New Relic collects information by account, and then by a unique application identifier or name, also known as app_name or appname. This is a frequently overlooked setting!
Most of our agents provide a default application name, such as “My Application” or “PHP Application,” if you do not specify the name in your New Relic configuration file. (There are also a few alternate ways to name your app.)
Best Practice: Choose a name right away!
Select descriptive identifiers for your applications as soon as you deploy them.
Each new app name creates a new application record in your New Relic dashboard. Collecting data by app name allows you to run an application on more than one server and have all the data aggregated (collected) under the same name.
Problems may arise if you do not give other applications distinct app names in New Relic, because they will report back to the default name and record. You might think the application is not reporting, when it is just reporting into a pre-existing app.
Changing app names after data has been reporting
Caution: If you change the app name in your configuration (file or schema) after it has already been reporting, the agent will create a new record in your New Relic dashboard under the new name, effectively disconnecting your charts from the old data.
Instead, change the name that appears in the UI (the “label”). This changes the name cosmetically while retaining whatever configuration file value you used before.
“Roll-up” application naming
What if you want to know how things are going on just one of your servers? New Relic allows up to three application names in the application configuration file – so your application can report to up to three different records in the New Relic dashboard.
To do this, change the value for the app name in your agent config file:
appname = “Census1;Census Data”
appname = “Census2;Census Data”
appname = “Census3;Census Data”
This will cause FOUR ‘applications’ to appear on your dashboard. “Census Data” will be the aggregate data for all three servers and “Census1”, “Census2”, and “Census3” will be the individual results for the appropriate server. The order of the names when setting the appname is important. The first name of the three MUST be unique. The second (and third) can be shared.
I hope this trip into Application Naming has been helpful. If you have any questions on this or any other New Relic issue, please open a support ticket at support.newrelic.com.