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February 20th, 2019

Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 5

Dynatrace announces the availability of Dynatrace Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring (ESM) 12.5 Service Pack 5.

The service pack is an update introducing the fixes to problems found after the GA release.

See Resolved issues.

See Known issues.

 Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 3

November 22nd, 2017

Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 3

Dynatrace announces the availability of Dynatrace Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring (ESM) 12.5 Service Pack 3.

The service pack is an update introducing the fixes to problems found after the GA release.

See Resolved issues.

See Known issues.

 

 Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 2

August 25th, 2017

Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 2

Dynatrace announces the availability of Dynatrace Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring (ESM) 12.5 Service Pack 2.

The service pack is an update introducing the fixes to problems found after the GA release.

See Resolved issues.

 

 Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 1

July 24th, 2017

Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 Service Pack 1

Dynatrace announces the availability of Dynatrace Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring (ESM) 12.5 Service Pack 1.

The service pack is an update introducing the fixes to problems found after the GA release.

See Resolved issues.

 
 Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 GA

May 22nd, 2017

Actively monitor your key internal applications and transactions

Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring (ESM) 12.5 brings an updated ESM Agent Recorder, Agent, and Agent Manager, and is focused on efficient scripting of the transactions and easier management of the measurements data.

 

 

 

ESM 12.5 Release Highlights

Improved image recognition and OCR capabilities for visual transaction replay

For several releases, Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring supports image recognition and optical character reading (OCR) within the transaction scripting. These functions enable visual transaction driving - the only option available for testing Citrix-delivered applications and a reliable alternative for sophisticated Windows applications where GUI control scripting does not bing repeatable results.

In this release we've refreshed IR and OCR libraries of the Agent and refactored algorithms the Agent uses to measure transaction timings when OCR is used. These resulted in:

  • Significantly reduced overhead of the OCR and IR pattern matching - measure transaction timings with higher precision
  • Highly improved IR precision - continue measuring availability and transaction times even when agent screen dimensions and color depth does not match the agent recorder desktop

 

Simulate users performing transactions with PowerShell scripts

PowerShell scripting support enables ESM users to script transactions using this powerful batch and automation language – as an alternative to VBA scripts. PowerShell transactions can run in parallel, using multiple execution threads on the same agent. With PowerShell transaction scripting, you have an alternative to VBA scripts, including:

  • Access to the Agent's transaction timing APIs, so it's easy to use PowerShell to prepare the transaction environment before timing and running the specific transaction.
  • Full access to the Windows host system when running a transaction, so any environmental manipulations are possible
  • Possibility to run Windows applications and control them programmatically while running the transaction

PowerShell scripts can be developed independently of the Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring environment, also using an approach with references to external script modules, includes and parameters - this opens a way to fully automate ESM transaction updates in the application lifecycle environment. Transaction execution scripts can be developed by the application team in modern, powerful and environment-neutral language like PowerShell, while execution of those transactions occurs within the Enterprise Synthetic environment.

 

Agent and transaction health reporting in the CAS

Agent health and transaction diagnostic results are now reported in the CAS, through the powerful DMI reporting. This opens vital possibilities of:

  • Using health data to validate ESM measurements before these are presented on the reports. DMI capabilities in DC RUM 17 enable multiple data filtering sources on reports, so it's easy now to mask from ESM reports those transactions and data periods which ESM reports as suspect.
  • Zoom in on timeframes when ESM transactions were not correctly measured and thus should be removed from the performance management database. For instance, periods when after an application has been upgraded, transaction scripts were still expecting old application functions to work and thus returned measurement failures instead of transaction success. Knowing such time periods and transaction names enables you to selectively purge ESM data out of the CAS database.

Remove the unwanted ESM measurements

Identification of the agent or transaction health issues is one of the sources that may trigger a need to delete unwanted ESM data from the CAS performance management database. Selective data purge allows you to remove selected unwanted measurements – for example, measurements taken during a maintenance window – to maintain the integrity of SLA reports and baselines.

Selective data purge is driven through the management console commands, which opens a way for orchestration of the unwanted data removal with external control tools, should such need get identified.

For more information, see Clear active BG data.

 Improvements driven by your feedback

Responding to your product ideas

At Dynatrace, we take pride in our customer-first focus, and your feedback is invaluable. The following list highlights specific product ideas you shared in the DC RUM Product Ideas forum that have driven ESM 12.5 development decisions.

 Licensing updates

To use Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5, you need to obtain a 12.5 license key from the Dynatrace License Management. There are no new license key features. Your existing license key needs to be updated to align with the new version.

 Technical Notes

Review the information in this section before installing or upgrading Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring.

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Security

By default, the agent and AM web services use TLS v1.0 for secure communication.  As required, this can be changed to TLS v1.2:

  1. Alter all machines in unison for proper inter-WS HTTPS communication.
  2. Stop the services on the Agent Manager and the agents.
  3. Modify the WebServer.xml files (these are by default on the Agent Manager at C:\Program Files(x86)\Compuware\Synthetic Monitoring\AgentManager\Config\fxsrvamccws and C:\Program Files (x86)\Compuware\Synthetic Monitoring\Agent\Config\fxsrvaccws and on the agent at C:\Program Files (x86)\Compuware\Synthetic Monitoring\Agent\Config\fxsrvaccws):

  4. Restart the services.

AutochecksURL monitoring supports the SSL v3, TLS v1.0, TLS v1.1, and TLS v1.2 security protocols since the 12.4 release.

Windows

Both Agent and Agent Recorder support Windows 10 starting with the 12.4 release and Windows Server 2016 starting with the 12.5 release. Support for Windows 8 is dropped. Note that Windows 8.1 is supported.

Database

Agent Manager supports Microsoft SQL Server  version 2014 starting with the 12.4 release, version 2016 with the 12.5 release, and version 2017 with the 12.5.5 release.

Browsers

Note that Firefox ESR 24 is the last ESR release to be provided with specific Agent Recorder support.

Installation and Configuration Requirements and Recommendations

Integration with Dynatrace Application Monitoring

Dynatrace Application Monitoring diagnostic integration has been changed to be OFF by default.  You can now enable integrationthoughthe Agent Manager configuration property available in the UI.

Notice of Trusted Root Certification Installation

To provide Dynatrace diagnostics for secure sites, a trusted end-entity and root certificate is generated and installed in the user's Windows certificate store on the agent machine.

User Account Control (UAC) considerations

When enabling the Windows User Account Control (UAC) notification feature on an agent machine, keep in mind that the agent automatic software update feature is not supported when UAC is enabled on an agent machine. To enable this feature, you must disable UAC and log in with an administrator account on the agent machine prior to performing an auto-update.

Windows Standard User Account considerations

You can use a Windows standard user account to login toan agent machine and run Enterprise Synthetic components; however, observe the following points:

  • The agent automatic software update feature is not supported when a standard user account is used on an agent machine. To enable this feature, you must log in as an administrator and disable UAC on the agent machine prior to performing an auto-update.

  • When changing the login account on an agent machine from an administrator to a standard user, or from a standard user to an administrator, you must restart the machine before logging in with the desired account. Additionally, if you log in as a standard user for the first time and notice that Agent Recorder scripts do not run as scheduled, restart the agent machine and log back in with the same standard user account.

  • For agents installed on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012, if you use the recommended automatic agent reboot feature, you must add the Users group to the  Shut down the system  local security policy.

    1. Access the Local Security Policy editor.
      Choose Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Local Security Policy .

    2. Select Local Policies > User Rights Assignment > Shut down the system .

    3. Add the  Users  group.

Modern Applications Considerations

The Recorder can detect controls, capture text, and detect mouse and keyboard input only from Desktop applications.  Starting from Windows 8, Microsoft introduced Modern applications, see What is a Windows Modern App and Modern Apps - What You Need to Know About Windows 10 App Development.  In Windows 10, Modern applications can also run on the Windows desktop side-by-side with Desktop applications inside a container window owned by a host Desktop application, in addition to running in full screen and split screen modes available in Windows 8/8.1.  The Recorder cannot interact with Modern applications that run in full screen and split screen modes, but it has some abilities to interact with the container application, say Application Frame Host (ApplicationFrameHost.exe process), which in turn passes mouse and keyboard messages to the hosted Modern application.  Here are the considerations for using Recorder with the Modern applications that run on the desktop in side-by-side mode.

  • Scripting assets can only reference the host application.
  • Recording usually will not produce a meaningful script.
  • When coordinates for mouse actions need to be determined during script execution, use OCR and image recognition.
  • While Windows 10 Start Menu visually resembles Windows 7 Start Menu, indeed it is a Modern application.  It is recommended to use command-line equivalents of Start Menu actions; consider Framework functions LaunchApp or LaunchAppWithParm for launching the applications.

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Configuration Requirements

After installing an agent on any of the following operation systems, you must disable the Windows Start Screen to ensure that the Agent Recorder scripts play back properly:

  • Windows 8.1

  • Windows Server 2012

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

For details, refer to Configuring Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 for Agent Recorder Playback.

Do not forget to restart the machine after disabling the Start Screen.

Internet Explorer message appears on Agent

After installing an agent on a machine with an Internet Explorer 9 or later browser, the following message appears when you first start InternetExplorer:The'BrowserEvents Class' add-on from '(Not Verified) Compuware Corporation is ready for use.

Click the  Enable  button next to the message text to enable the Enterprise Synthetic browser helper object and suppress the message from appearing in subsequent Internet Explorer sessions. This is required to use IE events to define transactions.

.NET Framework 4

If the Enterprise Synthetic Manager is not installed with the Enterprise Synthetic Console on a remote Console machine, Microsoft .NET Framework 4 is an installation prerequisite before installing or upgrading the remote Console.

You can use the Remote Installer to deploy .NET Framework 4 on remote machines.

For information about .NET Framework 4 installation, refer to http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=17718.

Compatibility with earlier releases

  • The 12.5 Agent Manager is backward compatible with 12.4 agents. However, 12.4 agents do not support new features added in Release 12.5. Agents from Release 12.3 or earlier are not supported.
  • If you are upgrading to Enterprise Synthetic Release 12.5, you can upgrade only from 12.3 or 12.4. All alerting and reporting will be through the CAS except for any health alerts from the Agent Manager itself.
  • When you upgrade your Agent Manager to Release 12.5, the Enterprise Synthetic agents must be at Release 12.4 or later before publishing.

Data loss prevention software compatibility

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software installed on agent machines may interfere with the text capture capability of the Agent Recorder. Before performing asite widedeployment of DLP software in your Enterprise Synthetic environment, test the compatibility of the DLP software as it relates to the Agent Recorder's text capture capability.

Database installation/upgrade recommendations and requirements

This section provides information about installing or upgrading the Enterprise Synthetic database.

SQL Server Case Sensitivity

A default SQL Server installation is case-insensitive, which means that SQL Server does not differentiate between upper and lower-case characters. That is, Sa is the same as SA or  sa . In SQL Server, the case is called collation. You can set collations from the database level as well as for the individual columns of each table.

Issues arise when the server and each database have a different collation setting. In addition, each column can have its own collation setting, which can be different from that of the server or database collation. To avoid these issues, you must use case-insensitive collation throughout SQL Server. Dynatrace products cannot be installed on a database server that is case-sensitive.

Choosing not to install the Enterprise Synthetic database during Agent Manager installation

You can choose not to install the Enterprise Synthetic database during a Release 12.5 Agent Manager installation. However, if you choose not to install this database, several product functions will not work. You will not receive health reports or alerts. Additionally, some of the Enterprise Synthetic data may not be inserted into the CAS database if there are no Enterprise Synthetic databases installed. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you install at least one Enterprise Synthetic database with the product. You can choose to use database maintenance and delete the contents of this database if you do not intend to use this data.

Skipping database migration during an upgrade

During Agent Manager migration, if you choose to skip migrating the database, immediately following the migration you must migrate your database (using the Database Utility) and then connect the database to the Enterprise Synthetic Console to avoid losing agent data.

Remote database creation

To provide tightened security in the database, you cannot create or select a custom path in which to install a remote Enterprise Synthetic database. If you select  Remote  as the Database Install Type during the Agent Manager installation, the remote database is installed in the default Microsoft SQL Server data directory (typically  C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data ). To specify a different path, select  Skip , and then later run the Database Utility on the Agent Manager machine.

Icon

When using the Database Utility to install a remote Enterprise Synthetic database:

  • The default path is the data directory that contains the SQL Server master database.

  • When you install the Enterprise Synthetic database in a user-defined directory on a remote machine, the directory must already exist.

 

Renaming the database server

To rename a database server, you may need to confirm the server name as described in the topic at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143799.aspx.

Upgrade/migration information

Review this section for upgrade and migration information.

  • Performing Active Monitoring on the Agent Manager is not allowed.
  • After an upgrade, update the release number in import transaction and agent files. Each import file contains a CVVersion field. Update the release number in this field to 12.5 before the files are imported.
  • Using Windows Terminal Services for remote administration or installation of the Enterprise Synthetic Agent Manager is supported in Administrative mode only.

 

Agent Recorder

Review this section for important technical notes about the Agent Recorder.

Framework updates

Updates to the Frameworkare  includedin  the default Recorder database for a new agent install.

The Framework updates should be manually applied to the master Recorder database when you upgrade the agent version or apply a service pack of the product . The Framework updates are provided in the Agent Manager's and the Agents' install sub-folders: \Samples\ScriptingFramework.  Please refer to Importing the Upgrade Files and Framework Upgrade Checklist.

64-bit monitoring considerations

On 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2, the following 64-bit technologies are supported:

  • Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, 10, and 11
  • Oracle Java 6, 7, and 8
    64-bit Java plug-ins are not supported. The 32-bit next-generation IE Java plug-in is not supported; however, the old 32-bit Java plug-in, including Oracle Forms, is supported in 32-bit versions of IE 8 and IE 9, and when running a 64-bit version of IE 10 or IE 11 in mixed mode (which is the default IE 10 and IE 11 configuration).
     For more information about the Java plug-in, refer to http://www.java.com/en/download/help/new_plugin.xml.
  • Native Windows controls on supported 64-bit operating systems, with the exception of the Calendar controls and Tree view.
  • Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) library 4.2 and later.

Internet Explorer support

The Agent Recorder provides object recognition, recording, and playback support for monitoring HTML-based web applications and Java applets running in Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Before testing applications and Java applets running in any release of Internet Explorer, make sure you disable the  Enable the next-generation Java Plug-in  setting (if available) in the Windows Java Control Panel.

 For Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, and 11:

  • HTML5 video and audio tags are not supported.
  • When you implement text capture:
    • Text color and text background color are not captured. This does not affect verification of the check.
    • Text capture could produce unpredictable results if the test application embeds an Internet Explorer control.
  • The Notification Bar may contain a SplitButton control. Recording the opening of a SplitButton drop-down list is not recorded correctly, because by default the Agent Recorder does not record the coordinates of the click. To work around this issue, turn on the Control Position Record setting to ensure the coordinates are recorded correctly.
  • Disable Windows hardware acceleration. On the  Advanced  tab of the  Internet Options dialog box, select  Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering .

For Internet Explorer 10 and 11:

  • Disable Internet Explorer's protected mode to ensure proper script playback. In the  Internet Options dialog box:

    • On the  Security  tab, clear the  Enable Protected Mode  check box.

    • On the  Advanced  tab, under  Security , clear the  Enable Enhanced Protected Mode  check box.

After making these changes, restart the agent machine.

  • Clear the  Install new version automatically  check box in the  About Internet Explorer  dialog box to avoid an unintended upgrade to an unsupported version of Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox support:

   The Agent Recorder provides object recognition, recording, and playback support for monitoring HTML-based web applications and Java applets running in Mozilla Firefox 10 ESR (version 10.0.4 and later), 17 ESR, and 24 ESR. Enterprise Synthetic support for Firefox follows the Extended Support Release (ESR) process employed by Mozilla. For more information, see http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/.

For all supported Firefox versions:

Oracle Java support:

Oracle Java 6, 7, and 8 are supported for 32 and 64-bit.

To capture text from Java applications and applets, pass the following parameter to JRE:

-Dsun.java2d.d3d=false

or create system environment variable:

J2D_D3D=false

Windows Taskbar and Agent Recorder

On Windows 7 and later operating systems, if you pin a program to the taskbar after you have started the Agent Recorder, the program will not be detected during script recording. As a result, you must pin a program to the taskbar before starting the Agent Recorder.

 Public variables in shared modules should be initialized in a script

Global public variables declared in a shared module should be initialized in a test script to ensure the variable value is cleared during subsequent playback attempts. To work around this issue, re-initialize the public variable in a test script as shown in the following example.

Database growth when capturing images in visual tests

During recording and playback of a visual test, the Agent Recorder captures and stores the screens and controls of the target application at each stage of recording and playback. Because this may capture a large number of images and controls, you may experience a high growth rate in the size of your database. For more information, refer to Limiting Database Growth in the  Agent Recorder Help .

Notice of improper Agent Recorder database modification

Modification of the Agent Recorder repository/database outside of the Agent Recorder or the Database Maintenance Utility violates the Agent Recorder License Agreement and may lead to database corruption.

You are permitted to query the database.

Agent Recorder and Wide Area Networks (WANs)

Data transmissions on WAN connections have higher latency than Local or Metropolitan Area Networks. If the Agent Recorder connects to its database across a WAN or is executed from an application server across a WAN, latency may cause the Agent Recorder to behave unreliably. As a result, we recommend that the database be local.

Using the page zoom feature in Internet Explorer and Firefox

Increasing or decreasing the size of a web page using the page zoom feature in Internet Explorer or Firefox may cause recording inaccuracies. For best recording results, make sure the size is set to 100% in Internet Explorer and Normal in Firefox.

SAP support

The Agent Recorder supports SAP GUI for Windows 7.10 (patch level 2 or later), SAP GUI for Windows 7.20, and SAP GUI for Windows 7.30.

To improve script reliability and playback performance when testing complex SAP applications, you can leverage the native recording capability of your SAP application to record user actions, and then include the recorded results in a test script. For more information, see Monitoring SAP Applications.

To configure SAP GUI for Windows and SAP GUI for HTML for use with the Agent Recorder:

  1. Login to SAP as an administrator to make permanent changes.
  2. Enable scripting on the application server and set the  sapgui/user_scripting_disable_recording  parameter to FALSE .
    SAP Help topic:  Enabling Scripting on the Application Server
  3. Select the  Enable scripting  option on the client front end and clear both child  Notify  options.
    SAP Help topic:  Enabling Scripting at the Front End  

For more information about these configuration steps, refer to the SAP Help Portal (http://help.sap.com) and search the SAP R/3 and R/3 Enterprise documentation for the SAP Help topics listed for steps 2 and 3.

MSXML considerations

The recommended way to extract XML values in the Recorder scripts is to use the Framework function GetXMLValue. If you use MSXML directly in your scripts, you should reference MSXML v3 rather than MSXML v6 if the script needs to run in a combination of Windows 7/Server 2008/Server 2008 R2 and more contemporary versions of Windows. 

Note that Microsoft will support both MSXML v3 and MSXML v6 through the lifetime of all still supported Windows versions, please see https://support.microsoft.com/en-nz/help/269238/list-of-microsoft-xml-parser-msxml-versions.

Starting from Windows 8, Microsoft introduced syntax incompatibility in the MSXML v6 API versus the versions distributed with Windows 7 and older versions of Windows.  https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/c06a3247-8792-46b6-8b5d-dad5317441d4/msxml6dll-in-windows8-breaks-legacy-apps touches the subject, even though in a very narrow scope.  MSXML v3 maintains the compatibility across all Windows versions.

 Resolved and Known issues

Resolved issues

This release contains a number of quality improvements and resolutions to issues that have been reported in previous releases. For the latest information on resolved issues for this release, see Enterprise Synthetic 12.5 Resolved Issues.

Known issues

For information about known issues associated with the Enterprise Synthetic 12.5 Release, refer to the list of Enterprise Synthetic 12.5 Known Issues

 Upgrade considerations

You can upgrade to release 12.5 from ESM 12.4. Please note that DC RUM 2017 May release is required as a component of the complete ESM 12.5 setup.

Upgrades from release 12.3 work only for the ESM components (Agent, Agent Manger, Console), but not for the DC RUM components (CAS, RUM Console).

Previous releases have to be upgraded to 12.3/12.4 before moving to ESM 12.5. See Upgrade Paths.

VantageView - End Of Support

Note the end of support for VantageView, which pre-12.3 Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring installations may still be using. The VantageView - End of support page contains further information on VV's end of support.

 System requirements and supported technologies

Enterprise Synthetic Monitoring 12.5 consists of the following components:

  • Agents running synthetic scripts and Autochecks
  • Agent Manager and Console
  • CAS 2017
  • RUM Console 2017, which replaces CSS to manage user access and security.

Agents

Supported browsers

Agent Manager (including Console) 

Central Analysis Server (CAS) and RUM Console

Console (in standalone mode)

 News from the Dynatrace Community

Be a part of our active APM community!

See the latest discussions about ESM in the forum.

For deeper insights, get DC RUM extensions that can supplement your DC RUM installation:

  • Custom DMI report templates: Get more insights into security, user activity, or analyze your application health with one click!
  • Operations management integrations: Integrate DC RUM’s real user performance and advanced analytics with Splunk, ServiceNow, or ElasticSearch and Kibana.
  • Universal decode scripts: Monitor your bespoke applications, including Apache AJP, ISO 8583, SISNAPI, Tibco EMS, and more!
  • Other utilities: Try out the tools developed by DC RUM users for DC RUM users, including ESM schedule visualizer and a more intuitive REST interface.

Community enhancements

 Dynatrace Support levels and end-of-life policy
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