Multistep API Tests

Multistep API Tests


Multistep API tests allow you to chain HTTP tests to proactively monitor that sophisticated journeys on your key services are available at anytime and from anywhere.

You can:

  • Execute HTTP requests on API endpoints requiring authentication (for example, through a token)
  • Monitor key business transactions at the API level
  • Simulate end-to-end mobile application journeys

If one of your services starts answering more slowly, or in an unexpected way (for example, unexpected response body, status code, etc.), your test can alert your team, block your CI pipeline, or even roll back the faulty deployment.

Multistep API tests can run from Datadog managed locations and private locations, allowing full coverage of your systems, both external and internal.

Note: Multistep API tests allow you to link several HTTP requests in a single test. If you want to perform single requests to your services, you can leverage API tests.


Name and tag your test

  1. Name your Multistep API test.
  2. Add env and other tags to your Multistep API test. You can use these tags to quickly filter through your Synthetic tests on the Synthetic Monitoring homepage.

Select locations

Select the Locations for your Multistep API test. Multistep API tests can run from both managed and private locations depending on your preference for running the test from outside or inside your network.

Define steps

To create an HTTP request step, click Create Your First Step.

Note: By default, a maximum of 10 steps can be created. Reach out to Datadog support team to increase the limit.

Define the request

  1. Name your step.

  2. Choose the HTTP Method and specify the URL to query. Available methods are: GET, POST, PATCH, PUT, HEAD, DELETE, and OPTIONS. Both http and https URLs are supported.

  3. Enrich your HTTP request with Advanced Options (optional):

    • Follow redirects: Tick to have your HTTP test follow up to ten redirects when performing the request.
    • Request headers: Define headers to add to your HTTP request. You can also override the default headers (for example, the user-agent header).
    • Cookies: Define cookies to add to your HTTP request. Set multiple cookies using the format <COOKIE_NAME1>=<COOKIE_VALUE1>; <COOKIE_NAME2>=<COOKIE_VALUE2>.
    • HTTP Basic Auth: Add HTTP basic authentication credentials.
    • AWS Signature V4: Enter your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. Datadog generates the signature for your request. This option uses the basic implementation of SigV4. Specific signatures such as AWS S3 are not implemented.
    • NTLM v1: Add NTLM authentication credentials.
    • Body type: Select the type of the request body (text/plain, application/json, text/xml, text/html, application/x-www-form-urlencoded, or None) you want to add to your HTTP request.
    • Request body: Add the content of your HTTP request body. Note: The request body is limited to a maximum size of 50 kilobytes.
    • Ignore server certificate error: Tick to have your HTTP test go on with connection even if there are errors when validating the SSL certificate.
    • Client certificate: Authenticate through mTLS by uploading your client certificate and the associated private key.
    • Proxy URL: Specify the URL of the proxy the HTTP request should go through (http://<YOUR_USER>:<YOUR_PWD>@<YOUR_IP>:<YOUR_PORT>).
    • Proxy Header: Add headers to include in the HTTP request to the proxy.
    • Do not save response body: Select this option to prevent the response body from being saved at runtime. This is helpful to ensure no sensitive data is displayed in your test results, but it can make failure troubleshooting more difficult. For information about security recommendations, see Synthetic Monitoring Security.

Click on Test URL to try out the request configuration. A response preview appears.

Add assertions

Assertions define what an expected test result is. When hitting Test URL basic assertions on response time, status code, and header content-type are added based on the response that was obtained. In Multistep API tests, assertions are optional.

Type Operator Value type
body contains, does not contain, is, is not,
matches, does not match,
jsonpath, xpath
String, Regex
header contains, does not contain, is, is not,
matches, does not match
response time is less than Integer (ms)
status code is, is not Integer

Note: HTTP tests can decompress bodies with the following content-encoding headers: br, deflate, gzip, and identity.

You can create up to 20 assertions per step by clicking on New Assertion or by clicking directly on the response preview.

Add execution parameters

The Continue with test if this step fails setting allows Multistep API tests to move on with subsequent steps even in case of step failure. This is particularly useful to ensure your tests are able to clean up after themselves. For instance, a test might first create a resource, perform a number of actions on that resource, and end with the deletion of that resource. In case one of the intermediary steps fails, you still want the resource to be deleted at the end of the test to avoid generating false positives. This can be done using the Continue with test if this step fails on every intermediary step.

You should also activate the Consider entire test as failed if this step fails setting on your intermediary steps to ensure your overall test still generates an alert in case one of the endpoints does not answer as expected.

Similarly, if your Multistep API test runs on a variety of endpoints, the two failure behavior settings can help ensure your test performs all requests even in case of issue with one or several of the API endpoints.

Extract variables from the response

You can also optionally extract variables from the response of your HTTP request by parsing its response headers or body. The value of the variable is updated each time the HTTP request step is being run.

To parse your variable:

  1. Enter a Variable Name. Your variable name can only use uppercase letters, numbers, and underscores and must have at least three characters.

  2. Decide whether to extract your variable from the response headers, or from the response body:

    • Extract the value from response header: use the full response header of your HTTP request as the variable value, or parse it with a regex.
    • Extract the value from response body: use the full response body of your HTTP request as the variable value, parse it with a regex, JSONPath, or XPath.

Once created, this variable can be used in the following steps of your Multistep API test. For more information, see Use variables.

Specify test frequency

Multistep API tests can run:

  • On a schedule to ensure your most important endpoints are always accessible to your users. Select the frequency you want Datadog to run your Multistep API test.
  • Within your CI/CD pipelines to start shipping without fearing faulty code might impact your customers experience.
  • On-demand to run your tests whenever makes the most sense for your teams.

Define alert conditions

Set alert conditions to determine the circumstances under which you want a test to fail and trigger an alert.

Alerting rule

When you set the alert conditions to: An alert is triggered if any assertion fails for X minutes from any n of N locations, an alert is triggered only if these two conditions are true:

  • At least one location was in failure (at least one assertion failed) during the last X minutes;
  • At one moment during the last X minutes, at least n locations were in failure.

Fast retry

Your test can trigger retries X times after Y ms in case of a failed test result. Customize the retry interval to suit your alerting sensibility.

Location uptime is computed on a per-evaluation basis (whether the last test result before evaluation was up or down). The total uptime is computed based on the configured alert conditions. Notifications sent are based on the total uptime.

Notify your team

A notification is sent by your test based on the alerting conditions previously defined. Use this section to define how and what message to send to your teams.

  1. Similar to monitors, select users and/or services that should receive notifications either by adding an @notification to the message or by searching for team members and connected integrations with the drop-down box.

  2. Enter the notification message for your test. This field allows standard Markdown formatting and supports the following conditional variables:

    Conditional Variable Description
    {{#is_alert}} Show when the test alerts.
    {{^is_alert}} Show unless the test alerts.
    {{#is_recovery}} Show when the test recovers from alert.
    {{^is_recovery}} Show unless the test recovers from alert.
  3. Specify how often you want your test to re-send the notification message in case of test failure. To prevent renotification on failing tests, leave the option as Never renotify if the monitor has not been resolved.

Click on Save to save your test and have Datadog start executing it.


Create local variables

Extracted variables

You can extract variables from any step of your Multistep API test to then re-inject their values in subsequent steps of your test.

Variables from pattern

You can create local variables by clicking on Create Local Variable at the top right hand corner of your test configuration form. You can define their values from one of the below available builtins:

{{ numeric(n) }}
Generates a numeric string with n digits.
{{ alphabetic(n) }}
Generates an alphabetic string with n letters.
{{ alphanumeric(n) }}
Generates an alphanumeric string with n characters.
{{ date(n, format) }}
Generates a date in one of our accepted formats with a value of the date the test is initiated + n days.
{{ timestamp(n, unit) }}
Generates a timestamp in one of our accepted units with a value of the timestamp the test is initiated at +/- n chosen unit.

Use variables

You can use the global variables defined in the Settings and the locally defined variables in the URL, advanced options, and assertions of your HTTP tests.

To display your list of variables, type {{ in your desired field.

Test failure

A test is considered FAILED if a step does not satisfy one or several assertions or if a step’s request prematurely failed. In some cases, the test can indeed fail without being able to test the assertions against the endpoint, these reasons include:

No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it.
The connection was abruptly closed by the remote server. Possible causes include the webserver encountering an error or crashing while responding, or loss of connectivity of the webserver.
DNS entry not found for the test URL. Possible causes include a misconfigured test URL or a wrong configuration in your DNS entries.
The configuration of the test is invalid (for example, a typo in the URL).
The SSL connection couldn’t be performed. See the dedicated error page for more information.
The request couldn’t be completed in a reasonable time. Two types of TIMEOUT can happen:
  • TIMEOUT: The request couldn’t be completed in a reasonable time. indicates that the request duration hit the test defined timeout (default is set to 60s). For each request only the completed stages for the request are displayed in the network waterfall. For example, in the case of Total response time only being displayed, the timeout occurred during the DNS resolution.
  • TIMEOUT: Overall test execution couldn't be completed in a reasonable time. indicates that the request and assertions duration hit the maximum duration (60.5s).
The remote server responded with a payload that does not comply with HTTP specifications.


By default, only users with the Datadog Admin and Datadog Standard roles can create, edit, and delete Synthetic multistep API tests. To get create, edit, and delete access to Synthetic multistep API tests, upgrade your user to one of those two default roles.

If you have access to the custom role feature, add your user to any custom role that includes synthetics_read and synthetics_write permissions for Synthetic Monitoring.

Further Reading