Are you a New Relic Power User? To find out, answer yes or no to the following questions:

  • I have set an appropriate Apdex threshold for each of my applications.
  • I use Key Transactions to monitor critical transactions individually.
  • I have configured custom alert policies, so I know within minutes if one of my applications or servers has a problem.
  • I use Service Maps to get a bird’s-eye view of my application.
  • I use the New Relic API to automate repetitive tasks.
  • I use New Relic Insights to analyze my data and create custom dashboards.

If you answered yes to four or more, congratulations! You are definitely an advanced user. If not, don’t feel bad—New Relic products are designed to get you up and running quickly, but there’s a lot of deep functionality that can take time to learn.

To help you take your skills to the next level, New Relic offers free, hands-on workshops at a variety of locations around the world. Here’s an example of what you’ll have the opportunity to learn at these workshops:

Specifying Key Transactions

New Relic’s Apdex feature allows you to specify a performance threshold for your application: How quickly must the application respond in order to feel fast to the user? After you set this threshold, New Relic will tell you how your application is performing, and can notify you if it deviates too far from your goal.

But what if you have individual transactions that should be significantly faster than the overall application? Maybe it’s fine for the application to respond within 5 seconds on average, but the login page should really load within 1 second. Or perhaps you have long-running transactions that you know will take longer than the Apdex threshold. How do you avoid having those transactions drag down your Apdex score?

To manage cases like these, New Relic allows you to specify Key Transactions—individual transactions that are especially important to your business (like signups or purchases), or that have unusual performance characteristics, like the examples noted above.

To create a key transaction, select Key Transactions from the New Relic menu bar, then select Add More.

key transactions 1 screenshot

[click to enlarge]

Use the Key Transaction wizard to choose an application and specify which transaction you want to track, then select Track Key Transaction. In the Key Transactions list, select the gear next to a transaction to set the Apdex thresholds for that transaction, or change its display name:

key transactions 2 screenshot

[click to enlarge]

Let’s see how specifying a key transaction can improve the accuracy of your Apdex score: In this example, the owners transaction is a known, long-running transaction. Before adding it as a key transaction, its relatively long response time brings down the application’s Apdex score:

key transactions 3 screenshot

[click to enlarge]

Sorting the transactions by Apdex most dissatisfying, we see that the owners transaction is 50% responsible for the application’s reduced Apdex score.

key transactions 4 screenshot

[click to enlarge]

After adding owners as a key transaction and setting its Apdex threshold to reflect its typical response time (indicated by the vertical lines on the Web transaction response time chart), the application’s Apdex score comes back up:

key transactions 5 screenshot

[click to enlarge]

And its effect on the application’s Apdex is reduced to less than 22%:

key transactions 6 screenshot

[click to enlarge]

That’s just one example of what you’ll have the chance to learn at New Relic’s free, hands-on workshops. This week, our workshops come to the U.K. for the first time, with two sessions in London and one in Manchester:

New Relic will also be running a hands-on training workshop in Stockholm next month:

Visit the Instructor-led Training page at New Relic University to see a complete schedule of upcoming workshops. I hope to meet you at one soon!


Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice. Background image courtesy of

Phil Weber is a Senior Technical Training Specialist with New Relic University. He worked as a software developer for over 15 years, and has been a technical trainer since 2005. As a consultant, he worked for such clients as Intel and Kaiser Permanente. View posts by .

Interested in writing for New Relic Blog? Send us a pitch!