What are user actions?

User action types

A "user action" is comprised of all client activity that occurs during the transition from one application state to another. Each user action contains at least one web request. For example, when a user navigates to a page, the browser may download multiple resources and call a JavaScript onload handler, which in turn might perform some XHR requests. All this activity is considered part of the same user action.

The duration of a user action is called the "action duration". This represents the amount of time that the user waits until it's possible for them to continue. This means that a low action duration (i.e., response time) is better than a high action duration.

There are different kinds of user actions:

Custom user actions

Rather than relying on default user action generation, you may want to fine-tune your real user monitoring by adding additional user actions directly into your application’s HTML. This can be useful if our automated user-action generation doesn’t catch specific actions or you want to introduce specific fine-grained timings into your application monitoring. For example you could measure how long it takes to open a JavaScript-only drop-down menu, or measure the duration time of some JavaScript code.

To download the JavaScript API samples and instructions, go to Settings > Web monitoring > Custom user actions.

User action naming rules

Many applications allow users to accomplish the same goal through different UI controls. When monitoring such applications it can be difficult to differentiate between actions that are slightly different though essentially the same. Likewise, if the UI of a application is translated into multiple languages, the same application function or control may appear under varying names. With user action naming rules, Dynatrace can detect such subtle variations and intelligently group related user actions into logical groups for monitoring.

Note: Dynatrace automatically removes certain common sessionid tokens from user action names (for example, jsessionid for Java containers, the default sessionid for PHP, and CFID and CFTOKEN for ColdFusion). Nonetheless, there are numerous session ID variations that may be present in your environment. If Dynatrace doesn't automatically recognize and remove session IDs from certain user action names you encounter, you'll need to configure custom naming rules for those user actions.

To configure naming rules for user actions, go to Settings > Monitoring overview > Applications and select your application. Then go to User actions to configure settings related to user action and URL detection.