Browser tests are scenarios that Datadog executes on your web applications. You can configure periodic intervals to run tests from multiple locations, devices, and browsers as well as execute them from your CI/CD pipelines.

Overview of a Synthetics Browser Test

These tests verify that your users can perform key business transactions on your applications and that they are not negatively impacted by recent code changes.

Create a browser test

The example below demonstrates the creation of a browser test that maps a user’s journey from adding an item to a cart to successfully checking out.

Browser test mapping out a user journey

Configure your test details

  1. In the Datadog site, hover over Digital Experience in the left hand menu and select Tests (under Synthetic Monitoring & Testing).

  2. In the top right corner, click New Test > Browser Test.

  3. Define your browser test:

    • Add the URL of the website you want to monitor. If you don’t know what to start with, you can use https://www.shopist.io, a test e-commerce web application.
    • Select Advanced Options to set custom request options, certificates, authentication credentials, and more. In this example, no specific advanced option is needed.
    • Name your test and set tags to it such as env:prod and app:shopist. Tags allow you to keep your test suite organized and quickly find tests you’re interested in on the homepage.
    • Choose the browsers and devices you want to test with.

Select locations

Select one or more Managed Locations or Private Locations to run your test from.

Managed locations allow you to test public-facing websites and endpoints. To test internal applications or simulate user behavior in discrete geographic regions, use private locations instead.

The Shopist application is publicly available at https://www.shopist.io/, so you can pick any managed locations to execute your test from.

Specify test frequency

Select the frequency at which you want your test to execute. You can leave the default frequency of 1 hour.

In addition to running your Synthetic test on a schedule, you can trigger them manually or directly from your CI/CD pipelines.

Define alert conditions

You can define alert conditions to ensure your test does not trigger for things like a sporadic network blip, so that you only get alerted in case of real issues with your application.

You can specify the number of consecutive failures that should happen before considering a location failed:

Retry test 2 times after 300 ms in case of failure

You can also configure your test to only trigger a notification when your application goes down for a certain amount of time and number of locations. In the below example, the alerting rule is set to send a notification if the test fails for three minutes on two different locations:

An alert is triggered if your test fails for 3 minutes from any 2 of 13 locations

Configure the test monitor

Design your alert message and add an email address you want your test to send alerts to.

You can also use notifications integrations such as Slack, PagerDuty, Microsoft Teams, and webhooks. In order to trigger a Synthetic alert to these notification tools, you first need to set up the corresponding integration.

When you’re ready to save your test configuration and monitor, click Save & Edit Recording.

For more information, see Using Synthetic Test Monitors.

Create recording

Once your test configuration is saved, Datadog prompts you to download and install the Datadog test recorder Chrome extension.

Once you have installed the extension, click Start Recording to begin recording your test steps.

Navigate through the page in the iframe located on the right of the recorder page. When you select a div, image, or any area of the page, Datadog records and creates the associated step in the browser test.

To end recording your test steps, click Stop Recording.

The example below demonstrates how to map a user journey from adding an item to a cart to successfully checking out in https://www.shopist.io:

  1. Navigate to one of the furniture sections on the example website such as Chairs and select Add to cart.
  2. Click on Cart and Checkout.
  3. Under Add New, select Assertion and click “Test that some text is present on the active page”.
  4. To confirm that the words “Thank you!” appear after checking out, enter Thank you! in the Value field.
  5. Press Save & Quit.

It is important to finish your browser test with an Assertion to ensure your application resulted in the expected state after the defined user journey.

The example website regularly throws an error causing it to intentionally fail. If you include your email address in the Notify your team field, you receive an email notification when the test fails and recovers.

Look at test results

The Browser Test details page displays an overview of your test configuration, the global and per location uptime, graphs about time-to-interactive and test duration, sample successful and failed test results, and the list of all test results. Depending on the length of your test, you might have to wait for a few minutes to see the first test results come in.

To troubleshoot a failed test, select a failed test result and review the screenshots leading up to the failed step. You can also review potential Errors & Warnings, Resources, and Core Web Vitals to diagnose the issue.

In the example below, the test failed as the result of a server timeout.

Use Datadog’s APM integration with Synthetic Monitoring to view traces generated from your backend by the test runs from the Traces tab.

Further Reading