August 6, 2004, 12:00 AM

Xaffire rolls out a new monitoring product

Xaffire Inc. is rolling out a web site monitoring program to the retail industry that allows a retail web support staff to replay a user session to determine exactly where a problem occurred.

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Xaffire Inc. is rolling out a web site monitoring program to the retail industry that allows a retail web support staff to replay a user session to determine exactly where a problem occurred, David Jilk, president, tells InternetRetailer.com. “There are only a couple of ways to resolve a software problem,” Jilk says, “and the easiest is to see what the user saw.”

Xaffire’s Xfire product records and reproduces every user session, then stores sessions in a way that a retailer’s IT staff can pull them up at will and see the actual transaction that gave a user problems. “There’s no way to understand the experience unless you see what the user saw,” Jilk says.

A support person can scroll through the entire transaction until he finds the problem page or jump to the exact spot where the problem occurred. He can then view the source code on the page or perform other diagnostics that allow him to pinpoint the problem. “The bug in the software might happen anywhere, so the only way to see what happened is to have it recorded,” Jilk says.

Jilk argues that measures such as uptime and availability are only the starting points of web site monitoring. A web site that is up is not necessarily delivering the optimal experience, he says. Monitoring will show the web site was available, but it won’t show that customers were hitting a snag at a certain point. “The economics of the problem are well known,” he says. “You not only lose the sale, but some people will drop you and buy elsewhere and a certain percentage will never come back to you.”

While the issues of failed transactions are of great importance to the business side of a retail operation, the technology is designed for IT staff use, he says.

 

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