Docs » Overview of Business Workflows

Overview of Business Workflows 🔗


The original µAPM product, released in 2019, is now called µAPM Previous Generation (µAPM PG). Wherever you see the reference, µAPM now refers to the product released on March 31, 2020.

If you’re using µAPM Previous Generation (µAPM PG), see Overview of SignalFx Microservices APM Previous Generation (µAPM PG).

A Business Workflow is the start-to-finish journey of the collection of traces associated with a given activity or transaction. Each trace consists of multiple spans, and each span has identifying tags.

As a software engineer, site reliability engineer (SRE), or executive, you can use Business Workflows to monitor and troubleshoot end-to-end transactions in your system. In retail contexts, for example, an end-to-end transaction might encompass initial contact through order fulfillment, as captured by a trace.

After you or your admin identifies and configures a Business Workflow, the Splunk APM platform generates Monitoring MetricSets that you can use to chart performance or alert on, particularly when you want to identify the root cause of unexpected behavior to resolve any service bottlenecks. You can focus on a particular Business Workflow using hyperlinks from charts and alerts to context-specific troubleshooting. You can also filter data views based on the service map, service-level indicators, Tag Spotlight, or traces.

How spans and traces structure Business Workflows 🔗

When a user first interacts with an application that is instrumented for Splunk APM, for example by clicking the checkout button on an application to generate a backend API call, that request is assigned a unique trace ID. As the request moves sequentially through the system, every operation performed on it, called a “span” or a “child span,” is tagged with the initial trace ID, as well as its own unique ID, plus the ID of the operation that originally generated the current request. In other words, every span associated with a particular trace is encoded with data about the microservice process performing that span, and a trace is a collection of related spans.