New Relic Exposes Analytics APIs

Michael Vizard
Mar. 20 2014, 01:40PM EDT

Developers are forever being asked for data from Web applications to either resolve a DevOps issue or better inform a business decision. Gathering all that data in a way that makes sense to both the developer and the people that need to act on that information has always been problematic. Looking to take that issue head on, New Relic this week launched the public beta of New Relic Insights, a real-time analytics tool that developers can invoke within the context of the New Relic application performance management (APM) service.

Jim Gochee, New Relic vice president of products, says New Relic Insights is different from other analytics platforms in that it stores data in a custom built database that New Relic designed to specifically support billions of queries being made every second. That data is being made accessible via a New Relic Query Language and a new set of RESTful application programming interfaces that when combined with JSON makes it easier for developers to share analytics results with other applications.

The APIs for inserting data and querying data, says Gochee, are fundamentally different than the APIs that New Relic previously exposed within its APM service to provide access to metric data.

New Relic's positioning of the release is essentially the beginning of a second act for the company. Beyond simply providing APM data, New Relic Insights converts New Relic into a true analytics platform specifically designed for developers to allow them to address a range of issues.

For example, the APIs might be used to better inform IT automation tools that would use that information to remediate performance issues. At the same time, developers might choose to expose that data to a host of marketing applications that would be used to make better business decisions in real time. At the same time, Gochee says developers might invoke the service to simply discover what features of an application are actually being used.

When it comes to application analytics there are obviously no shortage of options. But Gochee says none of them were really designed to support billions of queries in real time. For that reason, New Relic felt compelled to create its own custom database to support what they expect to be billions of queries.

Previously code named Project Rubicon, New Relic Insights is available to all paying New Relic customers. Each account is allowed to store one Billion metrics weekly for free during beta and thus far New Relic says over one trillion events have already been stored in the new product.

Analytics is clearly becoming the next great frontier in the age of the programmable web. New Relic is making a case, however, that analytics engines that were designed for end users rather than developers invoking services simply isn’t going to cut it.

Michael Vizard

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