Sauce Labs this week revealed it had acquired Backtrace, a provider of error monitoring tools for applications deployed in production environments.
The addition of Backtrace for the first time will extend the reach of the company beyond pre-production environments, says Matt Wyman, chief product and growth officer for Sauce Labs said. The goal is to employ the errors discovered by Backtrace to better inform the tests created using the Sauce Labs testing platform, he says.
That approach eliminates the need for developers to try and recreate an error before they can remediate an issue, adds Wyman. “There’s no need to reproduce it,” he says.
The error monitoring platform is designed specifically to enable developers to include a software development kit (SDK) in their applications that enable them to capture crashes and exceptions on any platform, including gaming consoles, said Backtrace CEO, Abel Mathew. “It only takes a few minutes to set up,” he says.
That capability provides the insights developers need to resolve an issue in a way that is more efficient than employing an observability platform that tracks metrics generated across an entire IT environment rather than pinpointing issues within a specific application, noted Mathew.
Sauce Labs has been on an acquisition spree since acquiring API Fortress, a provider of automated testing tools, at the end of last year. The company then acquired AutonomIQ, a provider of scriptless testing software provider, and TestFairy, a provider of a platform for testing mobile applications.
As developers are increasingly required to manage the entire lifecycle of the applications they build, many of them are adding tools to their workbench that enable them to monitor the behavior of applications after they have been deployed in a production environment. Rather than using tools that were originally designed for IT operations teams, developers – as responsibility for production environments shifts left – are looking for tools that expose a command-line interface (CLI) through which they can programmatically manage an application environment without having to learn a specific graphical user interface (GUI).
It’s not clear just yet how many developers will be managing the entire lifecycle of an application. Organizations that have a limited number of developers are conscious of the fact that every minute a developer spends managing a production application is another minute they don’t have to write new code. Nevertheless, many organizations are betting that if developers are held accountable for managing applications, the overall quality and security of applications will steadily improve before they are deployed in a production environment that the developer manages.
Developers, as part of that shift in responsibility, are also being required to test code themselves rather than relying on a separate testing team to identify bugs and issues they should remediate. Of course, there’s still a need for testing teams, but the expectation is that most routine issues will be discovered and addressed by developers much earlier in the application development lifecycle.
Not every developer, naturally, is especially interested in assuming responsibility for tasks that used to be handled by IT operations teams. Others prefer to maintain as much control over their applications as possible. But, one way or another, developers are, like it or not, being held more accountable for their applications assuming, of course, they are provided with the tools required to accomplish that mission.