Performance and Error Tracking Tools for Running Kill Bill on AWS

by | May 17, 2022 | Analytics | 0 comments

Kill Bill is a open-source subscription billing and payments platform. Fully extensible, you can build your business logic on top of it for a customized billing and payments solution.


For those of you running Kill Bill on AWS, we now have full documentation on how to get up and running with the performance monitoring and error tracking tools: 

  • Datadog
  • New Relic
  • CloudWatch
  • Sentry
  • Rollbar

In this blog post, we’ll provide a brief description of these tools and show you where to get details.

Why Track Performance and Errors?

Once you get these set up, you’ll be able to optimize Kill Bill’s performance and detect any problems early. Secondly, if any errors or anomalies occur, these tools will help you trace them back to their origins and make any necessary corrections. 

With the latest Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for Kill Bill (single-tier and multi-tier), it’s easy to direct the Kill Bill metrics and logs to your preferred tool(s). Then you have the freedom to work with them in a way that best suits your needs. 

Before You Begin

Make sure you are running Kill Bill version 2021.9 or later. If you’re not sure how to do that, check out these instructions: Check Your Kill Bill Version.

Note: While you are on the Kill Bill Admin page (which you can access through Kaui) you can see all the metrics that Kill Bill has to offer. Just add the path /1.0/metrics to the URL.

You should also have an account with the vendors whose tools you want to use. With the exception of CloudWatch (see the CloudWatch section below), you can obtain a free account with limitations or sign up for a trial period. 

Kill Bill on AWS Performance Monitoring Tools

Performance monitoring tools support the collection and analysis of metrics for a software system, usually allowing them to be visually presented in the form of graphs. The current version of the Kill Bill AMI is preconfigured to enable easy activation of three such tools: Datadog, New Relic, and CloudWatch.

Datadog Performance Monitoring

Datadog logo

Datadog is a service designed to enable users to analyze and visualize metrics, both general metrics for their system infrastructure and custom metrics for their applications. The Kill Bill AMI is now preconfigured with the Datadog agent, enabling users to make use of this service for the full range of Kill Bill and Kaui metrics. All that is necessary is to edit a single file to provide an authorization key. For full details, see Managing Metrics with Datadog.

New Relic Performance Monitoring

New Relic logo

New Relic is a similar platform that allows users to analyze and visualize their data, with the goal of correcting problems and improving their applications. New Relic is also integrated into the Kill Bill AMI and may be activated by providing the appropriate authorization key. For details on using New Relic with Kill Bill, see Managing Metrics with New Relic

CloudWatch Performance Monitoring

AWS CloudWatch logo

CloudWatch is a little different. This analysis and visualization tool is provided directly by AWS. CloudWatch is automatically included in the Kill Bill CloudFormation template for those using that option. 

 

For other AWS options, setup is a little more complicated. However, the payoff may be a service for little or no cost that provides a full range of capabilities for metrics analysis.  See Managing Metrics with CloudWatch.

Error Tracking with Kill Bill on AWS 

Error tracking tools analyze your log data to identify significant entries and help you detect and diagnose errors. Kill Bill currently includes built-in support for two tools in this category: Rollbar and Sentry.

Rollbar Error Tracking

Rollbar logoRollbar helps users to discover errors, analyze and prioritize them, find solutions, and watch for similar errors in the future. The Kill Bill AMI is configured to integrate Rollbar by simply providing an authorization key (called an Access Token). For details see Error Tracking with Rollbar

Sentry Error Tracking

Sentry logoSentry offers visibility into your code through full stack monitoring. It can also be enabled by a simple configuration step, using a key called a Data Source Name. Full details can be found in Error Tracking with Sentry.

Wrapping it up…

Kill Bill’s latest AMIs for AWS integrate a variety of performance monitoring and error tracking tools. Setup for the use of your favorite tools is now very simple. For more information on any of these specific tools follow the links given above.