Synthetic Monitoring in Dynatrace


Just because your web application or website is accessible and working as expected in your system or in your laptop doesn’t mean that your end users or customers are also having the same great experience with it. Therefore, it is very crucial and important to ensure the constant and consistent availability of the application or website from the users point of view who are using the application.

Dynatrace synthetic monitoring comes to the rescue in such cases. It helps in monitoring the customers experience around the world and round the Clock in terms of performance and availability of the applications or websites. Availability indicates that a certain business functionality at a given point of time is fully functional and available to use for the end users without any issues. This determines the success rate of the application. Performance checks whether the website or application is responding slowly beyond the specified threshold limits or if the page is becoming unresponsive quite frequently.

Dynatrace synthetic monitoring provides all the information that one requires to understand on the availability of the system, availability of the key and crucial business transactions and service levels. its allows one to monitor multiple locations around the world and monitoring of same scenarios across different regions at the same time. Using Dynatrace one can bring the capabilities available in public locations to their own environment by executing monitors from private location.

Dynatrace offers three types of synthetic monitoring:

  • URL browser monitors
  • Browser clickpaths
  • HTTP monitors

Single URL Browser Monitors:

A single URL Browser monitor can be defined as a real user visiting the application or website using modern and updated web browser available in the market. One can configure the browser monitors to run globally from any location at frequencies of up to every 5 minutes. Users will be able to create alerts where the monitors alert you when the application performance degrades beyond the specified threshold limits or when the application becomes unresponsive or inaccessible.

Browser Clickpaths:

Browser Clickpaths are equivalent to simulated users who visit the application or website and monitors applications business key and crucial workflows. Dynatrace provides recorder using which one can record the user actions with exact steps and inputs on what flow they are interested in monitoring for performance and availability of the application.

HTTP Monitors:

HTTP monitor is equivalent of simple HTTP request which can be used to check if API endpoint or website is available. Generally HTTP monitors run automatically at regular intervals along with browser monitors.

PurePath Technology in Dynatrace:

Dynatrace PurePath technology helps in capturing the timing and code level traces for all the business transactions, right from single user click to complex business transactions across all tiers to the system of record and back. It has the capabilities to perform distributed transaction tracing and code level visibility.

Purepath technology helps in automatically capturing and analyzing key transactions into and across each and every tier of your application from browser all the way down to code level and database level.

How does PurePath work:

PurePaths are nothing but code level traces with span on end to end transactions. When a user initiates transaction or an interaction with application, a unique ID will be assigned to the transaction by Dynatrace. As and when requests are launched by the transaction the unique ID assigned will traverse with the request on thread local storage to all the tiers. Because of this one will have the information that all other methods on that thread belong to the same transaction.

Let’s see an example of how PurePath will be used for error analysis in this article.

PurePath for Error Analysis:

Whenever errors are detected in an application it is often a useful way to analyze the individual requests for gaining better understanding of the errors. In below figure we can see the errors around 10:45 time. Go to service details page and click on View to find the failure rate tab. Again we have three options in view. View requests, View dynamic web requests, or View resources.

To see where the requests originate or coming from we can click on view backtrace.

Furthermore, one can also go down to the node.js PurePath. This can be done by selecting the service and clicking on analyze tab of the page and then click on view PurePaths. By following this one will be able to see the Node.js PurePath and it’s code level execution tree.

To add further, one will be able to analyze the exception that occurs at code level as well. We need to select the exceptions tab.

To conclude, each PurePath will help in. Identifying user with unique set of parameters which are causing the errors. Using this approach for error Analysis, PurePath will be of much use to analyze and understand in detail why particular exceptions occurred

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