Tips for Monitoring SilverLight Applications



Microsoft SilverLight is one of the most powerful, and in-demand, tools for creating rich web applications for dynamic user experiences. Those who are familiar with Adobe Flash will find SilverLight to be strikingly similar in its operation and functionality as its able to seamlessly integrate graphics, multimedia and animations for a singular interactive environment. While its initial release was geared toward creating dynamic media experiences, its latest releases have expanded its abilities to be used for business applications. Therefore, many businesses are now switching to SilverLight to run their critical-level applications. If you’re currently, or considering, implementing SilverLight into your website, there are several tips you should follow to ensure this application runs smoothly.

Tip #1 – Double Check SilverLight Communication Protocol Support

Because SilverLight is able to communicate with servers using multiple protocols, such as SOAP, REST and binary/classic XML, it’s important that you make sure these protocols are able to be properly tested. Without this ability, your testing and monitoring will be lacking. In order to understand what levels of monitoring you must employ, it’s essential to understand each of these protocols and their demands:

  1. SOAP Protocol - This simplistic XML-based protocol allows applications to communicate via HTTP requests. When testing SOAP protocols within your SilverLight application, you can either manually manipulate XML or use a testing solution capable of supporting SOAP.
  2. REST Protocol - If the server and/or testing tool does not support REST, certain HTTP verb requests, such as POST, PUT, DELETE and GET will not be successfully operated. Therefore, it’s essential that you test your SilverLight applications using REST protocol measurements.
  3. Classic/Binary XML Protocol – In the most general sense, XML is a text based format used to encode documents into a form that’s readable by servers. While classic XML codes are relatively easy to monitor using various string manipulations, extracting or validating data can be tricky. When this is the case, use XPath to locate specific data strings within the XML document of your web app. You can use any free web application monitoring tool to do this.

Tip #2 – Automatically Application Process Indentification

Unlike other types of web applications, SilverLight apps utilize various identifiers for internal processes. While some of these identifiers are specific to certain applications, others are universal across all SilverLight application platforms. In the most general form, these process identifiers are engaged by using set parameters regarding how the servers work together. To avoid having to spend hours manually configuring these ever-evolving identifiers and parameters, utilize a load testing tool capable of automatically detecting identifiers related to specific applications and providing custom-made rules to correct these parameters.

Tools to Improve Web Application Performance

Improving web application performance should be at the forefront of any enterprise administrator’s mind. While you may have one of the most well-developed and thought-out applications, if its performance is lacking, then the application will likely never reach its full potential with users. Although there is a myriad of tools designed to increase and maintain application performance, some are better than others. The following tools are ideal for enterprises of all sizes and its accompanying web applications.



Chrome DevTools

As your applications become more complex and sophisticated with its operation and appearance, it’s essential that they operate at the highest levels of performance. Regardless of application use, Chrome DevTools offer users a simplistic way to monitor the performance and functionality of their applications while simultaneously offering tips and recommendations to enhance application performance. With the Chrome DevTools Timeline and Profiles options, you’re able to effectively monitor and adjust application processes and procedures with a simple click of your mouse. While this tool does feature some limitations, it’s an essential tool for any developer or enterprise administrator.

NeoLoad by Neotys

If you’re seeking out an effective and powerful way to improve the speed, reliability and quality of your web and mobile applications then this is the tool for you. Using next-generation performance testing and adjusting services, Neoload provides detailed reports regarding all aspects of your web and mobile applications. The best part, this tool is compatible for not only web and mobile apps, but also apps based on the cloud. It’s automated and easy-to-use interface allows even the most novice administrator access to powerful features and functions. With customers such as H&R Block and Philips, it doesn’t matter how complex your applications are – NeoLoad by Neotys is able to effectively analyze and enhance the overall functionality of your applications.


Within the web and mobile app world, the term “Next Generation” is widely used. Basically, this phrase is used to describe the latest advancements and technologies utilized in applications. When your site evolves with the ever-changing web app technologies, you need a tool that can effectively test and improves app performance. This broad-scale testing platforms provides enterprises of all sizes with complex and comprehensive analysis and testing of end-to-end application performance. This platform is ideal for accessing deep level coding errors to ensure an application is fully functional not only on its surface-level, but in the deeper components that allow the app to actually work. Its powerful interface is capable of testing up to 10 million concurrent users.

You can also test things automatically with any kind of browser automation solution. This help to avoid the hassle of having to measure application performance manually and check up on data.

What is SMTP Monitoring

In the complex, and oftentimes confusing, world of website and server monitoring, it’s easy to become bogged down with learning about the various monitoring methodologies and techniques. While this is a common issue faced by many Web administrators, this bog of monitoring methods can possibly cause you to skip over one of the most important monitoring techniques – SMTP monitoring. If you’re not sure what this level of monitoring does, then it’s essential to continue reading in order to find out how SMTP monitoring truly affects your ability to communicate with visitors and customers.

What are SMTP Servers?

Before delving into the monitoring aspect of SMTP, it’s important to understand exactly what these servers are and how they interact with your business. When you send any type of email, it’s the SMTP server that actually manages the delivery of your outgoing mail. Due to the complex nature of our modern email communications systems, it’s possible that an SMTP server must communicate with various other servers to deliver your email messages. In order to fully understand how SMTP Servers operate, it’s best to understand the basic-level steps an email message goes through while it’s being sent.

  • You create an email message with your email client, such as Outlook Express. When ready to send a message, the email client connects to the SMTP server on a specific port.
  • The email client begins initiating communication with the SMTP server. It’s during this communication that vital information, such as the email address for the recipient of the message and the sender of the message are gathered. Along with this, the SMTP server also begins defining the body of the message for transmission.
  • Upon first analysis, the SMTP server takes the recipient’s email address and breaks it into two parts: the domain name and the name of the recipient.
  • The SMTP server then initiates communication with the Domain Name Server, or DNS, for the recipient.
  • Lastly, the SMTP server connects to the recipient SMTP server using a specific port. After this, the email message is then sent.

Monitoring SMTP Servers

As you can see, an SMTP server is responsible for starting and supporting many communications with many different servers and digital components. Because of this multi-phased sending and delivering process, a monitoring solution is not only recommended, but it’s almost required to ensure your vital communications are sent and received as they should be. While there are many different elements you should look for in an SMTP server monitoring solution, the following is most important:

  • Actively works to fine-tune the performance and uptime of your SMTP mail servers, as well as your POP mail servers, which allows incoming mail to be received.
  • Real-time monitoring capabilities. This is essential to ensure your mail servers are continually operating at their highest capabilities.
  • Immediate delivery of error notifications. The sooner you’re able to be notified of an error or issue, the sooner it may be resolved. This is the most important element of a monitoring solution as it ensures errors are corrected before they have time to affect a host of users and customers.

Why Businesses Should be Monitoring Their Web Applications


In the digital realm, your brand (or business) is just as good as the level of service and functionality your web applications provide. Because of the weight the performance of your site, and all its included elements, has on how visitors view and perceive the integrity of your business, web application monitoring has moved from a suggested tool to a required one. While there are many reasons why application monitoring solutions are essential for your business, exactly what makes this solution so imperative to your success?

Consistent User Experiences

Perhaps one of the biggest complaints among online shoppers and Internet users have is inconsistent performance. Modern Internet users demand more than flashy graphics and thoughtful content – they demand full functionality of a site and its included applications every time it’s accessed. In fact, this factor is so important, many users report a lack of interest in a previously stable business once the site and its applications become “glitchy.” Web application monitoring solutions actively work to eliminate these inconsistencies in application performance by continuously monitoring and fixing errors within the actual application.

Accurate Activity Reports

The amount of traffic an application receives determines a host of factors, such as scalability to accommodate sudden surges in use. If you were to have an application fail due to excess amounts of traffic, your entire reputation could be on the line. Because of this, web application monitoring systems are in place to not only accurately report current traffic, but provide enterprise administrators with predictions to assist in implementing necessary changes to accommodate high and low traffic moments.

Prevent Critical Application Errors

Critical application errors not only inhibit the experience of your visitors, but depending on the severity of these errors, it could cost a significant percentage of conversions. The only way to prevent application errors and various problems from altering the experience and value of your applications is by installing a well-designed web application monitoring solution. It’s only with these solutions that you’re able to have continuous monitoring without having to manually seek out errors or potential issues in application infrastructure and communications.

Streamline Troubleshoot – Save Time, Save Resources, Save Money

No matter how well-developed your application may be, errors are bound to happen. The only way to effectively prevent these errors from altering the experience of your visitors is by troubleshooting potential errors. Web application monitoring solutions proactively work to troubleshoot application code and user experience components. Through its automatic troubleshooting and diagnostic capabilities, application monitoring solutions reduce the need of having IT workers manually review each line of code to detect an issue. By eliminating this need, you’re not only reducing man hours to troubleshoot application errors, but also money and resources – three qualities every business should strive to meet.