Documentation forSolarWinds Observability

Synthetic transactions

Many of the modern websites and website applications that you use today involve many steps in everyday operations. For example, let's say you have a website where you sell fossils. On your website, users can register for your email list, add fossils to their cart and checkout, or sign up for notifications about a specific product. Each of these examples would be considered a transaction that would produce a desired output for your website. These transactions often contain multiple steps and can span multiple pages across your website. It's critical for the health of your website and your overall business that these transactions perform correctly — the last thing you'd want is for your customers not to be able to purchase your products.

Synthetic transaction monitoring with SolarWinds Observability provides a way to automate and test these website interactions synthetically so that you can be sure your website is performing as intended. If something fails during a Synthetic transaction, you can be notified with set alerts.

How are Synthetic transactions counted?

The Synthetic transactions count is calculated using the following formula: Synthetic transaction x Locations tested from = Synthetic transaction count.

For each Synthetic transaction that’s purchased, you can run its test as frequently as every 5 minutes. You will only pay for your Synthetic transaction count, no matter how frequently the Synthetic transaction’s tests are run. For example, if you have 3 Synthetic transactions, that each test in one region, your Synthetic transaction count is 3. Each Synthetic transaction counts as 5 Synthetic checks, meaning that 3 Synthetic transactions count as 15 Synthetic checks. See the Subscription topic for more information.

Add a Synthetic transaction

See Add a Synthetic transaction for complete instructions.

Write a test definition example

In the Add a Synthetic transaction wizard, you will configure: Details, Test Definition, and Summary. In the Details phase you name your Synthetic transaction, determine the location(s) that you will test from, and set up your testing interval. In the Test Definition segment, you must define what your Synthetic transaction will do to constitute a "test". This test definition can range from relatively complex where a number of website functions are tested, to something simpler, such as accessing a website and clicking on a specific anchor. Let's see an example.

After completing steps 1 through 8 of the Add a Synthetic transaction topic, you will find yourself needing to define a test definition. For our example, we want to go to the SolarWinds Documentation website, navigate to SolarWinds Observability documentation, and open the release notes.

Step 1 - Navigate to SolarWinds documentation

In the Type a script field, we want to begin by typing "Go to URL". As we type the desired step, the SolarWinds Observability Add Transaction dialog suggests commands that match what we are trying to execute "Go to URL URL". In our instance, our step "Go to URL includes two parts, the first being the command keyphrase "Go to URL" and the second being the keyphrase token 'target' where we want to navigate "". Press enter to go to the next line.

Step 2 - Click observability

On the SolarWinds Documentation website, we want to navigate to the SolarWinds Observability documentation. On the documentation site, products are organized by category with links for each specific product. To go to SolarWinds Observability documentation we can click the link, so on our next line we want our step to "Click SolarWinds Observability". In this instance, our step "Click SolarWinds Observability" contains two parts, the first being the keyphrase command "Click element" and the second being the keyphrase token which represents the clickable link on the documentation site "SolarWinds Observability". When you start typing your command into the command line, the autocomplete feature will make suggestions regarding the step and keyphrase token(s). Click the desired suggestion, or press enter on the highlighted suggestion to add your step.

Step 3 - Click release notes

Finally, after we've successfully navigated to the SolarWinds Observability documentation, we want to view the product release notes. Similar to above, the release notes are a clickable link on the SolarWinds Observability documentation site. To go to the SolarWinds Observability release notes, our next step will be to "Click Release Notes". Just like with step 2, when you start typing your command into the command line, the autocomplete feature will make suggestions regarding the step and keyphrase token(s). Click the desired suggestion, or press enter on the highlighted suggestion to add your step. After entering our final step, we can click next and continue to the summary.

In the Add Transaction summary, we can review our test execution steps and other configuration options. Click Add Synthetic transaction to save the Synthetic transaction.

See Synthetic transaction commands for a list of available commands.

What makes my Synthetic transaction successful?

When you add a Synthetic transaction in SolarWinds Observability, you define the steps, between 1 and 30, your transaction will take to 'test' your website. This can involve navigating to a URL, clicking aspects of your website like buttons, entering text into a field, or clicking on other hypertext links. Each step entered into your Synthetic transaction will count towards the completion of the transaction.

If any one of your steps fails during the execution of your Synthetic transaction, then the Synthetic transaction will result in a failure. Your Synthetic transaction will only be counted as a success once all steps have been successfully executed within a 60 second time limit. After 60 seconds has elapsed, no other steps will be executed and the entire transaction will be considered a failure.

View your Synthetic transactions overview

Click DEM > Synthetic transactions to open the Synthetic transactions overview. View information about the success and error rate of all your Synthetic transactions, a historical overview of your transaction durations, and any active alerts in the Synthetic transaction widgets.

A list of all of your Synthetic transactions is displayed below the widgets, which includes information about the name, errors, success rate percentage, location, resolution tested, test interval and description of each transaction.

Edit or remove any Synthetic transaction listed within the Synthetic transactions overview. Click any transaction name in the Synthetic transaction list to open the Entity Explorer view for that Synthetic transaction. See view Synthetic transaction test results for more information.