For the longest time, there has been a divide between IT and the rest of the business, which has led to some narrow distinctions to describe the same basic thing. Case in point is the difference between business transaction management (BTM) and application performance management (APM).
Theoretically, BTM involves the management of transactions as they move across multiple applications. Obviously, that would cover a lot of the same ground as APM, the difference being one has a decidedly more financial bent and focuses more on the dollar value of a series of IT events that make up any given transaction.
If you're thinking that this is essentially two sides of the same coin, the folks at OpTier would agree with you. The company just recently announced that the OpTier BTM suite has now been renamed OpTier Always-on APM, which is timed to coincide with a new release of the company's software.
Version 4.5 of OpTier Always-on APM makes it easier to visualize business processes across multiple applications, while making it simpler to diagnose Java and Microsoft.net issues.
According to Linh Ho, OpTier vice president of corporate marketing, the branding change reflects not only the fact that BTM and APM are converging, but also a realization that customers are getting more sophisticated in terms of linking application performance issues to specific business events.
While the divide between business and IT stretches back over four decades, hope does spring eternal. If BTM and APM can become one thing, then perhaps it really is only a matter of time before everybody realizes that, in 2012, it's not possible to have a meaningful business event that doesn't involve multiple applications running on multiple systems. Once you make that leap in logic, it doesn't make much sense to talk about application performance outside of any real business transaction context.