One of my colleagues wrote a blog User Feedback for New Products a few weeks back addressing some new products we’re working on, one of which is a product that will allow you to monitor synthetic transactions.  I’d like to provide a little more detail on this product and why we decided to build it.

With IP SLA Manager you can set up a test to determine if a web server is actually reachable, but it won’t tell you if the website is up or displaying the correct page. Once you reach the webiste, APM has a couple of very useful monitors that will allow you to simulate a form login on a web page and determine if that login was successful, or monitor if a web page is up and search for a specific string as part of that validation.  Although these monitors are great for letting you know if a web page is up or if users can log into it, they don’t really give you any visibility past the first page or login screen.

Many of our customers have requested the ability to monitor more complex transactions within a website or web application.  These customers want to monitor things like:

  • How long does it take for a user to complete a registration?
  • How long does it take for a user to retrieve a trouble ticket and view its status?
  • How long does it take customers to purchase an item, add it to the shopping cart, then check out and complete their purchase?

Given requirements like these, we are currently working on a product that will allow our customers to monitor multi-step transactions with a website.  The product will allow users to record a series of steps that a typical user would take in interacting with a website or web application, then play that recording back at regular intervals which can be monitored.  This type of monitoring will give users the ability to proactively address any issues that an end user may experience when clicking through or performing certain actions on a website or in a web-based application.

Here is a sneak peek of what we’re working on.  Please note this is a mock-up; which resources are displayed and what they’re called may change, but this should give you a general idea of the functionality we’re going after.

Playback Details Mockup.

Why am I telling you about this now if it’s not ready yet?  First, in true Solarwinds fashion we want to be transparent and let you know what we’re working on.  Second, and more selfishly, I could use your help!  I’m looking for early alpha and beta testers to try it out and let us know what you think.  If you think a product like this would be useful and you’re interested in getting an early look, please shoot me an email at craig.mcdonald@solarwinds.com and we can schedule a web meeting.