Front-end Application Monitoring

Identify Issues, Aggregate Errors, & Monitor Performance

What is front-end application monitoring?

Front-end application monitoring is a relatively new term that is used to describe tools which are used by developers, engineers, and product owners to keep track of, maintain, and fix web apps, native apps, and websites. Front-end application monitoring differs from more typical application performance monitoring tools (or APM) because they focus on what an end user sees, rather than the events that can be retrieved by the server an app or website is hosted on. 

Why is monitoring important for front-end?

While there are dozens of backend monitoring tools and log aggregation services, there are very few front-end application monitoring tools. Applications with interfaces that are exposed to users are becoming more complex and more powerful. With this trend comes the possibility of more going wrong. Any kind of downtime or degradation of the front-end of an app can lead to severe losses in revenue, customer happiness, or wasted engineering resources. 

Whether it’s a public-facing website, an internal employee application, or a SaaS product, understanding how the front-end of an application performs should be top of mind for any engineer, developer, or support specialist. 

What do front-end application monitoring tools look for?

  • JavaScript errors: the majority of web apps and websites depend on JavaScript to function. Because of this, one of the major goals of a front-end monitoring tool is to identify JavaScript errors, how often they happen, and how severe their impact is. Typically, many JavaScript errors only are recorded in the client and cannot be seen without a front-end monitoring tool. 
  • Network request failures: Web sites and web apps integrate with or rely on dozens of external services to function, in addition, they make thousands of requests to the server in which they are hosted on. Front-end monitoring tools will record the HTTP requests and responses that a user initiates. 
  • Framework-specific problems: Frameworks like React or Angular are incredibly powerful and have made the lives of developers much easier. Front-end application monitoring tools will provide additional reporting for issues encountered with functionality in these frameworks, such as what state the application was in. 
  • User experience issues: These tools will also monitor for events like “rage clicks”, where a user clicks an element multiple times very quickly. They will also look to make sure certain elements rendered correctly or detect if a user is stuck in a navigation loop. 
  • Performance issues: In addition to the aspects above, front-end APM tools will also track performance metrics like average time to load a page/element, average server response time, time to first paint, and more. 

If you are considering deploying a front-end application monitoring tool to help identify and fix issues, LogRocket should be on your evaluation list. LogRocket paris session replay with the ability to capture rich technical information to make your developer’s lives easier and your applications more robust. Get a free trial today.

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Front-End Application Monitoring