How to create devices and tasks

HTTP/S task

An HTTP/S task checks a single URL for availability, performance, proper content, errors, and broken links. It supports POST and GET requests, cookies, form submissions, custom headers, password secured sites (basic HTTP/HTTPS authorization as well as cookie/script authorization mechanisms), and timeout thresholds. The HTTP task supports monitoring of both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.

HTTPS tasks can validate security certificates, check certificate authority, check for expiration and send you reminders when the certificate expiration date is approaching.

For websites with significant JavaScript or Ajax, or for “user experience” transaction monitoring, the browser-based UserView Monitoring Web Application Monitoring service is recommended.

Creating an HTTP/S task

Once you have created a device and are adding or editing an HTTP task, you will be prompted to adjust the following settings.

URL

Enter the URL of the page you wish to perform the task on. It should be formatted as such: www.example.com.

You can turn on a visually friendly input mode by clicking the Detailed switcher on the top of the section.

SSL/Certificate Check for HTTPS task

Secure Socket Layer SSL Certificate Monitoring is a standard aspect of HTTPS monitoring.

For an HTTPS task, the following additional options are available:

  • Authority: verifies whether a certificate chain contains a root certificate that is trusted, or not trusted.
  • Common Name (CN): validates that an address you navigate to matches the address certificate the address was signed to.
  • Date: verifies the certificate expiration date.
  • Revocation: validates that the certificate’s chain of trust doesn’t contain a revoked certificate.
  • Usage: verifies a certificate chain for the improper use of an intermediate certificate.
  • Expiration Reminder in Days: a reminder that notifies (as an error) about certificate expiration.
  • Client Certificate: client certificate name.

Completion Timeout (in seconds)

Enter the number of seconds the task should wait for a response from the web page before aborting the task and returning an error. If this is left blank the default timeout for a task is 120 seconds.

Request Type

You can send a GET or a POST request to the web page. Selecting a GET request will simply retrieve data from the web server.  Selecting a POST request indicates that you are including a set of data for the server to act upon.  Note:  if you set the request type to POST but do not specify a POST parameter in the additional parameters section below, the POST value will default back to get upon saving the task.

Content validation

Content Validation Keywords are used to ensure that the expected content was loaded onto a web page.

In the Keyword fields, you can specify one or more words or phrases that you wish to search for in the web page content.  If the expected keywords are not found the task will return an error.

You can enter multiple strings into the keyword fields.  The values you enter can be separated by logical expressions as follows:
{[(“keyword1″&”keyword2″)|!”keyword3″]}
]} – keyword expression end;
where
{[ – keyword expression start;
() – grouping brackets;
& – logical AND;
| – logical OR;
! – logical NOT;
“string” – a keyword;

A successful Keyword expression must include the start and end brackets as follows:

{[“keyword”]}

Basic Authentication

Basic authentication is used to allow users to access content on some websites.

Username: this field contains a username for HTTP/S basic or digest access authentication.

User Password: the field contains a password for HTTP/S basic or digest access authentication.

Read the article on Authentication username and password for more information.

Headers

The option allows to add any additional custom headers in the following format (by “=” symbol, each header should start from a new line):

Header_name_1 = "value"
Header_name_2 = "value"

Header Name: specify the name of the parameter as it will appear in the request.

Value: enter the value associated with the name of the parameter.

User-Agent header used by the Dotcom-Monitor HTTP task: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 1.0.3705).

However, the IE6 user string can be replaced with any other string. To do this, add a custom header with the name “user-agent” and the specific value needed.

Post Data options for Post requests

If Post request type was selected you can specify the following Post parameters:

  • Name: the name of the parameter as it will appear in the request.
  • Value: the value associated with the name of the parameter.

Read the article on Authentication username and password for more information.

DNS Options

The DNS Options feature allows users to choose how domain name server (DNS) requests are conducted during a monitoring task.

To specify the mode of resolving hostnames, in the DNS Resolve Mode section, select one of the available modes. For more details on the feature configuration, see DNS Mode Options.

The Custom DNS Hosts section contains the mappings of IP addresses to hostnames.

To specify the mapping, enter the IP address and the host name in the corresponding fields.

Examples:

192.168.107.246   example.com user.example.com userauth.example.com tools.example.com
192.168.107.246   example.com
192.168.107.246   user.example.com
192.168.107.246   userauth.example.com

Prepare Script

The field can contain C# code, which can be used for specific POST, GET and URL data. For example, it could be a random-number generator, or for pulling atypical parameters. It can be used, for example, to generate a dynamic URL depending on previous requests (for example, if it gives less than 1000 links – open URL “A” if more than 1000 links then open URL “B”) Please contact technical support for more details on usage.