AppNeta Adds Chrome Support for Experience Monitoring
by December 5, 2017

Filed under: Performance Monitoring, Product News

We’re excited to announce the availability of Google Chrome for AppNeta Performance Manager’s Experience monitoring! AppNeta allows you to monitor end-user experience of any app, whether internal, SaaS or hosted in a public cloud. The AppNeta Monitoring Points used for Experience monitoring are being upgraded so that your Selenium synthetic workflows are run using Chrome rather than Firefox. With Chrome, by far the most popular browser on the internet, your synthetic web applications will even better represent typical user experience.

Chrome is available now for you to try out in your AppNeta deployment. Our early access period starts now—make sure to take advantage of it. Here’s what you need to know.

How Will Chrome Support Be Rolled Out?

Chrome will be deployed in three stages.

  • Now through the end of January 2018: This is the Chrome early access period. New Global Monitoring Point regions have been set up with Chrome support. You can add one of these to a web app group and begin experimenting with running your scripts on Chrome. We strongly suggest you take advantage of the early access period to verify your scripts and alert profile settings under Chrome.
  • Start of February 2018: All Global Monitoring Points will be upgraded from Firefox to Chrome. All of your applications currently being monitored with Firefox will continue to be monitored with Chrome.
  • Start of March 2018: Your Enterprise Monitoring Points will be upgraded from Firefox to Chrome during their next upgrade cycle. You can control when and how your Enterprise Monitoring Points are upgraded.

There are no changes at all for AppNeta synthetic scripts. They will continue to execute on their existing browser engine. Only Selenium scripts will use Chrome.

In most cases, your AppNeta Experience workflow scripts will continue to run without modification.

What Will Change With the Switch to Chrome?

Not only will the new Chrome implementation better represent the experience of the majority of web users, but it performs significantly faster and more consistently than ever before. It also adds a series of improvements to AppNeta Experience monitoring, including the ability to monitor applications that use multiple browser tabs, and the ability to explicitly exclude page loading from specific domains unrelated to users’ experience with the target site.

In most cases, when your Monitoring Points are upgraded from Firefox to Chrome, your Experience workflow scripts will continue to run without modification. In some cases, Chrome’s improved execution speed may require fine-tuning the timing of your script, for example, when pauses or waits have been used. You may also need minor script changes when there are ambiguous locators because Chrome may choose a different match than Firefox did.

After the early access period, we’ll remove the link to download the Selenium Firefox Plug-In from within AppNeta Performance Manager. The Selenium IDE is only supported on Firefox Extended Support Release version 52.5, and not on versions 53 onward (as of early December 2017, the current version is 57.0). It is also not supported for Chrome. If you want to record a Selenium script as a starting point for a new workflow, there are other third-party script recorders that may be useful. Also, you can still use the Selenium IDE if you have a compatible version of Firefox, and you can copy its output into AppNeta Performance Manager as the starting point for a Selenium script to be run with Chrome. AppNeta is also currently curating a repository of Selenium script examples to draw on when creating new workflow scripts in the future.

What’s a Good Way to Get Started?

Take advantage of the Chrome early access period today by experimenting with one of the Chrome early access Global Monitoring Points: Chrome Early Access, US East; Chrome Early Access, US West; or Chrome Early Access, Europe.

We recommend an approach such as this:

  1. Add a Chrome early access Global Monitoring Point to one of your existing web app groups.
  2. Mute alerts on all web paths which originate from the new Global Monitoring Point. This will avoid unwanted alert notifications while you’re experimenting.
  3. Verify that your workflow executes as expected. Use the Preview function in the Edit Workflow dialog. If it does not successfully execute, examine any changes in timing or ambiguous locators as mentioned above.
  4. Let the new web paths run for 24 to 48 hours and verify that performance and alerts all look good.

Need Help With the Chrome Switch?

Contact our AppNeta support team if you have any questions. We can help you get new temporary licenses for the Chrome early access Global Monitoring Points, as well as new temporary application licenses if you need them for your experimentation.

Chrome is just the most recent significant enhancement to AppNeta’s Experience monitoring. It’s the foundation for a series of upcoming features that we’re working on now. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements!