What is synthetic monitoring?

Just because your web application is accessible from your office and runs great on your laptop doesn't mean that your customers around the world are also having a great experience with your application. Therefore it is imperative to ensure constant availability monitoring of your application. Availability is the success rate at a given instant or time period that indicates if your application is fully functional and available to users.

Dynatrace uses synthetic monitoring to make it easy for you to monitor the availability and performance of your applications as experienced by your customers around the world and around the clock. Synthetic monitoring is about proactively simulating user visits, regardless of whether or not users are currently visiting your site. Synthetic monitoring provides you with 24x7 global visibility into your applications. An HTTP monitor uses simple HTTP requests. Browser monitor involves much more—it drives real web browser sessions with full HTML5/AJAX support.

Types of synthetic monitoring

Dynatrace offers three types of synthetic monitoring: browser monitors, browser clickpaths, and HTTP monitors.

Browser monitors

A browser monitor is the equivalent of a simulated user visiting your application using a modern, updated web browser. Browser monitors can be configured to run from any of our global locations at a frequency of up to once every 5 minutes. Browser monitors alert you when your application becomes inaccessible or when baseline performance degrades significantly.

Browser clickpaths

Browser clickpaths are simulated user visits that monitor your application’s business critical workflows. You can use the Dynatrace recorder to record an exact sequence of clicks and user input that you are interested in monitoring for availability and performance. Once you’ve captured the mouse clicks and additional user actions that you want your browser clickpath to include, your browser clickpath will run automatically at regular intervals to test your site’s availability and functionality.

HTTP monitors

An HTTP monitor is a simple HTTP request. You can use it to check if your website or API endpoint is available. As with browser monitors, HTTP monitors run automatically at regular intervals. HTTP monitors are executed by an ActiveGate and require a special ActiveGate configuration. With this configuration you can use HTTP monitors to check the availability of your internal resources that are inaccessible from outside your network.