Documentation forWeb Performance Monitor

Work with client certificates in recordings

Starting in WPM 2020.2, you can use the Web Transaction Recorder to create recordings that check for valid client certificates. When you record a sequence of steps that navigates to a page with a certificate, you're prompted to select a certificate for that step.

When you select a certificate, WPM stores the following data in an authentication binding that is saved within the recording: 

  • The URL for the secured page (or portion) and,
  • The Common Name (CN) property of the certificate.

After you link a certificate to a recording, a Key icon appears at the top of the Recorded Steps pane. Click the Key icon to display certificates related to the recording, and any other type of authentication that was applied. Click the Options () icon to see available commands for each row, as shown here:

A single step can include multiple types of authentication, as shown here. Click the Options () icon to display available commands for that row, such as Edit or Delete.

Note the following details about working with certificates in WPM recordings:

  • This feature is not supported in:
  • Unlike the Deprecated WPM Recorder, the Web Transaction Recorder does not save certificates in recordings. Install a client certificate into the personal certificate store for each SEUM-User account used by the WPM Player service to playback recordings on remote systems.
    SolarWinds recommends using a GPO to install certificates, and then using domain accounts for playback. You can also install certificates on remote systems individually, as described in the WPM Getting Started Guide.

    Removing a step where authentication was applied may render later steps and actions inaccessible, which will block playback. It may be easier to start over with a new recording.

  • Playback fails if the hostname for a secured page changed and WPM cannot match it with the URL property of the binding. Remove the original binding and create a new binding instead. You may need to recreate the entire recording.
  • If playback fails on a remote system that has no certificates installed, WPM will not prompt you to select a required certificate. Install at least one certificate, even if it's not the certificate the recording requires.

Create recordings for websites without valid certificates

Many WPM tools are designed to be flexible so you can apply them to a variety of situations. For example, you can use text validation or Image Match in a recording to check for either a positive or negative result.

Similarly, you can create various recordings that test how certificates are handled, as described in the following examples:

  • Check a certificate and only proceed to the next step after a positive result. You can then create transactions based on the recording that are hosted on remote machines without valid certificates to test how a website handles invalid certificates.
  • Check a certificate and then block playback due to a negative result.
  • Check a certificate, determine it is invalid, and then add a step that simulates a user deciding to trust the certificate anyway (for example, a self-signed certificate on a device management page).
  • Skip Certificate Authority (CA) validation for a self-signed certificate.

To support playback of recordings with self-signed, expired, or invalid certificates on remote systems, add sites to the Hosts file stored in the following default location:

C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts

You can use this same technique on remote systems that host the WPM Player service, to support playback of any transactions that are based on recordings that meet the same criteria.