A method for providing for the graceful degradation of the performance and functionality of a distributed computer application. A plurality of sensors monitor the performance and availability of various external resources and/or services required by the application, as well as the performance of various components of the application, and report the information to one or more controllers. The controllers make decisions based on rule-based criteria as to how to modify the behavior of the application according to the performance and availability of the various required resources and services. The controllers send messages to one or more actuators which effect the change in behavior of the application. A console displays the status of the system and allows users to modify the rules used to modify the behavior of the application.

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