A good application monitoring solution will provide you with the visual representation of the performance, growth, and usage of your AJAX applications. These metrics, along with others, are the critical metrics that need to be checked to ensure no interruptions occurs. Monitoring your applications ensures that your application is delivering you the results it was actually designed for. Below are the few reasons to have your application monitored.
- Converting leads into customers. It’s important to create a great rapport between your application and your customer. This is a place where you convert your leads into customers. To ensure that happens, proving a bug-free app is very important.
- Knowing the customer experience. To know what your customers experience like what they click, where they spend time on the app, where they mouse hover, etc., is vital to enhance the application to provide a better user experience.
- Eye on application performance. Today’s applications are more complex and they have various parts moving back and forth from the server, client, and sometimes third-parties. The overall application may look fine, but there may be underlying issues at the server and network levels. Addressing those issues is vital.
AJAX: A Quick Overview
- HTML and CSS for presentation
- Document Object Model (DOM) represents the structure of XML and HTML documents and how data is interacted with and displayed.
Purpose of using AJAX
AJAX is used in applications, typically whenever a small amount of data is stored and retrieved from the web server without postback to the whole page, which is why AJAX is incorporated in many single-page applications (SPAs) to pass JSON objects. The goals of using AJAX include the following:
- Faster performing applications. The main advantage of AJAX is to store and retrieve data by bypassing the webserver known as callbacks. Web services are created to call databases asynchronously. Callbacks make a quick round trip to and from the server without posting the entire page back to the server. By preventing frequent requests on full postback, the network utilization is minimized resulting in quicker operations. As a result, network performance is improved.
- Avoid wait times. AJAX makes asynchronous calls to the web server thus allowing the user to continue browsing by avoiding the wait for data to arrive to perform the next action.
- Reduce server load. Fewer requests are sent, thus reducing the execution on the server. This reduces the load, thereby saving the bandwidth.
- User-friendly. AJAX reduces page postbacks, making applications are more responsive, faster, and more user-friendly.
Application Performance Monitoring
Businesses today have started depending on web applications to grow and expand their sales. An application’s success predominantly lies in end user experience, therefore, providing them with a seamless application is very important.
There are two types of monitoring. Real User Monitoring (RUM), or passive monitoring, records the real user experience and checks for its performances. This type of monitoring has its drawback. It relies on actual users to compile monitoring data. What if the application is not used by the number of users as expected? How will the web team know about the actual performance?
This is where synthetic, or active, monitoring comes in. Behavioral scripts are generated and are executed frequently to know the availability and performance of the application. If any errors occur, teams can be be alerted to quickly fix any issues. Synthetic monitoring can be done without the presence of the actual users.
In spite of all the AJAX advantages that promote the purpose of using it for dynamic applications, there are certain disadvantages. We’ll discuss a few of them below.
- Network latency. Factors like heavy traffic at a particular time, inadequate bandwidth, and Wi-Fi usage, can affect the speed of AJAX calls. Therefore, frequent monitoring of network, bandwidth, traffic, and rectifying those issues early, can ensure users have a smooth experience.
- Browser compatibility issues. Any AJAX calls may work on one browser and not on the another. It is vital to have the AJAX functions consistently work on all browsers. Any new website created or a new feature developed for a web application has to be made compatible across all browsers. Synthetic monitoring should be employed to test the AJAX calls for persistent functioning of applications across all browsers, especially when frequent updates are done.
- Validation confusion. Most of the time, it is thought that the validation is done by the other party (client-side or server-side). This confusion leads to neither party implementing the validation properly. This leads to easy insertion of malicious data.
The Dotcom-Monitor Approach
Dotcom-Monitor can ensure the functionality, performance, and uptime of your AJAX web applications. It’s important to measure HTTP responses, but ensuring that the application renders correctly to the user is of utmost importance. To do that, the EveryStep Web Recorder is used to record scripts of user actions and and playback/set up monitoring. Additionally, the EveyStep Web Recorder uses a unique content and image validation technology for dynamic applications. This enables you to match specific keywords and pixel coordinates of images, ensuring the website or web application renders properly, ensuring it looks perfect to the user each time.
Conclusion: Monitoring AJAX Applications
To wrap up, as AJAX applications become more pervasive, the need to script user behavior and monitor those scripts for errors, is necessary to ensure a great user experience. Monitoring your applications for user performance and functionality traits has to implemented in order to hold on to your existing customers and to attract new one. Learn more about monitoring dynamic applications, like AJAX, with Dotcom-Monitor.