Blog Post

Tips for Monitoring Single Page Applications Using RUM

Monitoring the SPA performance helps the business to understand the path an end user takes through the site and makes it easier to identify bottleneck(s).

Single page application (SPA) is a web application that has a single HTML page and dynamically updates the views depending on user interaction. SPAs provide a rich user experience with its simplicity; a customer can access the website on multiple different platforms and devices and still get the same experience. Monitoring the SPA performance helps the business to understand the path an end user takes through the site and makes it easier to identify bottleneck(s).

Important metrics to capture for SPA

As SPA packs everything into one page the complexity increases, which complicates the process of monitoring the speed and performance. Unlike multi-page applications (MPA), SPAs will have soft navigation or routing. Views are loaded and/or unloaded depending on the user flow of interaction and it communicates via Ajax calls or Javascript. In order to monitor SPA, we need to capture metrics such as visually complete, JS error, error details, # visits, etc. for each loaded view. In addition to these, we also need to track the loading and unloading of the views.

Identifying JavaScript errors

Javascript plays a major role on the client side as each view loading and unloading will be taken care of by Javascript/Ajax calls. To provide a rich user experience, we need to make sure that javascript is error-free and installed add-ons/extensions do not cause any issues to the SPA’s Javascript like blocking JS, resources, or page crash. In MPA, errors in Javascript(s) have an impact on only specific pages, but in SPA, an error can affect the entire site’s user experience and functionality.

Catchpoint RUM provides effortless in-depth analysis. It tracks each and every soft navigation and ensures that everyone is getting the best experience possible. It provides insight into Javascript errors along with sufficient details. In addition to soft navigation, it continues to monitor hard navigations as well. Using a monitoring tool like Catchpoint allows you to analyze the failures with a single click. The analysis is not limited to just a metric, either; you can dig into each sample and can get an in-depth insight into those.

Instead of spending time on debugging or finding the root cause, you can directly jump into to the specific script, get it corrected, and make the script error-free.

Ensuring better performance

Hiccups in Ajax calls, delay in loading resources, or buggy scripts may cause delays in time to load the views or sometimes view might not load completely which might restrict user to complete the transaction. Visually complete is one of the important metrics when it comes to SPA.  Visually complete measures how long it takes for the webpage to be visible to the end user’s eyes. Monitoring visually complete in SPA can be tedious job as metrics are collected and calculated manually from Chrome Developer Tools. But, using Catchpoint RUM SPA support, monitoring visually complete is easy. You can monitor visually complete either by using dashboard or configuring alert to receive instant alerts when page takes longer than expected visual completion time.

Hybrid application – SPA and MPAs

With drastic changes in technology, we are now seeing a hybrid application in the form of the combination of SPAs and MPAs. For these hybrid applications, performance monitoring can become complicated. Be sure to deploy a monitoring tool that offers instant alerting, so that whenever your application performance begins to degrade, you can optimize them back acceptable performance levels within seconds. This will ensure that your application is providing the best performance 24/7. Using RUM SPA, you will be get the dual advantage of better performance and UI/UX.

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