As digital transformation continues to accelerate and customer demands increase, reactive troubleshooting is insufficient. Developers need to proactively optimize their apps by tackling unforeseen issues that can manifest in production. Logs are a critical ingredient in managing and optimizing these application environments; by connecting them to user sessions and subsequently Session Replay, Dynatrace offers frontend and backend engineers—who collaborate to strategically improve users’ experiences—more efficiency with unhindered video insights into user journeys.
With companies across industries strengthening their digital offerings to cater to demanding customers who can switch to competitors with a few clicks, it’s imperative to make digital offerings that are more performant, feature-rich, and immersive. This necessitates that millions of microservices and thousands of apps be updated regularly per continuous delivery. When multiplied by the amount of traffic that these offerings attract, it’s nearly impossible for application developers to tie in user experience insights with errors that are discovered in production.
To complicate matters further, it’s often difficult and time-consuming to determine the impact of errors, not only to prioritize them and promptly deploy appropriate fixes but also to develop permanent solutions that will improve the experience of future users. An inability to retain customers impacts short-term conversion goals and affects long-term positive business outcomes, such as brand value.
Connect logs with user sessions and see each user’s experience
When it comes to ever-increasing customer demands, simply troubleshooting and deploying a fix is only a band-aid solution. Customers who have experienced issues in the past might have switched over to competitors already. To counter this, large teams of frontend and backend developers collaborate on log analysis and identify potential issues that could result in significant errors or crashes. Now that logs are connected to user sessions on the Dynatrace platform, practitioners have unhindered visibility into the frontend context where they can replay any user session to see exactly what went wrong. This unique ability paves the way for a few helpful use cases that proactively improve business outcomes:
- Keep in mind that the vast majority of generated logs are noise that can be ignored. Davis AI not only filters out such noisy log entries, it also prioritizes and highlights all log entries that are rich in helpful information. So addressing issues is primarily about fixing them rather than looking for them. When Session Replay is turned on, a frontend developer can gain troubleshooting insights by identifying real users and seeing what they were trying to achieve during a particular session. This is especially helpful when such information is not self-evident from the log entries.
- Along with frontend waterfall data, developers will have a much easier time fixing issues and focusing on strategic initiatives such as innovation. This is particularly useful when a distributed trace is missing due to sampling settings of less than 100% or when OneAgent isn’t deployed.
- Developers can track backward from specific or arbitrary user sessions. This can be useful, for example, when a customer calls in to complain about an issue they experienced. This allows developers to decipher any error or bug that results in user frustration. A developer can see why a user deviated from the happy path, or worse, why they abandoned the app. Developers can confidently determine which log lines are relevant and tie that to a real user along with the factors that resulted in the issue.
- With DevOps leaning more towards proactively preventing issues before customers become aware of them, it’s a great advantage to be able to run health checks from the Dynatrace Log Analysis dashboard.
Pushing the boundaries of understanding user journeys
Other platforms offer similar capabilities that enable practitioners to jump from logs to the frontend context. However, Dynatrace is the only solution that takes things a step further by connecting logs to the best Session Replay available in the observability space. And while point solutions may have a few additional tricks up their sleeves with feature add-ons, the combined package of having a single OneAgent that enables automatic instrumentation of all apps, across the board, frontend and backend visibility, and best-in-class digital experience monitoring is impossible to beat.
In the future, Dynatrace won’t only be able to support the storage of logs exponentially larger in volume compared to today, but the retention period will be multiple years to meet stringent criteria in certain industries. With costs becoming less of an issue, the stage is set for eliminating gaps and blind spots when it comes to understanding end-user experience.
How to get started
If you‘re curious to see this in action, find out more about activating Session Replay. You can also learn more about how Session Replay offers the highest level of data privacy.
This feature is available as of Dynatrace version 1.244.