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automated e-commerce monitoring

2:32 pm on Jan 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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How do you know if your store is currently working, or not?

We're looking for a solution to keep up us informed if / when one of our online stores stops functioning properly. We have services to monitor HTTP, SSL, and other ports, but then the database goes down or the store software gets updated a glitch. We tried setting up alerts if no orders are received after a certain time, but customers are unpredictable, and each store is different.

What we're considering now is some sort of software which can emulate a user of the store - visit a certain URL, hit a certain button, fill out certain fields, and perhaps submit a test order. If errors come up along the way, or if for whatever reason the order cannot be submitted, then send us a warning.

Has anyone ever used this kind of software? I know this treads closely into spying / malware, which is the last thing we need.

To anyone else who manages multiple online stores, what are some other methods that have worked well for alerting you of downtime?

5:31 pm on Jan 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Have you looked into Nagios?
11:46 pm on Jan 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'd be interested to hear what (if anything) others do to monitor their sites. At the moment I log in every morning, and have all php / mysql errors and notices emailed to my phone as they occur, but a fully automated monitoring solution would be nice. I lost a lot of money just before Christmas when our site went down, I found out 48 hours later by accident, and it was a little late to say the least.