Customer Stories/Notesclub

How Notesclub Monitors Mission-critical Code Using AppSignal?

Logo of Notesclub
  • Stack

    Elixir, Phoenix, Oban, PostgreSQL

  • Company


  • Team size

    1 Developer

  • Requests


For this story, we interviewed Hector Perez, Notesclub's founder and maintainer.

Notesclub provides developers with a one-stop-shop to browse and discover Livebook notebooks for Elixir, which are synced daily via GitHub's API.

Livebook notebooks are interactive Markdown files that combine documentation and executable code to help developers do everything from learning new programming skills to running Elixir scripts and Livebook apps on their local machines and servers.

How AppSignal Helped

Our straightforward installation process and user-friendly interface attracted Hector to AppSignal:

Integrating AppSignal into our projects was a seamless process. From the moment we began, the process was intuitive, with clear instructions and supportive documentation guiding us through the simple steps.

Beyond its ease of use, AppSignal's comprehensive suite of monitoring and analytics features provided us with deep insights into our application's performance and health.

Notesclub is built on the Phoenix framework for Elixir, with LiveView, a PostgreSQL database, and Oban background jobs, all of which can be monitored with AppSignal.

This combination offers us a fast, scalable, and maintainable platform.

Tracking Errors and Uptime

Daily, AppSignal helps guide Hector in what work needs to be done to Notesclub:

AppSignal is integral to track errors and uptime to ensure our application's reliability and availability.

Hector can focus on developing and improving the Notesclub platform knowing that AppSignal will notify him of any exceptions, performance issues, or anomalies that need urgent attention:

These critical metrics provide immediate insights into the health of our system, allowing us to respond promptly to any issues that arise.

Here's how slow responses might look in AppSignal:

Example of slow responses in AppSignal

Hector also utilizes AppSignal's memory and response time metrics for Notesclub:

This broader analysis helps us optimize our application's performance and ensure a smooth user experience.

Here's how the Event Timeline may look in AppSignal:

Example of Event Timeline in AppSignal

A feature he found particularly useful is Deploy Markers:

Deploy markers not only enable us to see if a bug or issue arises after a new deployment but also indicate the specific commit. This functionality helps us swiftly pinpoint and resolve any deployment-related problems, ensuring our application's stability and saving us time.

Deploy Markers can be seen in the Saved Samples table:

Example of error with samples and deploy markers in AppSignal

Crucial Insights from the Automated Oban Dashboard

Notesclub depends heavily on Oban background tasks to fulfill its notebooks via GitHub's API. The success of these tasks is mission-critical.

AppSignal offers automated Oban dashboards to help developers properly manage and monitor their background tasks, a feature Hector found beneficial:

They play a vital role in managing the background tasks that are essential for downloading notebooks every day—a core function of our platform.

AppSignal's Oban automated dashboards are created as soon as we detect Oban-specific metrics from your Elixir integration and offer high-impact performance insights:

Graph NameTracked MetricDescription
Job durationoban_job_durationView key metrics for Oban job queues and workers.
Job queue timeoban_job_queue_timeView the time taken between a job being scheduled and started per queue.
Jobs completedoban_job_countCount of Oban jobs completed.
Job exceptionsoban_job_countCount of Oban jobs that fail to complete due to encountering an exception.

Giving you access to key Oban performance metrics, at a glance:

Oban Automated Dashboard

Alerts Ahead of Time

AppSignal allows you to configure alerts that notify you if your application has issues, such as performance issues, exceptions, or anomalies.

Alerts are flexible. You may want to be notified when your error rate goes above 5% for longer than 5 minutes, or if your memory usage reaches a pre-determined point.

Notesclub configured alerts to notify them if no new Notebooks were being synced from GitHub:

A standout instance was when an alert about a lack of new notebooks over 48 hours pinpointed an issue caused by a change in GitHub's API.

This early detection allowed us to implement a quick fix, minimizing disruptions. AppSignal's real-time alerts and detailed diagnostics have enabled us to swiftly address issues, maintaining our service's reliability and performance.

AppSignal also integrates seamlessly with popular third-party collaboration tools like Slack, Discord, or MS Teams, so you and your team are notified when it matters, where it matters.

Overview of triggers in AppSignal

Notesclub Love The Ease of Use of AppSignal

Hector finds AppSignal really easy to use and configure for his needs:

If you're considering or hesitant about trying AppSignal, I'd highly encourage you to give it a shot.

The installation process is straightforward and won't take much of your time. Then, you'll quickly realize it provides all the insights and tools necessary for maintaining and optimizing your application with minimal effort.

The biggest benefit of using AppSignal is that Hector can now effortlessly monitor Notesclub's core metrics from a single, intuitive interface. This not only saves valuable time but also ensures Notesclub remains performant as it scales.

How You Can Support Notesclub

There are lots of ways to support Notesclub.

  • You can follow Notesclub on GitHub. This helps you keep up-to-date with all their latest developments and means GitHub suggests Notesclub to more like-minded devs.
  • As an open-source project, Notesclub is always open to contributions that help improve the platform.
  • Even though open-source projects are free to use, there are costs involved in developing and maintaining these services. You can help Notesclub grow and keep the lights on by sponsoring the project.

If you're interested in Hector's work, check out his GitHub profile.

Further Reading

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