One of our clients occasionally runs into the following problem with their web app: They host their B2B web application in their East Coast Data Center with their clients accessing the app from all around the United States. Occasionally they have clients complaining about bad page load times or that certain features just don’t work on their browsers. When the problem can’t be reproduced in-house and all of the “usual suspects” (problem with internet connection, faulty proxy, user error, …) are ruled out they actually have to fly out an engineer to the client to analyze the problem on-site. That’s a lot of time and money spent to troubleshoot a problem.

Capturing data from the End User

In my recent engagement we had to deal with one of their clients on the west coast complaining that they can no longer login to the application. After entering username and password and clicking the login button, the progress indicator shown while validating the credentials actually never goes away. The login worked fine when trying it in-house. The login also worked for other user in the same geographical region using the same browser version. They run dynaTrace on their Application Servers that allowed us to analyze the requests that came from that specific user. No problems on the server side could be detected. So we ruled out all potential problems that we could identify from within the Data Center. Instead of flying somebody to the West Coast we decided to use a different approach. We asked the user on the West Coast to install the dynaTrace Browser Agent. The Browser Agent captures similar data as the dynaTrace Ajax Edition. The advantage of that agent is that it automatically ties into the backend. Requests by the browser that execute logic on the app server can be traced End-to-End, from the Browser all the way to the database.

>> Read the full blog that describes all steps we took to identify the problem which turned out to be incorrectly escaped data in an Ajax Response

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