What is Synthetic Monitoring?

Introduction – Ensuring Performance and Reliability in Digital Services

Maintaining optimal performance of web applications and services for different use cases in today’s digital landscape is crucial for enhancing the end-user experience and achieving business success. Synthetic monitoring, an essential component of digital experience monitoring, uses automation to simulate user interactions to test and ensure application uptime and reliability.


What is Synthetic Monitoring?

Synthetic monitoring, also described as active monitoring or proactive monitoring, involves using automated browser tests and API tests to mimic real user actions on a webpage or application. This form of monitoring validates the performance of critical endpoints and user pathways, ensuring that they meet predefined service level agreements (SLAs) and performance benchmarks.


Critical Components of Synthetic Monitoring

  1. Synthetic Tests: These are scripts designed to replicate various types of monitoring, including transaction monitoring and browser monitoring, to predict performance issues before they affect real users.
  2. Monitoring System: A robust synthetic monitoring system with comprehensive synthetic monitoring tools deploys agents globally to measure and validate the responsiveness and functionality of applications from multiple geographic locations.
  3. Performance Metrics: Essential metrics such as webpage load times, API response times, transaction speeds, and the efficiency of DNS resolution processes are monitored in real-time to ensure they adhere to established thresholds and SLAs.


Benefits of Synthetic Monitoring

  1. Predictive Insights: Continuous testing of applications allows businesses to identify and troubleshoot the root cause of performance degradations before they impact end users.
  2. 24/7 Monitoring: Synthetic monitoring provides round-the-clock surveillance to ensure uptime, even during off-peak hours, using automated workflows that do not require actual user traffic.
  3. Global Coverage: With synthetic monitoring solutions, companies can monitor the performance of their SaaS platforms and web applications worldwide, ensuring a consistent digital experience across all user bases. This approach includes testing the effectiveness of content delivery networks (CDNs) in speeding up content delivery to various locations.


Implementing Synthetic Monitoring

  1. Define Critical Transactions: Select essential user actions and business processes, such as logging in or completing a purchase, which is crucial for your web performance monitoring strategy.
  2. Configure Scripts and Tests: Develop and configure detailed synthetic tests using JavaScript or other suitable scripting languages to emulate fundamental user interactions with the front-end and back-end of applications.
  3. Choose the Right Tools: Opt for robust synthetic monitoring solutions with extensive features like API testing, browser tests, and dashboards for comprehensive monitoring and analysis.
  4. Integration and Automation: Integrate synthetic monitoring with application performance monitoring (APM) tools to gain a holistic view of the synthetic monitoring work logic and actual user data, enhancing the ability to troubleshoot and validate system performance by establishing baseline performance levels.


Challenges and Considerations

  1. Scripting Complexity: Crafting detailed synthetic monitoring scripts that accurately reflect complex user journeys can be challenging and require regular updates to remain effective.
  2. Visibility Limitations: While synthetic monitoring excels at testing predefined pathways, it may not capture issues that occur in less predictable user interactions.
  3. Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy: To fully understand and optimize user experiences, synthetic monitoring pairs with accurate user monitoring and other digital monitoring strategies to cover all aspects of application performance.


Enhancing Observability with Synthetic Monitoring

Synthetic monitoring plays a crucial role in an organization’s broader observability strategy. Simulating user behavior and business transactions helps organizations anticipate downtime and proactively address service disruptions. Integrating API monitoring with synthetic tests allows for a deeper understanding of back-end performance issues, enhancing the observability of systems and networks.



Synthetic monitoring is a pivotal technology in website performance monitoring. It ensures that businesses can deliver a superior digital experience by proactively detecting and addressing potential issues. It provides a strategic advantage by maintaining high service standards and operational efficiency, accompanied by real-time notifications and insights into user behavior and system performance.

Dotcom-Monitor offers synthetic monitoring services. This type of monitoring allows you to simulate user interactions with websites, web applications, and online services from various global locations. Synthetic monitoring with Dotcom-Monitor provides several benefits, including the ability to test applications 24/7 from around the world, detect issues before they affect real users, and assess your digital performance relative to competitors. This can be particularly useful during the development phase to catch and correct problems early, ensuring high service availability and preventing potential revenue loss due to downtime.

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