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Foglight Experience Monitor 5.8.1 - Installation and Administration Guide

Installing and configuring Multi-appliance clusters Configuring the appliance Specifying monitored web traffic Transforming monitored URLs Managing applications Foglight components and the appliance Using the console program Troubleshooting the appliance Appendix: Third party software Appendix: Dell PowerEdge system appliance

Editing and removing site rules

To edit a site rule, click its corresponding Edit link. This displays the Site Rule window described in the previous section, allowing you to modify the site rules information.

To remove a site rule, select its corresponding check box, then click Delete.

Defining path rules

The Configure > URLs > Path Rules page allows you to define rules that determine how the appliance transforms the path section of URLs.

The Path Rules page shows the list of path rules currently defined in your system. These rules are applied in the order in which they are listed. To reorder the list, click the up or down arrow associated with each path rule. The Enabled column indicates whether the corresponding path rule is currently active and in use.

For detailed information about creating and managing path rules, see Managing path rules and Editing and removing path rules.

Path rules are sometimes necessary when sections of the URL contain strings that cause the system to record multiple URLs when just a single URL is desired. This can happen when an application has more than one path that leads to the same URL.

For example, the following URLs might refer to the same URL in the application. If that is the case, you would want to create a path rule that maps the second and third URLs to the first URL in the metric database:

For more information, see these topics:

Segment rules as path rule components

A segment is a section of the URL that is delimited by a forward slash (/). A path rule consist of multiple segment rules that are applied sequentially to URLs in the monitored traffic. You can edit segment rules by clicking the Add a Segment Rule link from the Path Rules > Edit Path Rules page.

A segment rule defines what transformations are applied to a particular segment of the path, that is, replacing the existing string with a new string.

For example, consider these three URLs:
www.travel.com/regions/mexico/home.asp
www.travel.com/provinces/quebec/home.asp
www.travel.com/states/florida/home.asp

Each URL contains three segments in its path:

segment 1: regions, provinces, states
segment 2: mexico, quebec, florida
segment 3: home.asp

If you want to transform the first segment of each URL path so that regions, provinces, and states all map to the term areas, and the rest of the URL is recorded to the database as they appear, you need to define three-segment rules:

Segment rules are processed in the order in which they are listed. Each segment rule must match the current URL segment before the next segment rule is processed. If there is no match, and the segment rule is marked as Required, then this path rule does not apply to the URL in question. If the segment rule is not required, then processing advances to the next segment rule.

After all segments of the URL have been matched by the segment rules and all segment rules that are flagged as required are successfully matched, the entire URL is modified according to the segment rules as a whole (for example, the path rule).

For example, consider a site with the following URLs:

To change the first segment of the path—support, support_au, and support_ch—so that it displays as support in the metric database, you create the rules shown in the following image.

The first rule matches when the first segment in a URL starts with support, and replaces it with support. Note that this rule matches only URLs with one segment, such as quest.com/support_ch/. However, the test data includes URLs with one or more subsequent segments, such as quest.com/support/path1/path2/page3.asp. The second rule instructs the system to match URLs with any number of subsequent segments.

Segment rule actions

The following section outlines the types of actions that a segment rule can perform on URL segments.

The Include action includes the segment in the transformed URL while the Exclude action removes the segment in the transformed URL.

Options in the Segment Rule’s Action box performs basic operations on the matched URL segment: Include keeps the segment as is in the resulting URL, while Exclude removes it altogether.

Selecting the Replace segment rule action causes the segment to be replaced by the string in the Replacement string box if it matches the string in the Matching string box.

For example, consider the following path section of a monitored URL:
/products/database/mysql1/download.asp

Next, consider the following sequence of segments rules.

Reg. Expression

Exclude

products

yes

Reg. Expression

Replace

database

database_products

yes

Reg. Expression

Include

mysql

yes

Reg. Expression

Include

download.asp

yes

When these sequence rules are applied together as a path rule to the monitored URL segments, the resultant URL is:
/database_products/mysql1/download.asp

The Include while matching segment rule action specifies that any segments matching the value in the Matching string box is included in the transformed URL.

The rule begins with the current URL segment. If the URL segment matches the segment rule, it is marked for inclusion, and processing continues to the next URL segment. If the next URL segment matches the segment rule, it too is marked for inclusion. This processing continues until a match fails, and the appliance advances to the next segment rule and continues processing.

A segment rule that uses this action can be used to simplify a path rule. A series of segment rules whose action is set to Include can be replaced by a single segment rule whose action is set to Include while matching.

In the previous example, four segment rules were used to transform the URL. As an alternative, the following sequence of three segment rules can be used instead.

Reg. Expression

Exclude

products

yes

Reg. Expression

Replace

database

database_products

yes

Reg. Expression

Include while matching

.*

yes

The third segment rule combines the Include while matching action with the regular expression to match any string (.*). This rule essentially continues to include URL segments in the resulting URL until they have been exhausted.

The Exclude while matching segment rule action specifies that any segments matching the value in the Matching string box is excluded from the transformed URL

Similar to inclusion, the rule begins with the current URL segment. If the URL segment matches the segment rule, it is marked for exclusion, and processing continues to the next URL segment. If the next URL segment matches the segment rule, it too is marked for exclusion. This processing continues until a match fails, and the appliance advances to the next segment rule and continues processing.

A segment rule that uses this action can be used to simplify a path rule. A series of segment rules whose action is set to Exclude can be replaced by a single segment rule whose action is set to Exclude while matching.

Consider the following URL:

where the path portion of the URL is:

Using this newssite.com URL as an example, every URL begins with the current date. If you wanted to aggregate the performance of your organization’s news articles about Quest Software, regardless of the articles’ publishing date, you want the path portion of the URL transformed to:

Reg. Expression

Exclude while matching

[0-9]+

yes

Reg. Expression

Including while matching

.*

yes

The first segment rule uses a common regular expression to match any string consisting solely of numbers. This effectively matches all the URL segments that represent the article date, and excludes them from the resulting URL.

The Exclude until match segment rule action discards one or more non-matching URL segments until a segment match is found, after which, the matching URL segment is included in the resulting URL.

The rule begins with the current URL segment. If the URL segment does not match the segment rule, it is marked for exclusion, and processing continues to the next URL segment. If the next URL segment also does not match, it too is marked for exclusion. This processing continues until a match has occurred, after which the combined URL segments are discarded, and the matching segment is included in the resulting URL. The appliance then advances to the next segment rule and continues processing.

Consider the following path sections of several fictional newssite.com URLs:

As was the case in the previous example, all news URLs begin with a date. If you wanted to aggregate the performance of all news articles, regardless of publishing date, you would want the path portion of the URL transformed to:
/news/companies/quest/index.htm

In this case, you cannot use the Exclude While Matching action because newssite.com has used non-numerical date formats in the past. Therefore, you cannot simply exclude any segments that contain numerical values. Instead, the following sequence of segment rules could be used:

Reg. Expression

Exclude until match

news

yes

Reg. Expression

Include while matching

.*

yes

The first segment rule discards all URL segments found until it finds a segment that matches its news string. Next, the date is effectively stripped from the URL, and the second segment rule takes effect, and includes the rest of the monitored URL in the resulting URL.

The Exclude until match and replace action is identical to Exclude until match, the only difference being that the matched segment is replaced with a specified string, instead of simply included in the resulting URL.

The Include until match segment rule action combines one or more non-matching URL segments until a segment match is found. Then the segment match is found, it is excluded from the resulting URL, and the previously combined non-matching URL segments are included in the resulting URL.

The rule begins with the current URL segment. If the URL segment does not match the segment rule, it is marked for inclusion, and processing continues to the next URL segment. If the next URL segment also does not match, it is also marked for inclusion. This processing continues until a match has occurred, after which the combined URL segments are included, and the matching segment is discarded.

Considering the following path section of a URL:

Similar to the previous two examples, assume that you are interested in aggregated data on news articles, regardless of date. You want the path portion of the URL to be transformed to:
/news/companies/quest/index.htm

The following sequence of segment rules could be used:

Reg. Expression

Include Until match

[0-9]+

yes

Reg. Expression

Exclude Until Match

index.htm

yes

The first segment rule includes all URL segments found until the match, the latter representing the date that is unwanted in the resulting URL. The first URL segment is discarded as part of the Include Until Match rule, after which the second segment rule initiates, excluding the remaining URL segments until the final segment is found (index.htm).

The Include until match and replace action is identical to Include until match, the only difference being that the matched segment is replaced with a specified string, instead of being excluded from the resulting URL.

The Replace any match segment rule action examines all remaining URL segments, looking for a match. Any URL segment that matches is replaced, while segments that do not match remain unmodified.

Consider the following path section of a URL:

Assume the desired resulting URL is:

and you want to ensure that only news-related URLs are replaced.

This can be accomplished with the following sequence of segment rules:

Reg. Expression

Include

news

yes

Reg. Expression

Replace Any

[0-9]+

XX

yes

The first action transforms the URL if and only if the /news/ segment is found, after which all numerical segments that represent the date are masked with XX. The Replace any match action always applies to all remaining URL segments.

The Session Identifier segment rule action allows you to specify a segment within the URL that should be used for identifying user sessions. This is useful for cases where the monitored application embeds session identifiers in the URL itself rather than in a cookie (for example, quest.com/support/1042004/home.asp).

The Session Identifier Transform segment rule allows you to specify a replacement string that will appear in the URL in place of the session identifier.

See Managing variable rules for more information.

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