/instana/configuration.yaml. For example, the following extract is used to configure the capture of data from the IBM Business Automation Workflow sample application “Standard HR Open New Position”:

      - HiringManager
      - EmploymentStatus
      - Department
      - Location
      - GMApproval