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Application startup duration (classic)

The time that it takes for business-critical applications to start has a direct impact on the digital experience of employees.

Enhance digital employee experience (DEX) by monitoring the application start-up duration.

Applies to platform | Windows |  

Measurement of the application startup duration

The application startup duration measures the time elapsed from the moment the kernel launches a new application process to the instant the application displays its main window.

Application startup duration

Start

Stop

Kernel launches application process

Main window appears

Inspecting application startup duration through Finder (classic) and NXQL

Executions is the activity that contains application startup duration in Nexthink. Look for executions of selected business applications in Finder by creating an investigation:

  1. At the bottom of the Start page, click New Investigation.

  2. Under the Activities tab, select executions.

  3. Fill in the conditions and time frame as desired.

  4. Ensure that the Columns in the DISPLAY section include the Startup duration of the execution.

  5. Click Run.

In NXQL, the name of the field Startup duration is translated into startup_duration. For instance, to get a list of executions with the path of the binary run and the startup duration, type in the query:

CODE
(select (binary_path startup_duration) (from execution) (limit 100))

In addition, the aggregate Average application startup duration is available to compute averages of the application startup duration for the device, user, application, executable and binary objects. As such, the aggregate can be used in quantity metrics.

The aggregate Average application startup duration is available in NXQL under the name average_process_start_time. For example, to compute the average startup duration of applications for the last day, type in the query:

CODE
(select name (from device
   (with execution (compute average_process_start_time)
   (between now-1d now))))

Requirements

The application startup duration is not available for all applications out-of-the-box, but only to applications whose executable files appear on a particular passlist. By default, the passlist includes the following applications:

Application type

Application

Executable name

Web browser

Chrome

chrome.exe

Firefox

firefox.exe

Internet Explorer

iexplorer.exe

Office suite

Word

winword.exe

Excel

excel.exe

PowerPoint

powerpnt.exe

Outlook

outlook.exe

OneNote

onenote.exe
onenoteim.exe
onenotem.exe

Communications

Skype for business

lync.exe

Zoom

zoom.exe

For Collector to report accurate application startup duration, an application must fulfill the following requirements:

The native title bar in the main window
The measurement of the startup duration requires applications to display a standard title bar in the main window to distinguish it from splash screens. Applications that do display windows (console applications or applications that run minimized) are discarded from the measurement.

The application is not a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app
The measurement method does not work for this kind of application.

The application takes less than 3 minutes to start
The system does not report the startup duration for applications that take longer than 3 minutes to start, as this may indicate other issues (e.g. application not responding).

The application uses one process to initialize and display the main window
Collector may report inaccurate startup duration values for applications that spawn multiple processes for initialization with just one process responsible for displaying the main window.

The application must be a x64 binary Collector continues to report the execution of 32-bit applications. However, Application start time will only be available for 64-bit applications on 23.6 or later versions of the Collector.

Configuration

To add an application to the passlist, ensure first that it satisfies the requirements and test the accuracy of the measurements before enabling the new passlist in production. Always include the default list of executables in your own passlist.

The format of the passlist is a string that consists of a comma-separated list of executable names. The asterisk can be used as a wildcard to replace zero or more characters in the name of an executable, for instance:

CODE
"winword.exe,excel.exe,onenote*"


Use any of the following methods to modify the passlist of applications.

Registry key

To locally modify the passlist of a device, edit this registry key:

CODE
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Nexthink\Collector\AppStartTime\Whitelist

MSI parameter

Alternatively, install Collectors with your passlist as the value of this MSI parameter:

CODE
APP_START_TIME_WHITELIST

Library pack

In the Collector Configuration library pack, execute the remote action Set Collector Configuration and use your passlist as the value for the parameter AppStartTimeWhitelist.

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