Get full Real User Monitoring insights into 3rd-party SaaS solutions

The rapid adoption of SaaS solutions during recent years shows no signs of slowing. No matter if it’s customer relationship management software, email, collaboration software, accounting software, or something else, a suitable SaaS solution is available for nearly every use case that modern businesses face. Salesforce, Workday, Office 365, and Concur are just a few popular examples of SaaS applications that your business may already rely on and have deeply integrated into your day-to-day workflow.

SaaS doesn’t automatically mean success

Though the benefits of SaaS offerings are indisputable, they do come with challenges. The lack of control over them makes it hard to get a good picture of their usage and performance. Yet these criteria are critically important to making the introduction of any SaaS solution a success.

It’s important to closely monitor the adoption and usage of any new SaaS offering. You don’t want to spend money on a SaaS product that your organization doesn’t use. Maybe your colleagues will hesitate to use a new SaaS solution due to poor performance. Is it possible to figure out if a certain SaaS solution will work for your organization before you invest in it and roll it out company-wide? It isn’t satisfactory to have to guess about a SaaS solution’s effectiveness or blindly trust the promises of a SaaS vendor. And, once you’ve fully adopted and integrated a SaaS product, you want to monitor its performance and availability so that, if issues arise, you can immediately know if they affect only a single user or all your users.

Remove blind spots and make the introduction of SaaS solutions a success

Unfortunately, it’s usually not possible to install any kind of host or JavaScript agent on the web servers that SaaS vendors use to serve their applications. Also, you can’t use network traffic analytics in many situations. This is why in March 2018 we introduced the beta program for a browser extension that enables you to gain user experience insights into SaaS applications without accessing their underlying web servers.

We’re happy to announce General Availability of the RUM browser extension.
The browser extension enables you to take advantage of all the same battle-tested Real User Monitoring capabilities that are provided by Dynatrace OneAgent and apply them to SaaS solutions. Dynatrace delivers application performance and user behavior insights for SaaS solutions, thereby eliminating the blind spots that usually accompany the deployment of 3rd-party SaaS solutions.

Available for Chrome, Edge & Firefox – configured centrally in Dynatrace

The RUM browser extension is now available for three widely-used modern browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. For Chrome and Firefox, we provide detailed instructions for rolling out the extension company-wide.

As soon as the extensions are rolled-out, all configurations are managed centrally via Dynatrace.

All deployed extensions automatically receive new configuration changes that you make. For example, updated URL injection patterns or completely new applications that are to be monitored. Also, any application-specific settings changes you make via the Dynatrace UI will be automatically picked up by the RUM browser extension.

How to set up monitoring via the RUM browser extension

Monitoring applications via the browser extension is easy. For all the technical details and setup instructions, see  Dynatrace Help. Following are the high-level steps to get you started.

  1. Log into your Dynatrace environment and select Deploy Dynatrace from the navigation menu.
  2. Click the Monitor via browser extension button.
  3. Install the browser extension locally for your preferred browser to test and refine your configuration.
  4. Configure the applications you want to monitor with the browser extension.
  5. Deploy the RUM browser extension company-wide.
    For full details, see
     How do I monitor the user experience of 3rd-party SaaS vendors?

Real User Monitoring

There’s now nothing holding you back from monitoring any web-based SaaS solution. All data captured via the browser extension is analyzed and presented alongside all other application data that Dynatrace captures via OneAgent or agentless RUM.

To analyze data gathered via the RUM browser extension

  1. Select Applications from the navigation menu.
  2. From the filter pane on the left side of the Applications page, select Injection typeBrowser extension injected to view all your applications that are currently monitored via the RUM browser extension.
  3. Proceed with user experience monitoring as explained in Dynatrace Help.

Monitoring SaaS products and beyond

Even though the main use case for the browser extension is web-based SaaS products, you can use the extension for basically any web application. We recommend that you use Dynatrace OneAgent wherever possible, but if you don’t have access to an application’s web server you now have an additional option available.