Today’s Tip focuses on one of Catchpoint’s core functionalities: our real user monitoring or RUM solution. While recording and replaying transactions with Catchpoint’s synthetic monitoring offering is undeniably robust and powerful thanks to our 830+ worldwide monitoring locations, it doesn’t change the inherent value of live data when it comes to analyzing real user experience. 

Who Needs Real User Monitoring? 

Before we get into who needs real user monitoring and why, let’s pull back a moment to define it. RUM is a form of passive monitoring that provides you with the most accurate insight into your user experience. This is because RUM data is collected in real-time via a code snippet added to the webpage. RUM tags inserted directly into webpages or apps allow us to analyze the availability, functionality, and responsiveness of all components and services. RUM will tell a provider like Amazon if their users are experiencing connectivity/usability failures in real-time. 

Real user monitoring tools (passive monitoring) have become essential to front-end developers, digital product managers, and technical leads, among others, at enterprises of all sizes. RUM metrics are also an invaluable tool for business leaders, managers, and other stakeholders in understanding the actual service-level quality delivered to their end-users.  

Synthetic Monitoring vs. Real User Monitoring 

Synthetic testing is performed using a web browser emulation or scripted recordings of web transactions. Behavioral scripts simulate a customer or end-user action or path across a website or app. Synthetic monitoring (also known as proactive monitoring) is invaluable not only because you can run multiple apps from locations around the world, but it is also uniquely good at controlled testing, availability monitoring, and incident troubleshooting. 

However, synthetic monitoring simulates user experience where the test is run, thus can miss the ‘real user’ part of the digital user experience. Having cloud nodes run synthetic tests on cloud devices means the last-mile/mid-tier providers aren’t taken into the equation. 

RUM, meanwhile, provides users an additional perspective from which to gauge digital experience. By having Catchpoint monitor web requests, IT teams can see live user data as end users are accessing the page. RUM adds weight to things like ‘What-if’ modeling by providing insights from different devices, browsers, and networks that can highlight issues unique to real user traffic. Read this blog here for a more detailed comparison. 

Benefits of RUM 

Some of the key benefits of RUM include: 

  • Full visibility into software performance via an array of rich metrics such as First Byte, First Paint, First Interactive, etc. for each user, on a geographic basis; 
  • Pinpoint key differences between different OSes and browsers;  
  • Provides an accurate way to understand real load times in different locations; and 
  • Data visualizations depicting load times, frontend errors, app dependencies, and more.  

Why Catchpoint’s RUM Solution Delivers Value 

In this video, you will: 

  • Gain insight into the nature of Real User Monitoring, who uses it, and why it is complementary to Synthetic Monitoring; 
  • Comprehend why the Catchpoint RUM sites and tags are set up in a lab perspective; 
  • See what a RUM dashboard in Catchpoint looks like through a detailed, yet succinct guided demo. 

To find out more about Catchpoint’s industry-leading solution, check out our Primer on Real User Monitoring.