Monitoring Ruby-Based Web Applications

Ruby is a great coding language—it’s open source, flexible, and dynamic. It can be used to create some of the most brilliant web applications in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s always executed flawlessly. Like any code, Ruby can have errors and cause apps to crash and perform poorly. If you have a public web application, then you should be monitoring it to make sure you’re alerted when these types of problems arise. Think of it this way: if you have a simple checkout page or shopping cart on your website and it stops working, you could be losing quite a bit of money for every minute that passes. And what if you don’t know about this for days? Or until someone contacts you? That could be a bad situation!

In terms of monitoring solutions, there are lots of different options. Ideally, the best solution should be something external and not something hosted on your server. The reason for this is if a server outage is causing your web app to go down, then a self-hosted monitoring solution won’t do you any good because that will be down too. An external solution can go through the steps that you set up at a specified interval in order to keep your alerts consistent; the last thing you want to spend time setting up a monitoring solution, only to have inconsistent or irregular alerts from the software that’s supposed to be the very thing keeping tabs on your app.

There are a lot of different providers that offer web app monitoring solutions, and many of them offer other features than app monitoring such as basic uptime monitoring and user behavior analysis. The most important thing is that you’re alerted as soon as possible when your app goes down, so make sure that if you do use an external web app monitoring service that you choose one that offers multiple ways to alert you. Even if you have a smart phone, you may not always have internet service, but you may have voice service, so if you’re able to be alerted by email, text, and phone then you’re covered in three different ways. Dotcom-Monitor, and Paessler have two of the most comprehensive off-site, external solutions. If you need a proprietary internal solution, you’ll need to hire a developer to custom code that. The best solution really depends upon what your needs are and of course, your budget.

At the end of the day, whether you decide to monitor your Ruby-coded apps is obviously up to you, but if you spend all the time and money associated with developing an app, it only makes sense to ensure that it’s doing what it supposed to be, and if you aren’t monitoring that then there’s no way to know for sure.