Real Browser Monitoring addon


Real Browser Monitor For Internet Explorer:

Real Browser Monitor (RBM) provides live End-User experience measurement. RBM opens up a Microsoft Internet Explorer Browser and monitors a web application just like how a real user sees it. It supports playback from different geographical locations.

Note: Real Browser Monitor supports IE and Mozilla Firefox browsers only.

To create a Real Browser Monitor, follow the steps given below:

  1. Click on New Monitor link. Choose Real Browser Monitor, under Web Server / Services.
  2. Enter the Display Name of the RBM
  3. Select the WebScript, from the available webscripts. To create new webscripts or to modify webscripts, follow the below steps:
    • Click on Add/View Webscripts. It opens up a Webscript Manager
    • Click on New link
    • Enter New webscript name
    • Click on Record New webscript
    • This will prompt you to download the RBM Toolbar. Once, you have downloaded the toolbar, a new browser will be opened.
    • In the browser, you can give the required application URL and go about doing the end user operations.
    • Click on stop recording after the required sequence along with the actions have been recorded.
    • Save the script in Webscript Manager
    • For modifying the scripts, select the webscript, do the required changes and save the script.
    • Note: Following functions can be added for each URL

      1. webCheckText
      2. checkElementProperty

      webCheckText
      Syntax : webCheckText(searchText,prefixText,suffixText)
      prefixText and SuffixText are Optional. It checks if the given text is present in the current page. The result of this check will be updated in the details page of the monitor.

      Usage :
      # URL : "http://appmanager/home.html"
      setWindowNM("Welcome to ManageEngine Applications Manager","Welcome to ManageEngine Applications Manager","index",0,1)
      webCheckText("Applications Manager")

      checkElementProperty
      Syntax: checkElementProperty(tagName,propertyName,propertyValue,index,propertyNeeded,matchValue)
      It checks if a particular element property is present in the current page.
      For example in http://www.appmanager.com page, I need to check the link Home(<a href="home.html" class="mainstyle" target="index">Home&nbsp;</a>)
      then this function is used to check it.

      Usage :
      # URL : "http://appmanager/home.html"
      setWindowNM("Welcome to ManageEngine Applications Manager","Welcome to ManageEngine Applications Manager","index",0,1)
      checkElementProperty("A","href","home.html",1,"target","index")

      Here the function searches for the element with tagname "A" and the property "href=home.html" . And it checks if the property "target" is equal to "index" . The index denotes the number of occurences. If the same element is present more than once then we can indicate which element by using index.

  4. Select the Playback Agents. Multiple selection option is also possible.
    • Download the RBMAgent.exe and install it in remote host/localhost.
    • Invoke EUM agent through Start → All Programs → ManageEngine EUM agent → Start Agent.
    • While starting EUM agent, configure the Applications Manager Host and Port details to add the agent to Applications Manager.
  5. Set the polling interval time in minutes.
  6. Set the Timeout in minutes. Timeout is the maximum waiting time taken for the Webscript to execute. If the playback in the EUM agents got struck or was not played back properly, then EUM agent will wait for timeout and then move to the next polling.
  7. Click Add RBM Monitor.
Note: We have set a limit of a 25 URLs per monitor.

Real Browser Monitoring For Mozilla Firefox:

For RBM in Mozilla Firefox, click here.

Real Browser Monitor (RBM) provides live End-User experience measurement. RBM launches a browser and monitors a web application, mimicing the user's interaction with the site. Applications Manager uses behavioral scripts to describe the path that would be taken by a end-user on the site. These paths are monitored periodically to obtain performance metrics such as the availability and response time. We support playback from different geographical locations.

Why Applications Manager Real Browser Monitoring?

Applications Manager uses a web browser to collect metrics, taking into consideration aspects such as the network latency content check and availability of web element. This results in greater accuracy than synthetic monitoring which simply emulates a web browser rather than launching an actual browser. Actual rendering of a web page does not occur in the traditional web monitoring. In RBM, we render the webpage, build the DOM and even execute the JavaScript in the web browser. Response time of the webpage includes CSS, images, links loaded from third party websites etc.

Assume you have users logging in to your application from different locations around the world like the UK, US, Germany, Australia, etc. You can monitor their experience from the central Applications Manager Server. You could have the Applications Manager running in a data center in India and have the Real Browser Monitor agents deployed in other geographical locations and have it report Web Application Performance data to the central site.

Browse through the following topics to understand Real Browser Monitoring in Applications Manager:

Working of Real Browser Monitor

EUM agents register to ManageEngine Applications Manager on startup. You need to specify the "host and Web Client Port" of Applications Manager the first time the agent is installed and running. The agents get listed automatically.

Real Browser monitor is created in Applications Manager server by recording the web transaction and specifying the agent(s) where the playback should occur. Each EUM agent will periodically check Applications Manager Server if RBM monitor has been configured for it and replay the actions in the browser. Once the playback is complete, EUM agent will update the results of the playback [response time, response code, etc] in Applications Manager.

The availability and performance of the websites are monitored in real time by using the Real Browser monitor. If the health of the URLs is critical, then alarms can be generated. Based on the alarms, the admin can fix the issue.

Real Browser Monitoring using Firefox

Deployment architecture & System Requirements

  • Components of RBM - Real Browser Recorder for Mozilla Firefox, EUM agent to be installed from where the playback has to be performed andApplications Manager Server. The EUM Agent version should be 11.0.0 or higher.
  • EUM agents (separate .exe downloads) have to be installed in the client locations on a dedicated Windows Machine - 256 MB RAM, 1 GB HD, with Mozilla Firefox v35.0. Firefox is bundled with our EUM Agent so users needn't worry about ensuring that the right version of Firefox is installed on their machine. However, Applications Manager can be installed on Windows or Linux. This works with the Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition (with Managed Server).
  • Click here to know the system requirements for Mozilla Firefox version 45.0.2. 

Real Browser Recorder

For Real Browser Monitoring using Mozilla Firefox we use the Real Browser Recorder to record all user online transactions in their exact sequence. The Recorder is used to record the transactions which get stored as webscripts. These transactions will then be replayed at regular intervals of time and notifications will be sent when error is detected.

We support simultaneous playback of transactions. Multiple browsers can open at the same time and playback different transactions. It is not a linear execution like Internet Explorer based RBM. The recorded actions will be replayed in the browser. Once the playback is complete, EUM agent will update the results of the playback [response time, response code, etc] in Applications Manager.

Browse through the following topics to use the Real Browser Recorder tool:

Getting Started

You must download and install the recorder tool to record the sequence of user transactions. Every step of the transaction will be captured and recorded. You also can modify or edit your transactions.

Hardware/Software Requirements

A minimum of at least 45MB of disk space is required for installing the software.

Download and Installation

Download the new Recorder and start the installation process. The installation wizard takes you through a four step process after which the Recorder will be started:

  1. A welcome screen is displayed, after which you will be asked for confirmation of the license requirements. Click Yes.
  2. After confirmation, a Choose Destination Location screen is displayed. The user is allowed to select the drive and directory where he wishes to install the Real Browser Recorder. Click Browse and select the Destination Location. The default location is "C:\Program Files (x86)\ManageEngine\RealBrowserRecorder". Click Next.
  3. Choose the language in which to install the recorder. Click Next.
  4. Review the settings in the confirmation dialog and click Back if you wish to make changes. If not, click Next. The Recorder will be installed in your machine.
  5. After the installation is completed, click Finish. Make sure the "Launch Real Browser Recorder now" option is checked, if you would like to start the tool automatically after the installation is complete.

Recording a New Transaction

After installing, the Real Browser Recorder can be accessed under All Programs in Windows Start Menu. You can record a new transaction following these steps:

  1. The user has to login first. Enter the hostname and SSL port.
  2. Support for APM Plugin is provided. If you are an APM Plugin user, check the Is APM Plugin checkbox.
  3. In the login screen, specify the username and password. Only admin and delegated admin users have the authorization to use the recorder.
  4. Record the Sequence.
    • Click on the Record New button to start a new recording.
    • Enter the URL of the application you wish to monitor then press enter to load the corresponding web page.
    • Follow the sequence of steps that you wish to monitor.
  5. After recording the sequence, click Preview & Save. A Preview & Save screen will be displayed with a list of transaction steps, their corresponding URLs and the actions performed in each page.
  6. You can delete the actions which are not required, if necessary, and apply keyword checks and edit the step name.
  7. Once you are done, click next to go to the save monitor page.
  8. An optional test playback can be carried out by clicking on the "Perform Test Playback" button:
    • This takes you to the Select Agent page which lists out all the existing agents. The agents that are not compatible with the recorder are grayed out. Agents that are not currently running are shown in red.
    • Select the agent where you want the test playback to take place. Click Next.
    • After successful playback, the test playback result page is shown where the result of the keyword checks placed earlier on are also displayed. Click next to go to the save monitor page.
  9. In the save monitor page, provide basic details such as the monitor name, polling frequency, association with a monitor group etc. The user should also select the agent locations from which he wants to monitor the transactions.
  10. After providing the necessary details, click Save to create the monitor. Repeat the process to create more monitors.
  11. If you wish to add existing scripts, use the Import from Selenium IDE option.
  12. Edit the captured URL's
    • You can edit the scripts once the monitor has been created. This can be done by selecting Edit Playback Script from the monitor actions drop down in the monitor details page.
Note: Only admin and delegated admin users have the authorization to use the recorder.

Importing Selenium IDE Test cases for Firefox based RBM.

The user can import previously recorded HTML test cases from the Selenium IDE and create monitors automatically instead of recording them all over again. Here is how you can import a test case:

  1. Click on New Monitor link.
  2. Select Real Browser Monitoring under Add EUM Monitor category.
  3. In the RBM page, click on the Create Selenium IDE Testcases option to import existing test cases from the Selenium IDE Firefox plugin.
  4. In the ensuing form, fill in the display name and polling interval.
  5. Click on the Browse button to import a Selenium IDE testcase from your local machine.
  6. Select the location agents from the agents displayed where the current testcase has to be replayed periodically.
  7. Click the Test button to perform a rudimentary test playback to see if Applications Manager has accepted the script and it is successfully executed. In case of failure, Applications Manager informs you of the reason for failure. Performing a test playback is recommended as it helps detect the errors in the testcase before data collection.
  8. Click on the Save button to create a new Real Browser monitor.
Note: Currently, we support importing of HTML test cases only. 

Real Browser Monitoring using Internet Explorer

Deployment architecture & System Requirements

  • Components of RBM - Toolbar for Browser (Internet Explorer), EUM agent to be installed from where the "Internet Explorer" playback has to be performed and Applications Manager Server.
  • EUM agents (separate .exe downloads) have to be installed at the client locations on a dedicated Windows Machine - 256 MB RAM, 1 GB HD, with Internet Explorer 6 and above (Internet Explorer 10 not supported). However, Applications Manager can be installed on Windows or Linux. This works with the Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition (with Managed Server).
  • Supported versions of Internet Explorer (32-bit only) for RBM Recording and playback:
    • Internet Explorer 7
    • Internet Explorer 8
    • Internet Explorer 9

Adding a monitor

For Internet Explorer based RBM, you can use the RBM Toolbar to record the required URL sequences and the actions that a typical end-user would access. The actions will be recorded as webscripts. The webscripts can be viewed in the webscript manager. Only one Internet Explorer used by EUM agent can run in the background / foreground while playback is in progress. This means only one transaction can be executing at a time. Applications Manager takes care of ensuring this synchronized playback.

Steps to Configure RBM:

  1. Download the Toolbar .msi file from the link provided in the UI and install it for your Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Record the necessary URL sequences and the actions of your web transaction using the installed toolbar. The actions will be recorded as webscripts. Click the Add/View Webscripts link to view the recorded web scripts in the Webscript Manager window.
  3. Download the EUM Agent. Install it in your client locations (from where the Internet Explorer playback has to be performed).
  4. Start EUM agent(s) by providing the Host Name and Port Number of the central Applications Manager server. You can view the active EUM agents by clicking the View Playback Agents link.
  5. Specify Display Name, select the webscript and playback agents from the list, and specify the polling interval and timeout values.
  6. Associate to a monitor group (optional).
  7. Click Add RBM Monitor to complete the configuration.

Once the playback is complete, the EUM agent will update the results of the playback (response time, response code, etc.) in Applications Manager.

Note: Please do not close the Internet Explorer browser during playback.

Steps to Record a New Webscript:

  1. Click the Add/View Webscripts link. This will open the WebScript Manager window.
  2. In this window, click the New link, specify the new webscript name, and click Record new webscript.
  3. Internet Explorer will open automatically. Load your application URLs and perform the actions. All these actions will be recorded and displayed in the WebScript Manager.
  4. Click Stop Record to stop recording.
  5. You can now view the recorded webscripts in the Webscript Manager window.

RBM Dashboard

The RBM dashboard provides an overview of the status of your webscripts or transactions from multiple locations. If you click on the individual scripts listed, it will take you to a page which shows the following metrics:

This section provides a graphical representation of the total Transaction time of transactions across the different locations where the webscript is running.

This section provides a tabular representation of the current status and response time (in milliseconds) of the webscript from the locations where the script is running. The location showing maximum response time will be highlighted on the page. This indicates you the location from where the transaction is responding slow.

This section provides a good indication of how each individual URL present within a transaction performs from different geographical locations. This section lists all the URLs of the transaction and shows the response time of each URL from multiple locations. The location from which the URL has the maximum response time value will be highlighted. Click on any of the response time values listed to navigate to the 'Monitor Information' page of that particular URL.

  • Transaction time of transactions across each location(agent):
  • Current status and response time of the transaction across each location:
  • Response time of the individual URLs in the transaction:

Monitored Parameters

Go to the Monitors Category View by clicking the Monitors tab. Click on Real Browser Monitoring under the Web Server/Services Table. The RBM bulk configuration view is displayed distributed into three tabs:

  • Availability tab, gives the Availability history for the past 24 hours or 30 days.
  • Performance tab gives the Health Status and events for the past 24 hours or 30 days.
  • List view enables you to perform bulk admin configurations.

Monitor Information

Parameter Description
Name The name of the monitor
Health The health (Clear, Warning, Critical) of the monitor based on its dependencies.
Polling Interval The time set as the polling interval
Agent The name of the EUM agent
Script The name of the Webscript
Availability The current status of the monitor - whether up or down
Validation The results of the functions - Content Check, Element check will be updated for each URL:
  • Content Check - You can validate a specific content in the page.
  • Element Check - You can validate a specific element like Hyperlink in the page.

Performance - Last One hour

Parameter Description
Transaction time The time taken for the entire transaction, i.e, all the URLs, to load.
Response Time The average response time for the entire Web transaction.
Step page load time The time taken for an individual page, in the transaction, to load.

Web Page Analysis:

Displays the screenshot of a webpage and performance information such as the load time and size of various components on this webpage like images, css, javascript,etc. This information can be used to optimize the website and reduce the page's loading time. The screenshots and metrics are displayed by default. This can be altered in the Edit Monitor page under Monitor Actions menu in the Monitor Details page.

FAQ:

1. How does Real Browser monitor differ from URL Sequence monitor?

  URL Sequence Monitoring Real Browser Monitoring
What does it Monitor? Monitors the availability and performance of multi-step web transactions, such as online shopping cart. The URL sequence monitor supports only the recording of URL sequences and not the actions performed in the URLs. Monitor the availability and performance of multi-step web transactions using a real browser, such as online shopping cart. RBM supports playback from different geographical locations unlike a URL sequence monitor.
Ideal for Monitoring Ideal for monitoring web application response time. Ideal for monitoring web applications that contain form fillings and AJAX content.
How does it Monitor? Monitors via server side programs without actual rendering of a web page. Monitors via a real browser (Mozilla Firefox) with actual rendering of the web page.
Metrics captured Analyses server response time of the web application sequence. Only the response time of the actual HTML content is only considered. Analyses multi-step Web Applications. Captures response time of the webpage which includes CSS, images, links loaded from third party websites etc.

 2. The Firefox browser does not launch for EUM agents installed on a Linux server

  • Each version of Mozilla Firefox comes with a set of system requirements to ensure the proper functioning of the web browser. For Real Browser Monitoring, we use Mozilla Firefox version 45. The system requirements for Real Browser Monitoring can be found here.
  • If the Linux environment meets all the requirements mentioned yet the browser doesn't launch, check if both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the libraries are present. In some 64-bit Linux instances, the 32-bit libraries may not be installed by default.
  • To install the 32-bit libraries needed for the proper functioning of Mozilla Firefox version 45, perform the following steps :
i. Activate support for the installation of 32-bit applications in your 64-bit system
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
ii. Update the APT database
sudo apt-get update
iii. Install the 32-bit libraries required by Mozilla Firefox
sudo apt-get install libdbus-glib-1.2:i386 libxt6:i386 libxcomposite1:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libgtk2.0.0:i386 libasound2:i386 -y --reinstall
  • Once the libraries have been installed successfully, the Firefox browser should launch as expected and the RBM monitoring should proceed without any further complications.