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How to document our install methods

Installing New Relic is a crucial piece in our customer's experience, whether it's installing APM agents, the infrastructure agent, sending logs to New Relic, or installing CodeStream, among other things.

This is intended to help you decide where to send your reader when they want to install something and get started sending data to New Relic.

Choose the best install method

Guided install

Add more data

Manual install

  • Infrastructure agent
  • Logs
  • APM agents (except C SDK, Go, PHP, and Ruby)
  • One or more of these on-host integrations
  • APM agents (especially C SDK, Go, PHP, and Ruby)
  • Browser monitoring
  • Cloud and on-host monitoring integrations
  • Distributed tracing
  • Infrastructure agent
  • Logs
  • Machine learning monitoring
  • Network performance monitoring
  • Open telemetry
  • Synthetic monitoring

Anything not covered by guided install and add more data.

An overview of installation methods

Currently, we have three methods our customers can use to install New Relic and start monitoring something:

  1. Guided install, our interactive command line tool for installing New Relic on different systems
  2. Manual installation via the “+ Add more data” page in the UI
  3. Manual installation via the docs site

Instant observability (I/O) is not an installation method. It simply provides a catalog of all of the things that someone could potentially monitor via New Relic. An instant observability page simply points to one of these three methods, depending on what's available.

CodeStream has its own installation method.

Guided install

Guided install provides a single command you can run on your system to install New Relic and start monitoring a variety of things.

When someone runs the guided install CLI command, it installs the infrastructure agent and enables sending logs. It also detects integrations on a system and prompts you to choose whether to monitor those integrations or not. If guided install detects an application of a supported language, it can install the APM agent for that language.

For the docs, we should send people to guided install whenever it's appropriate to do so. That is, when guided install is likely to lead to a successful outcome.

Manual installation via add more data

The Add more data pages provide a simple and straightforward installation path for people wanting to install APM agents and who are using the most popular integrations and most common system settings for those integrations.

Add more data populates installation configuration files with values like app name and API key so that a customer doesn't have to track down that information. They also provide the most straightforward installation path for standard use cases.

This method is less effective for customers who have more complicated or obscure things they're trying to monitor or non-standard systems.

Add more data also has the advantage of living in the UI.

Manual installation via the docs site

Manual installation procedures, such as this manual Java installation, should be the method of last resort. The installation instructions on the docs site are most likely to be outdated. They are also presented in a fairly confusing way that may actually prevent people from installing New Relic. From the docs perspective, this is the default, because that's where our energy and attention are focused. It's also the place where we can easily make changes.

In an effort to be universally comprehensive, our manual installation docs present a process that appears to be incredibly complex. However, the complexity is in the variety of options. For any given installation process, the steps are fairly straightforward, once a user has identified the installation process they need to use.

Instant observability

Instant observability is a public catalog of things that can be monitored by New Relic and useful default dashboards and alerts. In this catalog, there are some technologies that don't fit this model, such as CodeStream or Atlassian Jira.

For most of the quickstart pages, the Install now button takes you to guided install, an add more data page, or a manual installation docs page, depending on what's available for that specific technology.

Add data in the UI

In the UI, the + Add data takes you to a version of the Instant observability catalog that takes a user more directly through the onboarding process for a particular technology.

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