Synthetic monitoring
Synthetic monitoring is website monitoring
Website monitoring
Website monitoring is the process of testing and verifying that end-users can interact with a website or web application. Website monitoring is often used by businesses to ensure that their sites are live and responding....

 that is done using a web browser
Web browser
A web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier and may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content...

 emulation or scripted real web browsers
iMacros is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer web browsers which adds record and replay functionality similar to that found in web testing and form filler software. The macros can be combined and controlled via JavaScript. Demo macros and JavaScript code...

. Behavioral scripts (or paths) are created to simulate an action or path that a customer or end-user would take on a site. Those paths are then continuously monitored at specified intervals for availability
In telecommunications and reliability theory, the term availability has the following meanings:* The degree to which a system, subsystem, or equipment is in a specified operable and committable state at the start of a mission, when the mission is called for at an unknown, i.e., a random, time...

 and response time
Response time
In technology, response time is the time a system or functional unit takes to react to a given input.- Data processing :In data processing, the response time perceived by the end user is the interval between the instant at which an operator at a terminal enters a request for a response from a...


Synthetic monitoring is valuable because it enables a webmaster
A webmaster , also called a web architect, web developer, site author, or website administrator is a person responsible for maintaining one or many websites...

 to identify problems and determine if his website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

 or web application
Web application
A web application is an application that is accessed over a network such as the Internet or an intranet. The term may also mean a computer software application that is coded in a browser-supported language and reliant on a common web browser to render the application executable.Web applications are...

 is slow or experiencing downtime
The term downtime is used to refer to periods when a system is unavailable.Downtime or outage duration refers to a period of time that a system fails to provide or perform its primary function...

 before that problem affects actual end-user
Economics and commerce define an end user as the person who uses a product. The end user or consumer may differ from the person who purchases the product...

s or customers. This type of monitoring does not require actual web traffic
Web traffic
Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. It is a large portion of Internet traffic. This is determined by the number of visitors and the number of pages they visit...

 so it enables companies to test web applications 24x7, or test new applications prior to a live customer-facing launch.

Because synthetic monitoring is a simulation of typical user behavior or navigation through a website, it is often best used to monitor commonly trafficked paths and critical business processes. Synthetic tests must be scripted in advance, so it is not feasible to measure performance for every permutation of a navigational path an end-user might take. This is more suited for passive monitoring
Passive monitoring
Passive monitoring is a technique used to capture traffic from a network by generating a copy of that traffic, often from a span port or mirror port or via a network tap...

. Synthetic testing is useful for measuring availability and response time of critical pages and transaction (how a site performs from all geographies) but doesn't monitor or capture actual end-user interactions.

Passive monitoring is also known as real user monitoring
Real user monitoring
Real user monitoring is a passive web monitoring technology that records all user interaction with a website. Monitoring actual user interaction with a website is important to website operators to determine if users are being served quickly, error free and if not which part of a business process...

 and can be used to monitor actual user sessions on web sites to detect and capture errors and performance slowdowns. Passive monitoring products are usually based on hardware devices that sit inside the firewall
Firewall may refer to:* Firewall , a barrier inside a building or vehicle, designed to limit the spread of fire, heat and structural collapse...

and capture traffic as it enters.
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