Application scripts are key tools for IT performance monitoring, particularly when it comes to the digital transformation of companies. They are essential for testing the transition from thick clients (local) to thin clients (web). So how does a script work and what does this technology enable us to do? Eric Mengelle, Application scripts manager at Maltem Insight Performance (“MIP”), tells us.
Eric Mengelle, Application scripts manager at MIP
– What does an application script consist of and how is it used?
An application script is the simple or complex testing of a thick client (software installed on a workstation) to check it is working correctly. In general, we also talk about application maintenance for web pages which have become real applications in their own right. But we mainly use these tests to launch thick client applications such as Citrix Web but also Outlook, Excel and various CRMs such as SAP, etc. Scripts enable us to perform a before/after comparison of the transition from a thick client such as Outlook to a thin client such as Gmail or Office365. They also enable us to go further by conducting smart graphics recognition on a web portal.
– What optimizations do MIP’s customers want to make?
Customers take an interest in the user experience when they need to change tools or monitor changes to their website. They can, for example, choose to move to the Google’s G Suite or Office 365 for material reasons (cost reduction, fewer human resources, hardware and software maintenance needs, etc.) or opt for the collaborative aspect of cloud tools. They may also need support monitoring an e-commerce site or changing CRM tool. We are also asked to set up an internal proxy server* and compare load times with or without the proxy in order to reduce its impact.
– Tell us about your career background and your responsibilities at MIP
I started out in the different but complementary sector of industrial IT: IT applied to robots to increase production and traceability. I then set up a web development company with a friend which I managed for 3 years, enabling me to develop a range of skills and learn several programming languages. I joined the team at Alaloop (which is now MIP) in 2012 as a web and application script project manager. At first, I was in charge of developing scripts but now I mainly maintain the API (optimized use and false positive management) and develop new tests for R&D.
– What digital transformation trends are you seeing?
If I had to count, I’d say that 60% of the tests we conduct concern thick clients and 40% thin clients. Where messaging tools are concerned, 90% of our customers have moved to new cloud apps.
Companies are increasingly organized into divisions or “business units” which use web applications rather than managing their IS infrastructures themselves. This means they need to delegate management to third parties (Amazon Cloud, Office 365, etc.) which can have an impact on the user experience. It is no longer enough to perform measurements on the local network; users are “swamped” with new layers of infrastructure and are losing control of this management. At MIP, we correlate local measurements with those performed on the Internet. Two worlds which do not always understand each other very well but which have co-exist in the company.
– Will web applications replace “thick applications”? If so, is this really what we want?
I think so, even though some customers will never transfer all their services to the net for obvious security reasons. There are still some misgivings in certain cases, and quite rightly so. For example, banks will definitely not migrate their applications to the Cloud but they may create internal web portals to replace their old applications. For international companies with interconnected infrastructures covering the whole globe, maintenance requirements are colossal. The web’s reduced costs and infrastructure maintenance requirements mean that the current trend is certain to increase.
* (Proxy Server)