Application Insights in Azure – intro, session slides and notes

I today had the honor of doing a session on Application Insights at TechX Azure in Stockholm, Sweden. AI is a tool/service for monitoring web and mobile apps, designed to give you a 360° view of your application. It monitors your app on the client, the server, and the use of some external resources.

I here present to you a brief summary of the talk, some of the questions thar arised, and the slides from the session. Video recording is coming soon.



ASP.NET – installs in Visual Studio and gives you lots of telemetry out of the box (PageViews, Requests etc)

web – monitor any web site with a javascript script block

IIS – status monitor that installs on existing server without touching the web app, only needs IIS restart

ping – outside-in tests to any URL from different geographic locations

apps – Windows and Phone apps also get PageViews etc by installing the SDK

There has been a version of Application Insights available in Visual Studio Online, but the SDKs have been updated and this new version lives in the new Azure portal and only there. You have the option though to setup continuous export of your data, that will export all data coming in to AI to an Azure storage container of your choice.

Demo – poll

Since the TechX Azure conference is for both IT professionals and developers, I thought a combined demo and poll would be fun. I created an ASP.NET MVC site to receive requests and created QR codes for links navigating to “itpro” or “dev”. The QR code we’re shown in a Universal App on Windows. The crowd were good sports and played along, and I could go the Azure portal and browse the PageView metrics.

image   image

Luckily Azure delivered on the promise that processing of analytics data is immedate and we could see the results! As you can see to the right – of those participating we had a few more IT-pros than developers, but pretty even. Thanks for helping out guys!

The detailed reader will also notice the Universal App reporting it’s page views – MainPage is on the top list.


Q: Can it do line-by-line instrumentation like NewRelic?

A: Not that I know of.

Q: From an Azure website, do we have to pay for both data from the website to AI and then continuous export out of the AI?

A: Pricing is not determined, but they’re aiming at no data transfer costs in both cases.

Q: Can I export views to give an external part access to metric view?

A: You can give read-only access, but only to the entire portal and resource – not for a single view.

Some numbers

Data is kept for 7 days for full diagnostics search on in single level. Metric data is kept for 30 days with a per-second granularity, and for 13 months with a per-hour granularity.

Currently the limit is 500 messages per second. Over that message will be counted, but discarded for diagnostic search. Continuous export is your friend if you want all messages.


Further reading


Thanks for reading or watching my session, or both Smile


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