Uptime Monitoring

Synthetic Monitoring

By: Adam Smock|Last Updated: Feb 13, 2023

In the world of QA automation, synthetic testing is essential for any software testing process. It verifies your application works as intended from start to finish. Many businesses rely on end-to-end testing to confirm that interconnected components flow in sync without error. Examples are registering on a website and simulating a customer checking out items in a cart.

While end-to-end testing can be done manually, it's more efficient to automate the process. This is especially true if your product grows. It can be rough for any one individual to manage thousands of lines of code or manually test new functionality on an application. With automated end-to-end monitoring, your company requires less manpower, funding, and time to accomplish the same tasks a manual tester would.

This guide introduces automated synthetic testing, its use cases, and provides a few code examples to demonstrate getting started.

What Is Automated Synthetic Testing?

In essence, synthetic testing is telling your IDE or computer to behave like your customer would. Like a human being, it will click buttons, enter inputted information (e.g., name, address), and verify all data is correct. This description may sound similar to real user monitoring (RUM); however, in synthetic testing, the interactions are simulated, while in RUM, real user interactions are monitored to understand how your website is being used in real world scenarios.The advantage of using synthetic testing too is that developers can quickly identify bugs before they impact your end users.

For instance, let's say you want to test the login functionality of your company's website. With synthetic testing, the IDE will go through the username and password fields, fill in parameterized information, and click the submit button. Afterward, your test run will verify you're on the home page post login.

The benefits of using synthetic testing are broad. Companies from tech startups to corporate conglomerates have widely adopted synthetic testing as part of their software testing life cycle. It provides excellent business flow logic and optimized functionality tailored toward your customers and ensures the correctness of an application.

In addition, synthetic monitoring paints a full picture of your feature's workflow for developers involved in the testing lifecycle.

Why All Businesses Should Invest in End-to-End Monitoring

End-to-end monitoring is crucial for testing in your day-to-day operations. It checks if functionality, performance, and business workflows are working as intended. With it, companies have created robust products customers keep coming back to. This section highlights four reasons all businesses should invest in end-to-end monitoring.

Verify Key Transactions Work as Intended

Synthetic monitoring simulates end-user inputs with customer transactions to check if they're in working condition. Without it, unexpected circumstances can lead to bugs, website downtime, and performance issues.

Unlike synthetic testing, with real user monitoring, you can factor in consumer transactions, such as in HTTP uptime/downtime checks and calculating the total execution time of scripts. Therefore, business owners can expect a more robust product with on-demand performance checks.

However, basic uptick checks simply aren't enough for robust transaction monitoring. It's important companies implement an easy workflow setup, verify transaction response times, and identify bottlenecks early on. Companies can also supplement their end-to-end monitoring with RUM, which can provide insights on how customers actually interact with your page and track unique sessions (e.g., page load time in the United States or whether users prefer Chrome or Firefox).

For example, if it takes five minutes to run a simple transaction on your checkout cart, will prospects be inclined to buy into your brand?

Release New Features with Confidence

While unit testing and integration testing are excellent for individual components, they're just too niche to cover a vast interconnected system. With end-to-end monitoring, you can test and deploy the flow of new features with confidence.

Developers also default to using either end-to-end monitoring or functional test methods for smoke or regression tests. This is because end-to-end tests work in a clear, linear fashion. For example, if you're testing login functionality for a new web page using end-to-end testing, your IDE will enter parameterized information on the username and password field. After that, it will click the login button. Along the testing lifecycle, your IDE will verify all inputted data is correct and ensure interactable elements (e.g., the login button) work without error.

This process can be validated multiple times on testing, staging, and live environments to ensure a high-quality product free of errors or bugs.

Run Tests on Staging Environments

Developers routinely use dummy environments to run end-to-end monitoring as part of a smoke or regression test plan. However, they're also incredibly useful for running smoke tests on user acceptance tests (UAT).

Staging environments can be used in end-to-end monitoring as a final pass to verify that vital features, such as checkout forms and user registration, work before they're deployed to production.

Successfully Test Live Environments

With the implementation of CI/CD pipelines, developers can continuously test new features on real-time environments using end-to-end monitoring. This will save you the hassle of rolling back code when issues arise and save money from lost transactions. As an added bonus, companies can build a solid reputation by having a robust, bug-free product consumers enjoy.

However, what makes end-to-end monitoring really stand out compared to simple end-to-end testing is the fact you can continuously run tests on production systems. This allows for real-time feedback and enables developers to catch bugs that weren't found in preproduction settings. The feature that provides real-time feedback on live settings is called synthetic monitoring or active monitoring.

Use Cases for End-to-End Monitoring

When it comes to creating test cases for end-to-end monitoring, it's important to think of the end-user experience, such as page load times, elements loading correctly, and transaction monitoring. This section provides important test cases that should be present in any test plan and includes steps on how to execute them.

Automatically Run Tests with CI/CD

A major benefit of monitoring your pipelines is the insights developers can gain from activity logs, runtime data, and errors. Developers can use these insights to detect edge cases or subtle bugs that weren't detected in earlier test iterations.

For example, automating transactions automating transactions a customer performs on an item is a common test case. If you set up the steps of your test case using Gherkin syntax, a line-oriented language commonly used for defining steps in test cases, you could structure it as follows:

"Given I have an item. When I add the item to the cart. And I click the checkout button. Then I should see the item in the checkout page."

With end-to-end monitoring, CI/CD can run test cases such as simple login functionality, customer transactions, and total execution time per test.

Puppeteer and Playwright are two great tools for end-to-end monitoring on CI/CD processes. They provide headless browser automation and eliminate test flakiness present in UI tools such as Selenium or Cypress.

Ensure Complex Flows and Transactions Work as Expected

When you're a business owner, you don't want issues processing transactions. Without a working transaction system, regular errors will occur. For example, customers won't be able to purchase items, you'll lose valuable revenue, and your company's reputation will take a hit. Therefore, writing easy-to-read, maintainable code is strongly advised when using end-to-end monitoring.

For example, you can easily verify login functionality using the Page Object Model (POM) design pattern to store web elements and the DataProvider class for parameterized variables.

Page Object Model class to store web elements:

public class YourCompanyLogin {
	By login_navbar_button=By.xpath("//span[@class='p-navgroup-linkText'][contains(text(),'Log in')]");
	By username=By.name("login");
	By password=By.name("password");
	By login_button=By.xpath("//button[contains(@class,'login')]");

	public WebElement Loginnav() {
		return driver.findElement(login_navbar_button);

	public WebElement Userid() {
		return driver.findElement(username);

	public WebElement Userpass() {
		return driver.findElement(password);

	public WebElement Login_button() {
		return driver.findElement(login_button);

Login application:

public class LoginApplication extends Base {

	public void Login(String Username, String Password) throws IOException {
		YourCompanyLogin ycl=new YourCompanyLogin(driver);

		Assert.assertEquals(ycl.loginValidation().getText(), "The requested user 'ElonMusk' could not be found.");
		log.info("Successfully logged in and validated user credentials");

	public Object[][] getData() {
		Object[][] data=new Object[1][2];

		return data;


This example presents a simple test to login with the username "ElonMusk" and the password "secret". In the above code, you set up a login function and then used it to parameterize the username and password using DataProvider. Next, you call the YourCompanyLogin class containing your web elements, enter the inputted information, and click the login button.

After this, an assert is used to verify if you've successfully logged in or not.

Monitor Page Load Time in Live Environments

With end-to-end monitoring, it's easy to monitor page load times in real-time settings. On average, Google recommends that pages should load in under two seconds. If load times exceed zero to five seconds, you're losing potential customers invested in your product. With precise page load monitoring, developers can determine how long customers have to wait before they can interact with your website.

If your page takes too long to load, a few use cases and solutions are available.

Monitoring page load times can be easily accomplished using end-to-end monitoring. For example, let's say you run a website forum and want to verify its load time. Using the Apache Log4j framework and a simple assertion can achieve this. Here's an example of using Log4j and Assert to validate your forum page title:

public static Logger log = LogManager.getLogger(Base.class.getName());

public void Login() {
    YourCompanyForum ycf=new YourCompanyForum(driver);
    Assert.assertEquals(ycf.page_title().getText(), "Your Company Forum - Member Forums");
    log.info("Successfully validated forum page title");

When the page loads, Log4j and Assert detect your page title. With this, Log4j notifies the IDE your page loaded successfully.

Alert When Certain Resources Are Not Loading

Loading images, videos, and JS bundles should be a priority for end-to-end monitoring as these are required for optimal user experience. If, for example, an image isn't loading as intended, you could lose conversions and user engagement.

Cronitor's Monitor API can set up alerts to verify if resources are loaded correctly. It allows developers to configure resource settings, including schedules, assertions, alert preferences, and more.

For example, the following is a simple example you can plug in:

"{assertion} {operator} {value}"
"metric.duration < 5 min"
"response.code = 200"

It's a simple metric provided by Cronitor. With a little tinkering, developers can add images, videos, and other resources on test run. If your test output doesn't return an HTTP 200 status code after five minutes, a resource is missing and an alert is sent out.

Is End-to-End Monitoring Important to You?

End-to-end monitoring can save your company from faulty transaction systems, search forms, and other key components required for businesses' day-to-day operations. It provides wide-ranging utilities such as HTTP uptime/downtime, total execution time, and product validation.

If you're looking for a simple yet powerful tool for end-to-end monitoring, check out Cronitor. With Cronitor, you can get performance insights and uptime jobs from websites, APIs, and more. Its straightforward system makes setting up alerts easy for any situation and will monitor vital components of your organization vigilantly.

If you think you're ready to up your performance levels a notch, get started with Cronitor today.

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