We base the price of monitoring a transaction on the number of transaction monitors assigned to the transaction. The number of transaction monitors used translates directly into the overall cost of the monitoring. So how is the number of monitors calculated? We get asked this a lot, and the confusion surrounding the topic is no surprise, for most of the confusion is due to semantics. In this article, we define what we mean when we say transaction, transaction monitor, and transaction step and we explain how we calculate that magic number of transaction monitors.

Transaction: A transaction is a user’s journey to complete a task on your website. Transactions include tasks like logging in, making a purchase, submitting a form, requesting a document, setting up an account, requesting a password reset, and more. It is the transaction you are interested in verifying with transaction monitors.

Transaction step: The individual actions that lead the user down the path to the completion of a task. In a single step, a user makes selections, completes forms, and ultimately clicks a button or link to move onto the next step in their journey. Each step ends with a server request for new content so that the user can continue their journey towards completing a task.

Transaction monitor: A single transaction monitor watches a single server request. A transaction will contain two or more transaction monitors.

So where is the confusion?

You may have heard someone say that we base the price of monitoring a transaction on the number of steps in a transaction. That is only true in a perfect world. We determine how many transaction monitors a transaction uses based on the number of server requests that result in content changes and if the transaction monitor includes any waterfall reports or screenshots. When writing your script we attempt to restrict each step to a single server request, but sometimes a step contains two server requests or none at all. To simply say that each step in a transaction is equal to one transaction monitor, just isn’t always true.

The transaction monitor calculation

If you want a formula for calculating the number of monitors required for a single transaction try this:

Number of server requests + number of waterfall charts + number of screenshots = total number of transaction monitors

Although most of the time the above formula will work, as stated earlier, other factors may increase or reduce the total number of monitors.


If you find yourself scratching your head wondering how we made the transaction monitor calculation, contact support. Our support team will review the transaction with you to clear up any confusion.