Synthetic Classic has reached end of support and is no longer available. Existing Synthetic Classic customers have been upgraded to the all-in-one Dynatrace software intelligence platform.

Dynatrace Synthetic Classic technical notes and known issues

Supported environments

Supported browsers for displaying the Portal

The Synthetic Classic Portal is supported on:

  • Google Chrome – The two most recent versions.
  • Internet Explorer – The two most recent versions.
  • Firefox – Standard version 50 or later.

For more information, see Browser support for the Synthetic Classic Portal.

Browser versions supported by Browser Agents

The Browser Agents support the following browser versions:

  • Chrome 56
  • Firefox 38
  • Internet Explorer 11

Private Last Mile private peers use Chrome 46.

HTTP/2 is supported in the Chrome and Firefox agents (not currently available in the IE Agent).

Script playback in the Windows Recorder supports the following browser versions:

  • Chrome 56.0
  • Firefox 38.0
  • Internet Explorer 11
    You can set IE Compatibility mode for earlier browser versions in the Playback settings for a script. For details, see Modifying script settings.

The Browser Agents support these plugin versions:

  • Adobe Flash Player 14
  • Silverlight 4 (not supported on Chrome)

For information about Chrome 56 support in the Chrome Agent, see:

Web Recorder supported environment

The Web Recorder is supported only when you open the Synthetic Classic Portal in the Chrome browser. Make sure your Chrome version is 56.0 or higher.

Windows Recorder supported environments

Hardware requirements

Minimum hardware for recording and playing scripts:

  • Pentium 4 or newer processor that supports SSE2
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 1 GB (1,000 MB) of free hard drive space

Windows versions

  • Windows 7 (x86 or x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10

Script playback

  • Internet Explorer 11
    Use of Internet Explorer 9 is tolerated with the Windows Recorder but we do not guarantee validity of metrics captured with this version of the browser.
  • Firefox 38.0
  • Chrome 56.0

Private Last Mile no longer supports execution of IE tests on the following (end-of-life) operating systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 R2.

Synthetic Classic Portal technical notes

Changes to display of failed test executions

We are continuing to upgrade the platform and improve the way that we display our data. As of the April 2017 release, we changed the way Synthetic Classic handles the display of failed test executions.

The underlying calculations haven't changed:

  • Failed test executions are not counted in response time calculations.
  • Failed test executions are counted in the availability calculations of tests.

When data is displayed in summarized views such as any trend chart, the calculated values for response time and availability are displayed as noted above. However, when data is displayed in a raw scatter plot, performance data (such as response time) is displayed up until the point of failure; the displayed data point is marked with an icon that shows it failed. This facilitates the investigation of failed data points when viewing raw scatter plot data.

Visually Complete and Speed Index

With Visually Complete and Speed Index, Dynatrace provides metrics that are as close to a real user experience as you can get. Visually Complete measures how long it takes to display the content visible in the user's browser: content "below the fold" and non-visual content (like third-party tracking beacons) is excluded. Speed Index indicates how fast your page loads from a user’s perspective. A lower Speed Index means large parts of the page can render very quickly.

These metrics are available for tests that run on the Chrome Agent. The metrics are displayed in the Test overview page, and in the Waterfall summary page and waterfall chart. You can chart the metrics in custom dashboards.

For more information, see Visually Complete and Speed Index metrics in the documentation.

UX Time and Network Time

The May 2017 release of the Synthetic Classic Portal introduced two new metrics, UX Time and Network Time. Currently, the new metrics are available only in the Test details page and the Waterfall page. For details of the new metrics, see UX Time and Network Time metrics in the documentation.

In future releases, Network Time and UX Time will replace the Response Time metric in interactive charts, alerts, and custom dashboards, and reporting of Response Time will be discontinued.

As new metrics are added to the Dynatrace Synthetic Classic platform and collection and visualization of W3C metrics are improved, classic metrics will be superseded by the new metrics that better represent responsiveness in new web technology.

Display size

The Synthetic Classic Portal has been tested and runs on screen displays with a horizontal resolution of 1024 and 1280, but it is optimized for a horizontal resolution of 1280. Similarly, it has been tested and runs on screen displays with a vertical resolution of 800 and above, but it is optimized for a vertical resolution of 800.

Retry on error for multi-step tests

When using Retry on Error with single-URL Backbone tests, there is no charge for the initial failed test.

For multi-step tests, there is no charge for the first page of the test, but you will be charged for additional steps in the failed test. For example, you have a 5-step test that fails on Step 3. During the retry, all 5 steps run successfully. You will be charged for (3-1)+5=7 steps.

Browser Agent technical notes

W3C metrics

Collecting W3C metrics is supported for all Browser Agents.

There may be differences between the synthetic metrics calculated by Dynatrace and the W3C metrics shown in the waterfall chart. Timing data used to calculate the W3C metric values is returned through the Navigation Timing API as implemented by the browser. Dynatrace has performed extensive testing on its data and stands by the accuracy of its synthetic metrics.

Using the Chrome Agent or Mobile Agent through a proxy server

The Chrome Agent and Mobile Agent no longer support passing the proxy server setting from the command line. If you use a proxy server, you must add the settings manually to your GSL scripts.

Web Recorder technical notes

Using the Web Recorder on a laptop or tablet with external monitor

If you are using the Web Recorder on a laptop or tablet that has an external monitor attached, we recommend recording transactions with the recording window on your primary monitor, not on the external monitor.

Recording Mobile Device scripts

When recording a Mobile Device script, do not interact with a web page until the page is fully loaded. Waiting until the page is fully loaded ensures that the actions are recorded in the proper order.

Windows Recorder technical notes

Current release

The latest Windows Recorder release is 6.5.1.

“Invisible” client vertical scroll bars on mobile sites

Some mobile websites have a vertical scroll bar on the right side of the page, distinct from the webpage’s vertical scroll bar. This scroll bar may be so thin as to be almost invisible. In the Mobile Device recording UI, if the page does not scroll down adequately using the webpage’s vertical scroll bar, it may be that there is a second, client-defined scroll bar embedded on the right side of the page. It may take precise use of the mouse to click and drag this second scroll bar to scroll down the page.

Synthetic Classic Portal known issues

  • Mobile tests are not suspended during maintenance windows.
  • To prevent viewing old content, after a new release, you must clear your browser cache to view the latest version of the Synthetic Classic Portal.
  • In configurable reports, if a test is included in more than one batch order, the results from all batch orders will be included in the report, regardless of which batch order was selected.
  • Users with the Operator profile can only view the reports they created in the Manage Reports section of the Reports page. These users will not be able to view reports created by any other user in their account.
  • The Operations dashboard may automatically log you out after more than 24 hours of continuous use, even if the dashboard is automatically refreshed.
  • The Health Map in the Performance dashboard displays the status of Last Mile only by country.
  • If you are viewing the Synthetic Classic Portal using a 64-bit version of Internet Explorer and you select to open a PDF file, Adobe Acrobat opens the PDF file in a new window instead of the preview window within the Portal interface. This is a known issue with 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer. It occurs because ActiveX control that enables Acrobat to open PDF files within the Internet Explorer interface is 32-bit; the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer does not support 32-bit ActiveX controls.

Browser Agent known issues

IE Agent with retry on error

IE Agent tests that have a custom User Agent configured in the script will fail if Retry on Error is enabled.

To avoid this issue, try these workarounds:

  • Use the default User Agent string in IE Agent tests. You can remove the custom User Agent in the Advanced Settings of the test configuration in the Synthetic Classic Portal.
  • Use Firefox or Chrome tests for scripts that require custom User Agents.
  • Disable Retry on Error in IE Agent tests that require custom User Agents.
  • After you enable Retry on Error in an IE Agent test
    1. Download the script to the Windows Recorder for editing
    2. Remove the header from the Headers tab of the script configuration.
    3. Upload the edited script to the Synthetic Classic Portal.

Chrome Agent and Mobile Agent limitations

The following table shows the support limitations for the following features.

Feature Chrome Agent Mobile Agent
Timestamp Action Not supported Not supported
File (File Upload) Action Supported Not supported
Monkey Patch Scripts in Custom Actions Not supported Not supported

Web Recorder known issues

  • When recording a mobile transaction, dropdown lists may not render correctly on the page. This is a known defect with Chrome mobile emulation in Chrome versions earlier than 54.0.2840.59 m. If you experience issues when recording dropdown controls, update your Chrome browser to the latest version. If updating Chrome is not feasible, the workaround is to use the Windows Recorder to record mobile scripts.

Windows Recorder known issues

Waterfall search feature not enabled

When using the new waterfall viewer in the Windows Recorder, you may find that the search feature is not enabled because of a known window-focus issue. If you are unable to activate the search field, click on the Edit name link in the script toolbar and then click in the waterfall search field. The control will now be active and you can search for objects in the waterfall.

Windows 10 Limitation

Recording Mobile scripts is not supported in Windows 10. There are no limitations for Desktop Browser scripts.

Scroll action in the Windows Recorder

The Scroll action is not supported in inner frames. in Mobile Device scripts

When recording actions in for a Mobile Device script, pressing the Enter key is not recorded. Use Tap (with Touch ON) or Click (with Touch OFF) instead. For example, click the Google Search button to submit a search string instead of pressing Enter.

Repeat visitor option

This script setting is no longer effective. The functionality is no longer available.

Hostname to hostname mapping

Circular mapping is not supported with hostname to hostname mapping.

Filters on some hostnames may not function properly in some cases when used with hostname to hostname mapping.

DNS time may be shorter for the host used in the mapping, because the agent needs to resolve the hosts in advance to determine a valid host to use during playback. This previous resolution results in DNS caching, therefore shorter DNS time during playback.

Adobe Flash support

As of the July 2014 Browser Agent, Flash interaction record and playback have been disabled. You can still record and measure a web page that downloads and runs a Flash object, but the Recorder does not record the HTTP calls made by Adobe Flash applications. For more details, see the help page Recording and Playing Flash Objects.

Multiple windows

When using multiple Recorder windows, only one window should play back a script at a time, or the playback will freeze or fail.

Long script or step names

Long script or step names can cause display issues in the UI, but do not harm the functionality.

Backward compatibility

Scripts saved in current version of the Recorder may not be able to be opened in previous versions of the Recorder.

Internet Explorer on Windows 7

On Windows 7, IE playback always has Flash and Silverlight enabled even if they are not enabled for the script. When run on Firefox, locally or on the Synthetic Classic Portal, the Enable Flash and Enable Silverlight settings are respected.

DNS Response Time on Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 10 introduces new mechanisms for caching local content offline that can affect the metrics captured by the Recorder during local playback. This may result in lower-than-expected or zero-second measurements of DNS metrics. This applies only to local playback. The cached content is correctly managed during playback on Backbone and Private Last Mile nodes.

UI issues on touch-screen devices

When using the Recorder on a touch-enabled device, you may experience user interface issues with scroll bars. You can use a touch-enabled device with the Recorder to capture and validate scripts and upload them to the Synthetic Classic Portal, but editing capabilities may be restricted by this limitation.