Benjamin Benjamin 17.11.2014

Chrome Extension to Start Tracing

We are releasing a Chrome extension for Tideways today. The extension allows you to force the collection of traces for all requests of your current browser session with the push of a button, instead of having to wait for a random trace to be sampled.

The Profiler already shipped with multiple triggers to generate traces directly from your application before but the feature left a lot to be desired. For example it was nearly impossible to test POST- or Ajax-requests before.

After installing the extension, start using it by clicking on the "Profiler" icon next to your URL location. You will see a list of all your applications like the one in the screenshot below.

Chrome ExtensionChrome Extension

Pick the application to profile and the tracing starts. This works by creating a cookie with a short lifetime of five minutes. The Tideways will react to this cookie on the server side. If you picked the wrong application which is not connected to the site on the current URL, nothing will happen.

On the Profiler UI you can list all the traces that were generated in the tracing session. Click on "Traces" in the application overview to see them.

You can download the Chrome extension from the Google store to try this new feature.

Using the Chrome extension requires at least Tideways PHP library version 0.11 on the server.

A note on security: Triggering a trace is secured with HMAC based on your API-Key and a short expiration date. This prevents malicous users from generating traces on your production servers. The API key is never sent directly to the extension or your site, avoiding that anybody will accidently get access to the key through logfiles, HTTP referers or by sending the cookie to the wrong site.