In this lesson, we step through your options for generating scripts for your transactions. Your comfort level with the scripting process may influence your choices, but not to worry, we have scripting options for every skill and interest level.

Things to consider before you start monitoring your transactions

Before scripting your transactions, you should practice your transactions to make sure you're familiar with any subtleties that they may contain. Having practiced them results in cleaner recordings. You also need to make sure you understand that when in production, your transaction monitor acts like a real user, and your tests could have real consequences. For example:

  • Testing shopping carts and checkout processes can deplete available inventory, trigger automated replenishment systems, actually ship product, and run up credit card charges resulting in merchant fees.
  • Testing reservation systems can result in bookings that block real users from scheduling.
  • If a user needs to log in to perform a task, the monitor needs to log in too. Consider the authentication process and protecting logins and passwords. You can protect your authentication information in our vault, and hide them in your test results. Also, consider the permissions you grant the test user from a security standpoint, and keep an eye on the user to make sure there is no suspicious activity.  

We have a number of other caveats and tips in our Knowledge Base you need to make sure you review before starting.

Scripting options

Depending on your comfort level with scripting, we've got options for you.

  • If you need a lot of help, we can handle the scripting and testing for you—like we have always done—with Full-Service Transactions.
  • If you're fairly comfortable with web technologies like HTML, CSS, JSON, and XPath, our Self-Service Transactions are right for you.
  • If you're a power user, you can jump right to the scripting using our text editor or cut and paste from your own scripting tool and source control tools. You can also manage your transactions and scripts with our API.

Let's get to scripting your transactions, but first, you may want to decide which method will work best for you. Just remember, our support heroes are always at the ready to help you along when and if you need it.

 

Full-Service Transactions

Up until now, full-Service was the only option for scripting your transactions. You record your transactions, and our scripting pros use your recording to edit and test your scripts. You can still use Full-Service Transactions. The entire full-service process takes about a week from the time you submit your recording until you receive a completed monitor in your account (read the script review policy).

Who should use Full-Service Transactions?

Anyone can and may choose the full-service option, and we're glad to help you get your monitors up and running. You may choose Full-service Transactions if:

  • You're not comfortable working with scripting technologies like HTML, CSS, JSON, and XPath,
  • You simply don't have the time or resources to dedicate to the task, or
  • You just don't want to do it.

If you choose to use Full-Service Transactions, you need to:

  1. Practice your transactions for a cleaner recording.
  2. Record and submit your recordings for scripting.
  3. Put your feet up, and let us handle the heavy lifting.

So when you're ready, jump over to our next lesson on downloading and using the Transaction Recorder. After you complete your recording and submit it for review, go directly to the lesson, Making sense of your transaction dashboards and reports.

Note: If you need a little extra help understanding Web Application Monitoring or you need a systematic approach to understanding your transactions, we've got a couple additional lessons you may want to review:
 

Self-Service Transactions

With Self-Service Transactions, you have complete control of your transaction scripting. You have several options available for achieving your scripting goals. You can:

Who should use Self-Service Transactions?

We encourage everyone to use or try Self-Service Transactions. It doesn't cost anything to edit and test scripts in development mode. You can't break anything if you get it wrong, and you may find it fun (we do). Support is always there to help you along or take over if you would like.

You may want to try Self-Service Transactions if:

  • You're comfortable with basic web technology, and you can typically figure things out.
  • You're well versed in the client-side technologies like HTML, CSS, XPath, and JSON.
  • You have an adventurous spirit and enjoy trying new things.

If you choose to use Self-Service Transactions:

  1. Use the Transaction Recorder for a quick start.
    You can skip the Transaction Recorder and work directly with the Step Editor if you choose. But, why not save yourself some time and hassle and import an easy to edit script from the Transaction Recorder? We triple-double-dare you; you won't regret it.
  2. Open up your new monitor in your Uptrends account and edit and test away.
 

Wait: There is a third option for the power user

If you choose, you can skip the Transaction Recorder and the Step Editor and enter your script using the scripting text editor in your monitor settings. Just click the Toggle to script button at the top of the Steps tab and edit or paste your script.

You can also use the API to create new transaction monitors, edit, and test your monitors. Talking about power! We do suggest that you review the lessons here before making your scripting decisions.