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How to Create a Web Application Response Time (WebART) Check

Web application response time (WebART) checks are broken up into several distinct parts:

  • The passive “availability” service check (that monitors availability of the application).
  • The synthetic check steps used by the WebART check to follow a typical user path through the application.
  • Threshold checks to monitor response time performance of the application.

To create a new WebART check in Netreo, follow the steps below.

Create the Availability Check

  1. Navigate to the Web Application Administration page (Administration > Modules > Web Apps).

  2. On the Web Application Administration page click the Create Web Application button.
  3. On the Add an Application page:

    1. In the Name field, provide a name for your WebART check to identify it in the various dashboards.
      • Note: The single quote/apostrophe character is not supported in this field, and may not be used.
    2. Optionally, in the Related Business Workflows field, select one or more business workflows to have their status displayed on the Application Performance dashboard for this check (as an aid to troubleshooting). This step is optional.
    3. In the Location field, select a location from which this check will run.
      • Local checks will be run from the Netreo server location.
      • Non-local checks will be run from the selected Netreo cloud remote reflector. This is useful to test accessibility from different regions.
        • Note: You must have Netreo Cloud Services (Administration > System > Cloud Services) active to select a remote reflector.
        • Caution: As a general rule, do not test public websites from remote reflectors—this can conceivably cause problems.
    4. In the Web Application Type field, select how you would like your WebART check categorized in Netreo dashboards alongside other WebART checks.
      • This setting is merely for organizational convenience and can be edited at any time. It does not affect how the check works or any of the check options.
    5. Click the Create button.
  4. The [Application] – Edit page for your new WebART check will open, showing the availability check and a Synthetic Checks table.

    • The availability check will need to be edited to configure its alarm and action group settings before it will become functional (see below).
    • Once the availability service check has been created, its status in the APPLICATION column will become PENDING. At least one synthetic check will need to be added to the WebART check (see below), and the entire check run once before its status becomes ACTIVE.

Configure the Availability Check

On the [Application] – Edit page for the WebART check (see the above steps to open this page if it is not already open):

  1. Click the edit icon in the ACTIONS column of the availability check.
  2. On the [Application] – Update page, in the “Custom Application Check” panel, configure the alarm settings as necessary and select your desired action groups for notification. See Service Checks for detailed information about how to configure these settings.
  3. Click Update to save your settings and be returned to the [Application] – Edit page for the WebART check.
  4. Proceed to add a synthetic check to the WebART check (see below).
    • One or more synthetic check steps must be added to your WebART check for it to function (see next section).

Add Synthetic Checks to the WebART Check

Synthetic checks are the steps a WebART check takes in the process of evaluating a web application’s response times. They include tasks such as loading a URL, logging in to a web page, and validating the returned result. Each step added to a WebART check will have that step’s performance displayed on the Application Performance dashboard for the check.

Warning

Netreo only looks for forms in the first synthetic check step, so WebART checks will not work with multipage authentication.

To add a synthetic check to your WebART check, follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the [Application] – Edit page for the WebART check (see the above steps to open this page if it is not already open).
  2. In the “Synthetic Checks” section, click the Add Custom Web Check button to begin the synthetic check wizard.
  3. On the Step 1 page:
    1. Enter a name or descriptive term for this step (such as “Login”) in the “Description” field, then enter the URL to be retrieved.
    2. Click Next.
      • If the provided URL includes any forms that can be interacted with, Netreo will evaluate them and allow you to select the form tag that you wish to interact with (for example, a login field), if required.
  4. On the Step 2 page (if forms were detected):
    1. Optionally, select the form tag you wish to use. If you don’t wish to interact with a form, leave the selection blank.
    2. Click Next.
  5. On the Step 3 page (if you selected a form tag):
    1. For each variable in the form that can have a value submitted, select from the following three options (variable names are determined by the form itself):
      • Leave blank – this option will leave the variable value empty.
      • Use provided value – this option allows you to enter a value in the field to the right.
      • Use form default value – this option submits the form default value for the respective variable, if one exists.
    2. Once all variables have been addressed, in the “Click or Submit” field, select from the following two options:
      • Click – this option emulates clicking the submit button of the form (this is typically the option you should choose).
      • Submit – this option is provided for backwards compatibility, and submits the form to a URL provided by the form itself. Unless you know that you need this option, you should probably select “Click.”
    3. Click Next.
  6. On the Step 4 page:
    1. Select a validation option from the following three options (once the form is submitted, these options search the resulting returned page for a specific string of text to validate that the form was submitted correctly):
      • Match text entry using a regular expression – Allows you to use a regular expression to define the search pattern for validating that the correct webpage has been reached.
      • Match text entry exactly – Allows you to enter text that must be matched exactly for validating that the correct webpage has been reached.
      • Match element using an XPath expression – Allows you to use an XPath expression to define the search pattern for validating that the correct webpage has been reached.
    2. Enter the text string or expression to be evaluated in the field provided.
    3. If you have no further steps to add, click Finish to be returned to the [Application] – Edit page of your WebART check and skip the next step.
  7. Optionally, continue building the path your WebART check will take through your application by clicking the Add Subsequent Step button for each step required. Each step in a WebART check can also have a threshold check added to it, to send alert notifications of performance problems.
    • When supplying a URL for subsequent steps, select from the following two options:
      • Text of link
        This option looks specifically for hyperlinks in the supplied URL that contain exactly the text as supplied. The supplied text must be the full text of the hyperlink, no partial text is allowed. (Note: this is not the full tag for a link, only the text of the hyperlink as visible on the page.)
      • Exact URL
        This option allows you to specify a complete URL address.
  8. Test that all steps in your path are working correctly by clicking the Test Check button at the bottom of the [Application] – Edit page.
    • Testing your WebART check this way will execute the synthetic check steps in real-time and return the results back to Netreo, letting you know immediately whether or not your check works correctly.

Configure Default Threshold Check (Total Load Time)

Note

Configuring threshold checks for your WebART check is not required, but is recommended. Your WebART check can function as an availability check only, if desired. Configure the default (and additional) threshold checks only if you wish to monitor the performance of your application as well as its availability.

Every WebART check includes a default threshold check for monitoring the total application load time.

To set up performance monitoring for your WebART check, follow the steps below,

  1. Navigate to the [Application] – Edit page for the WebART check (see the above steps to open this page if it is not already open) and click the Thresholds button at the top of the page.
  2. On the [Application] – Threshold page, in the Web Application Threshold Configuration section, click the edit icon in the ACTIONS column of the Total Time threshold check.
  3. On the the [Application] – Add Threshold page, in the Edit Thresholds panel, configure the settings as desired. See Threshold Checks for detailed information about how to configure these settings. (Performance for WebART checks is measured in seconds.)
  4. Click the Edit Threshold button to save the configuration and return to the [Application] – Threshold page.
  5. Add and configure any additional desired threshold checks, if desired (see below).
  6. You’re finished. Your new WebART check will begin monitoring your application shortly. You may navigate away from this page at any time.

Add Additional Threshold Checks

If you’ve added any additional synthetic check steps and would like to add threshold checks to monitor the performance of any of those steps, you can do so once those steps have been added to the WebART check.

  1. Navigate to the [Application] – Threshold page (see the above steps to open this page if it is not already open).
  2. In the Add Threshold panel, select the threshold for the synthetic check step that you would like to monitor from the drop-down list and click Add Threshold.
  3. On the the [Application] – Add Threshold page, in the Edit Thresholds panel, configure the settings as desired. See Threshold Checks for detailed information about how to configure these settings. (Performance for WebART checks is measured in seconds.)
  4. Click the Add Threshold button to save the configuration and return to the [Application] – Threshold page.
  5. Add and configure any additional desired threshold checks.
  6. You’re finished. Your WebART check will begin monitoring the added thresholds shortly. You may navigate away from this page at any time.
Note

Once a threshold check has been added to a synthetic check step, it cannot be removed—only disabled—on the [Application] – Threshold page of the check.

Updated on October 15, 2020

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