Real User Monitoring – Its Applications, Advantages And Limitations

Real User Monitoring

For any business to be successful, it’s very important to reach the target users effectively. And in this era of digitalization almost every business has its presence online to reach its users through applications and websites. Real User Monitoring play’s an important role to know the end-user experience and impact of their platform on users.
Let’s take a closer look at Real User Monitoring(RUM), its importance, applications, and what its approaches are in Detail.

What is Real User Monitoring?

Real User Monitoring is a type of Digital Experience Monitoring that monitors the actual user’s actions or behavior while interacting with a website or application. It can also be termed as Real User Metrics or End-User Experience Monitoring (EUM). Knowing the actions of the user with the applications gives a good idea of how the user’s experience is. Then with the help of RUM data, you can analyze the data and work on how to improvise the user’s experience.

RUM Real User Monitoring will be the most accurate as it gets the data based on the actions of the actual end-user. RUM monitoring doesn’t just collect the user’s activity, but also the information, such as page views, page load time, version of the browser, and the location of the user which help prepare accurate RUM Reports.

Real User Monitoring Examples

Presently, Real End-user Experience Monitoring is used to monitor the applications to find out the problems that aren’t detected by other testing procedures.

Here are a few examples

  • Continuous User Experience Monitoring of a blog post or website allows the developer to find out pinpointedly when and where exactly the website page load time and loading timeout increases.
  • With the help of Real User Monitoring tools, the development team of a website eliminates the need for manual crawling their website for issues. The RUM tools discover the parts of the website which perform poorly or properly.
  • Tech leads at banks that are end-user portals, can make use of Real End-User Experience Monitoring to detect intermittent issues like login failures, timeouts while time-to-time assessing the health of their portal.

How Does RUM Works?

RUM monitoring technology collects the data directly from the browser of the user when they explore the website/application via a small piece of code (JavaScript to be precise) embedded on each page.

It is capable of capturing the live sessions and can replay them. We can examine every visit individually, for instance, which pages the user visited, for how long, responsiveness, and spots when and where the pages malfunction. RUM performance Reports can be used to troubleshoot and fix the identified user issues.

Benefits of Real User Monitoring

  • RUM provides full visibility into the software performance.
  • Identifies and diagnoses the issues related to front-end performance.
  • Presents a brief measurement of the impact of the changes and optimizations made.
  • RUM can replay the user visiting session and track the path to the surface hidden paths.
  • RUM also helps the tech lead to decide where to invest more.

Limitation of Real User Monitoring

With all its benefits, RUM also has some limitations. RUM can only track the users where they interact with the application/website.

But, it cannot track the server performance or the server-level API calls.

  • RUM cannot track the competitors’ websites and hence you cannot evaluate your site by comparing it with another.
  • RUM reports are reliable only when there is a considerable amount of traffic on the website/application taken into consideration.
  • RUM works fine in the pre-production environment, provided there is enough traffic.

Real User Monitoring Vs Synthetic Monitoring

While Real User Monitoring RUM is a passive web monitoring technique because it relies on continuous tracking of the website regarding functionality, performance, and responsiveness, Synthetic Monitoring is an active web monitoring where scripted user traffic is simulated to measure the performance of the application in a simulated environment. As we know, simulation of every scenario is impossible, so Synthetic Monitoring cannot give a report showing the performance in hands of real users.

This active monitoring helps in testing the application before launch. But unlike Synthetic Monitoring, RUM never rests. It collects the data continuously across each request from each user using a different browser.

While RUM collects the Real User experience directly from the browser, Synthetic Monitoring cannot account for the complex user navigation ways. It can only test in the environment which you have simulated.

Basic steps in Real User Monitoring

The basic process of data collection follows the given steps:

1. Capture: The user monitors capture the data, such as requests for pages, JSON, page, and object hit from a browser or a server and its log files.
2. Sessionization: Then the captured data is re-assembled into a record containing pages, like individual visits along with the timing information.
3. Problem detection: The object hits, visits, and pages are examined to spot special instances such as errors, increase in page load times, slow responses, etc.
4. Individual Visit Reporting: The individual visits are then recreated. While some visits are replayed to show what exactly the user saw, some just present a summary of the visit.
5. Reporting and Segmentation: Looking at the aggregated data, the page availability and performance across different browsers and user segments are assessed.
6. Alerting: An alert mechanism is triggered soon after spotting a serious issue.

Future of Real User Monitoring

Today we are living in an era of continuously increasing online activity and mobility. Technology is changing considerably in a matter of an eye blink. In such a scenario, the businesses have to grow digitally to sustain themselves in this competitive market. So, they have to be online and should be continuously improving their user experiences and that’s where exactly the Real User Monitoring proves to be useful.

The capacity of user experience monitoring will continue to be an increasing need for the competitive technical world. So we can say that RUM has a promising future.

Conclusion

For every Business, it’s an important thing to deliver a good experience to the users whenever they interact with their application. So they should be continuously monitoring the user experience. Hence, RUM or User Experience Monitor can be useful for them in understanding user experience, identification of issues that lead to bad user experience, and diagnosing the arisen issue.

Like how issues on the client-side (browser) impact end-user experience, issues on the server-side also severely impact end-user experience. So, it is necessary to monitor server-side applications as well. We at Seagence help software developers and enterprises with products to monitor their server-side production applications. Seagence’s production Defect Monitoring tools uncover all production defects with root cause in real time and alerts eliminating the need for debugging.

All you need to do is to attach a lightweight runtime java agent when you start your application. That’s it. Whenever a defect occurs in your production, you will get an alert directly to your inbox. Upon opening the alert, you will the failing functionality and the root cause exception stack trace. You will find more debug information, if needed, on SeagenceWeb.

Sounds great right? Then why not try using the Seagence Defect Monitoring tool.

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