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Web performance monitoring is broken into two camps: passive and active. Passive monitoring is defined as looking at real-world historical performance by monitoring actual log-ins, site hits, clicks, requests for data, and other server transactions.
This is the kind of monitoring that you need for day-to-day activities. It ensures that your business website continues running optimally and that there is no downtime to impact the customer experience.
Active monitoring is a more experimental approach. It uses algorithms to take current log data and predict future network states. A good example of active monitoring is synthetic transaction monitoring. This involves deploying behavioral scripts in a web browser to simulate the path a real customer (or end-user) takes through a website.
Synthetic transaction monitoring is especially important for eCommerce and other high-traffic sites, as it allows webmasters to test new applications prior to launch. Synthetic transactions are scripted in advance and then uploaded to the cloud as a transaction tests.
There are a number of different scenarios where your business would need transaction monitoring in order to stay competitive today.
Entering a New Market
Before introducing a new application to market, you want to have line-of-sight on how real users will interact with that app. Synthetic transaction monitoring provides behavioral scripts that have the ability to simulate an action or set of actions to ensure your application can handle the projected load.
Another benefit of synthetic monitoring is that it helps you simulate what happens when you introduce your application to a new geography. It allows you to test and fix potential issues related to deployments in new regions such as connection speeds (DSL, cable broadband, fiber optics) before real end users arrive.
Finding Issues Before Customers Do
Synthetic monitoring helps you set up baseline tests in order to measure the way your customers will interact with your websites, APIs, or mobile apps. This type of testing can provide direct feedback on performance degradation or availability issues. It also will help your team locate the root cause, engage the right experts, and fix issues before they impact the end users.
Measuring the Performance Impact of Third Party Applications
Today’s websites increasingly rely on third-party features such as carts, ads, customer reviews, web analytics, social networking, SEO add-ons, videos, and much more to provide outstanding customer experiences. If there’s a weak link in the chain or one or more of these elements are not working correctly, it can adversely impact your site.
Synthetic transaction monitoring can greatly assist in helping to monitor your third-party applications while also alerting you to potential or real performance degradations and downtime impacts. This helps tremendously in providing line-of-sight on your service-level agreements (SLAs) in order to hold the third-party vendors accountable.