Watching a virtual user during a schedule run

During a schedule run, you can select any virtual user and watch that user's real-time browser. Watching the real-time browser lets you investigate the status of individual virtual users while they are running. You can determine whether a run is valid despite the occurrence of individual virtual user failures.

About this task

Watching a virtual user during a run is useful in the following situations:
  • It enables you to quickly verify that virtual users are receiving the data that you expect. Assume that you want to verify that virtual users use different datapool data during a schedule run. You can select a virtual user during the run and see the real-time data for that user. You can then select another virtual user and see that user's data.
  • It confirms whether a schedule run is valid despite the occurrence of failures. Assume that you are running a schedule that takes several hours to complete. Intermittent failures occur during the run. To find out whether these failures are significant enough to interrupt the run, you can investigate the activities of virtual users that are running at each location (agent computer). You can decide whether to allow the schedule to run to completion.
  • It enables you to investigate errors during a run. Assume that you have confirmed that a schedule is running successfully, despite the errors of a few virtual users. However, you want to find the specific virtual users with verification point failures and see what each virtual user is doing when the failure occurs. To do so, start monitoring different virtual users until you find one who is experiencing failures. The Verification Point report is helpful for narrowing down which user groups are experiencing failures. When the virtual user has been identified and monitoring has started, use the Event Log page to see the error details for this user.


To watch a virtual user during a schedule run:

  1. Run the schedule: Right-click the schedule, and then click Run > Run Schedule.
  2. In the Protocol Data view, click Watch Virtual User icon (Watch Virtual User icon).
  3. In the Select Virtual User to Watch window, select the user group that contains the user.
  4. Select the virtual user number in the user group or at a particular location (agent) on which the user group runs, and click OK.
    Option Description
    Specify a user inside this user group The window lists the ranges of active users in the group. Specify a user number within the listed ranges.

    This option is useful when you want to watch any user, or a particular user, in a specific user group. This might be the case if you have run the schedule before, examined the test log, and know the number of the virtual user that you want to see.

    For example, a schedule that uses a datapool of user names might run correctly for the first 10 users but issue verification point failures for the remaining users. In this case, you watch user number 11.

    Indexed user on location Select this option to see a user running at a specific location. Enter an index between 1 and the number of users at that location. This number is mapped to a virtual user number, which is displayed in the title of the Event Log tab.

    You enter an indexed number rather than a specific user number because not only are the actual user numbers spread out between locations (User 1 might be at Location A, Users 2 and 3 at Location B, and so on) but also a user's location can vary from run to run (User 3 might run on Location A during one run and Location B during the next run).

  5. In the Protocol Data view, click the Browser tab. Only pages loaded while watching the virtual user are displayed; pages that have been loaded before live rendering began are not available. However, the data that you see is also available in the test log after the run completes. This data is always available, regardless of the test log preferences that you set in the schedule.
  6. Click an icon for the virtual user.
    Icon Description
    Pause icon (Pause)
    Play icon (Play)
    Back icon (Back)
    Forward icon (Forward)
    Navigation actions, which let you move among pages.
    Stop Watching icon (Stop Watching) Stop monitoring the current user. Clicking this icon does not stop the user from running.
    Watch Virtual User icon (Watch Virtual User) Change from one user to another.
    You can even add virtual users during the run and watch the added users. For more information, see Changing the number of virtual users during a run.