WebSocketsThe new version of the EveryStep script recording tool is capable of recording and playing back full interactions with websites and applications that utilize the Websocket protocol.  This means you can now script multi step interactions with complex 2-way server communication to ensure that your application is responsive and performing properly.

Scripts recorded with EveryStep can be uploaded to the Dotcom-Monitor cloud where they are monitored from multiple global locations using the UserView platform.  Scripts containing WebSocket interactions can be scheduled to monitor the performance of your web application as frequently as every minute.  The performance results of Websocket monitoring can be viewed through online dashboards, daily reports and real time alerts.  Alerts can be configured to let you know if the web app performance degrades or if certain components of the web page malfunction.

Real-Time Communication in a Browser with WebSocket

WebSocket is a relatively new technology for providing two-way, real-time communication between a web browser and a server.  WebSocket communication can be sent back and forth as messages across full duplex channels over TCP ports 80 or 443.  This allows Websocket communication to be originated by the browser using an HTTP handshake which then sends an upgrade request to use the WebSocket protocol.  WebSocket is currently supported by all modern browsers.

Websocket is great for applications that require multiple users to connect to a server and communicate in real-time.  Such apps include browser-based multiplayer games, real-time news feeds, stock tickers, and document collaboration applications.  As the world of SaaS applications continues to grow it makes sense that more and more applications will demand this real-time interaction as well as other types of instant interactions that are best suited to a real-time protocol.

If you currently have a website that utilizes WebSockets or you are planning on releasing such a web app in the near future, we highly recommend that you setup some basic monitoring for your system.  After-all, a web app that is supposed to communicate with an end user’s browser in real-time needs to be at peak performance around the clock in order to provide adequate service to your end users.

WebSocket Load Testing

Due to the nature of the bidirectional open line of communication created by Websockets, it is vitally important that you perform load testing on your web application to establish both baseline performance metrics and maximum user load.  Depending on the robustness of your infrastructure, WebSockets can quickly use up available resources while maintaining active communication channels with open sessions.  Typically, you will notice that after a certain number of simultaneous connections are reached in a load test, the performance will rapidly degrade, sometimes to the point that the sockets may become disconnected.  Knowing the number of simultaneous users and messages per second that your application can handle will help you plan for scalability as the user base of your web application grows.  Try a free basic load test of your WebSocket enabled application now to see how it performs under simultaneous load.

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