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Web Monitoring FAQ

Which Browser Add-on Should I use?

Although the iMacros for Firefox add-on and iMacros for Internet Explorer share much of the same functionality, iMacros for Internet Explorer has a few additional features:

  1. With iMacros for IE you can test Flash, Silverlight.
  2.  With iMacros for IE you can test Ajax drag & drop.
  3. iMacros for IE has a wizard to use for convenient creation of image search input images. This functionality will be included in the Firefox add-on soon.

REMEMBER: You’ll want to use both browser add-ons for multi-browser testing, as some website bugs show up only in specific browsers.

How do I monitor HTTP Basic Authentication protected websites?

The best way to monitor this is to create an iMacros sensor to log into the website. You can simply record the login process with an iMacros Browser add-on.

How do I monitor Flash applets?

If you want to create or change Flash monitoring scripts:

  1. Download the iMacros Standard Edition (free license included with the PRO2 and PRO3 account types), and
  2. Use the iMacros Browser or iMacros for Internet Explorer for Flash monitoring. These versions support the DirectScreen and computer vision-based image search commands.

Free iMacros macro creation service

We offer a free iMacros macro creation service to our new PRO account customers to help you get started with Alertfox. Send us a series of screenshots that describe the web transactions that need to be monitored and we’ll create the transaction monitoring macros for you within one or two business days. The completed macro(s) is then added directly to your Alertfox account, where you can test it yourself and modify as needed.

How do I monitor HTTP Basic Authentication protected websites?

The best way to monitor this is to create an iMacros sensor to log into the website. You can simply record the login process with an iMacros Browser add-on or use this macro below:


How do I monitor HTTPS (SSL)-encrypted websites?

You can create an iMacros sensor to monitor a HTTPS website’s uptime and functionality . The iMacros sensor will monitor the performance of the site accurately in a real browser and also check the certificate validity and expiration, making sure all important features really work.

Note: If you want to monitor test or staging servers that use self-signed certificates, we can install your certificates on our monitoring servers (PRO3  accounts).

How do I search for a specific keyword on a web page with iMacros?

This question is answered in the iMacros FAQ: How can I search for a specific keyword on a web page?

How do I verify that a downloaded file is correct?

AlertFox uses the iMacros ONDOWNLOAD Checksum feature to verify the integrity of a downloaded file.

How do I monitor the file download speed?

The following macro monitors the imacros-setup.exe file download speed:

Since the only thing that the macro does is to download the file, the macro runtime = download time!

How do I monitor a payment gateway?

There are some test credit card numbers available that can be used to test credit card handling software. But none of these numbers will work when trying to buy something (if you hadn’t guessed).

As we can see from our customers, the only way to completely (end to end) test a payment gateway like Paypal is to use a real credit card. Banks do not supply test credit cards. Some customers use specific real credit cards for their web testing so they can monitor the charges easily. Our customer area is SSL protected, so you can securely enter macros with credit card information in our website. Just make sure that you do not trigger a real shipment with such a test order, e. g. by ordering a test product or a service.

How do I monitor video buffering speed?

AlertFox can monitor the buffering speed for all kinds of online videos. It measures the time from the page load until the video starts to play. You can also check on other events, such as the Flash player itself appearing on the website. This is achieved does this inside a real web browser using image recognition (computer vision), so that the real user experience is monitored.

How do I detect Javascript errors?

Add the command below to your macro. This tells AlertFox to stop on a Javascript error and report the issue. By default, AlertFox ignores Javascript errors unless they cause the monitored functionality to fail.


How can I do SOAP Monitoring?

AlertFox does not have a dedicated SOAP Monitoring sensor, but you can use the HTTP Sensor and its powerful keyword check feature to monitor SOAP and REST (RESTful) services. It is a simple matter to convert the XML structure into a URL-encoded structure.

For more information about SOAP and REST see also Generic SOAP client and Convert XML to URL-encoded structure.

How do I detect if individual steps are taking to long to complete?

You can add the command before any command that you want to limit to max. seconds. So if a certain action (e. g. an Ajax request) takes longer, AlertFox will report an error. The default without this setting is six seconds per TAG or IMAGESEARCH/IMAGECLICK command.


For page loads, use the command

The default is 60 seconds. Detailed performance information is available in the HTTP traffic performance logs (HAR) and the macro performance profiles that AlertFox reports on each error.

How do I monitor Remote Desktop connection?

If you are using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to a remote server, then you can enable the Remote Desktop Web Connection on the server and monitor it over the web, using AlertFox.

For more information about Remote Desktop Web Connection visit this Microsoft webpage.

Need help configuring your RDP monitoring? Please Contact us for further details

Do you monitor ActiveX controls?

Yes, we fully support monitoring ActiveX controls. While we don’t allow our measurement stations to accept arbitrary plugins/ActiveX controls automatically, we can add yours manually.

Can I do email round-trip monitoring?

Our transaction checks can be scripted to monitor availability and performance of a sample email round-trip 2-step session, to ensure that your incoming and outgoing email services are working properly and in a timely manner from an end-to-end perspective. The alerts and the reports clearly indicate at which stage the email system test failed, so troubleshooting can be performed in minimum time.

How can I use current date and time, e.g. for random string generation?

You can use iMacros !NOW variable, which returns the current time and date in a format you select. Please refer to !NOW  for more details. Please tote that !NOW variable always returns the system time of the server the macro is executed on (normally our servers are set to UTC) and thus it can’t take your timezone settings into account. If the timezone is important, you can have your macro navigate to a website that displays the time you need (e.g. and extract the time stamp. Contact us for further assistance.

How do I monitor DNSSEC?

While there is no separate DNSSEC sensor type, AlertFox can check DNSSEC by using internet services like the Verisign Labs DNSSEC Debugger. If that is all you need, then an HTTP sensor will work. However, using an iMacros sensor, you can use any other online service as well. If you are a PRO customer, we will create such a test for you. Contact us for further assistance.

Can I encrypt login passwords in our macros?

For iMacros to decrypt a password and enter it into a login form, it needs to know the master password used to encrypt the password. This is usually accomplished with one of the following methods:

  1. Stored master password. The master password used to encrypt/decrypt the login password is stored on the machine running iMacros. Because AlertFox runs macros for many different customers on many different servers, it is not possible to simply store one master password on the machine itself. Each customer requires their own master password.
  2. Prompt for the master password. iMacros will prompt the user to enter the master password the first time it is required. This option is not viable with AlertFox since obviously, the macro is running in the cloud and there is no user available to enter the master password.

We could offer an implementation of the first method above by allowing each AlertFox account holder to assign a master password to their account. This password would then be encrypted using a passphrase (known only to AlertFox) and stored within the AlertFox system. The passwords in your macros could then be encrypted using this master password, and when AlertFox runs one of these macros, it would retrieve your master password and pass it along to iMacros.

The problem with this approach is that it still does not offer the level of security that you might require, primarily because your master password is stored on the AlertFox server. Anyone who happens to compromise the AlertFox server could potentially access your master password, and hence the login passwords in your macros. This is why we don’t offer this method.

The best solution

The best solution is one where the master password is not stored on the same system with your macros. This is possible with the AlertFox iDrone. With this configuration, the master password used for decryption stays locally on the iDrone and never reaches the AlertFox servers. If you would like to try this solution, please visit the iDrone page in the AlertFox application for download/setup details and general information on what it has to offer.

Yes, all Real Browser Sensors are cookie aware.

Are they kept or deleted after each test?

For sensors using Firefox and Chrome, cookies and cache are deleted after each test. For sensors running in Internet Explorer or the iMacros Browser, cookies and cache are removed periodically, approximately every 20 minutes.