How to choose remote browser logging service provider.

How to choose remote browser logging service provider

With the variety of operating systems, browsers and versions that are in use, it won't be surprising your site users contacting you with issues their side. Are you better equipped with the tools and services ready to handle and resolve such client-side issues?

What is remote browser logging anyway?

In simple terms, making your website users browser-side logs available on a remote server is remote browser logging.

Suppose you have created a website based on your wonderful idea and started offering the solution to the public. Sooner or later, you will hear from your users for help, that something is not working as expected. To troubleshoot the issues, these logs come in handy to your developers, as those logs convey various functionalities executed client-side that resulted in an error condition.

In contrast, the browser logs that are local to the machine or saved locally is local logging. Sharing data using local logging is often cumbersome.

How it is done?

Though there are several ways to remote upload browser logs, one popular way is using the HTTP POST method. Simply by aggregating the log messages and uploading them to a central server you can achieve remote browser logging. You may choose to upload the logs periodically or based on size or both.

Obviously, you need to spend your time and energy on building such a solution.

There are several companies which provide remote browser logging service that you can readily use. Usually, you need to include few lines of javascript code snippet and the 3rd party service takes care of aggregating and uploading to the central server.

How to choose a logging service provider?

With so many providers in remote browser logging business, it can be confusing to select one. Here are the general guidelines:

  • Easy of use - You don't want to write a ton of code just to start using a browser logging service. The service should be easy enough to get you started in no time.
  • Logs and Reports - The purpose of remote browser logging is to make the log messages available even after user closes their browser session. Select a service that also has capabilities to show graphs and reports, that you can use to observe trends and patterns.
  • Security and Data retention - Ensure your browser logs are available for extended periods of time and adopts best data security policies.
  • Highly Flexible - Browser logging service should be flexible enough to turn on or off entirely, without making code changes. For instance, SiteDynamics gives you the ability to turn on remote browser logging even for just one IP address.
  • Ability to download data - You may want to download the browser log data to feed into your advanced analytics system. The service should have the option to download the data.
  • Notifications / Alerts - The service should notify you upon error messages in the log. You don't want your users to do the job of testers.
  • Something extra - One of the purposes of remote browser logging is troubleshooting client-side issues. Look for services that provide something in addition to logging. For example, you may want to know the performance metrics of the user, in addition to logs. Or errors generated for the user having the issue. Look for a service that is all in one.

With ever-increasing competition in the digital world, it is imperative that you have all the tools needed to resolve your user issues and keep users happy, which is part of user experience & satisfaction. Remote browser logging is a tool that helps you in that direction.

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