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Web Development Forensics with BugReplay

reviewed by David Carlier

Every web developer has his set of tools for debugging a web application. The most common developer tools are Firebug for Firefox, Chrome’s Developer Tools, and Internet Explorer’s Developer Toolbar. All of these can be used to inspect HTML elements, Javascript, CSS styles, network traffic, and Ajax calls. These tools are great, but have one downside: all of these data is produced in real time but not recorded. But what if you want to spot a specific bug scenario to study and to replay it at will? To display to the rest of the development team, your client, etc. This can be useful especially if the bug is triggered only in a very specific case such as a web form filled with invalid data, triggering an Ajax call which takes longer than it should, triggering a bug in client-side Javascript. We can go on a long list of possible use cases when this type of tool. To use BugReplay, you’ll need the Chrome/Chromium/Iridium browser; you’ll also need to download the extension and register an account on http://www.bugreplay.com.

The BugReplay extension works basically in two modes. Snapshot mode takes a static picture of the current page to be able to spot, for example, misplaced HTML elements. Video mode records for a couple of seconds to be able to reproduce a specific scenario as explained above with those two explicit icons.

As you can see in the last illustration, there is a blue icon to allow us to report or to give immediate feedback to BugReplay team within reasonable work hours. Once the snapshot is taken, you can apply various modifications such as cropping, resizing, and putting a comment and drawing on top of it to highlight the problem, useful even for non-developers individuals.

Then, there is the video mode which completes just as well as the snapshot mode,

 

where also network and Javascript traffic are recorded (seemingly not available in the trial), video relatively immediately available after post processing to us. Nevertheless, this is a set of tools which can have its place as we can realise through the trial; One warning : the data that is collected is stored in BugReplay’s cloud. Because of this, you will need to decide if this is appropriate from your particular application. Apart of this, it gets the job done as promised.

About BugReplay

BugReplay, a provider of an innovative set of web browser tools that make reporting bugs faster and fixing them easier, today announced the availability of its flagship product of the same name as an add-on for the Firefox web browser. A screencast and network debugging tool for web developers and internal software testers, BugReplay enables users to quickly and accurately submit detailed bug reports about web applications. By creating a synchronized screen recording of a user’s actions, network traffic, JavaScript logs and other key environmental data, BugReplay reduces the time to complete the task of bug reporting of up to an hour or more to less than a minute.

Founded in 2015, BugReplay is a leading provider of an innovative set of web browser tools that make reporting bugs faster and fixing them easier. Its mission is to develop easy-to-use tools for diagnosing and repairing issues with web applications. Based in New York City, BugReplay’s offerings include: BugReplay, a screencast and network debugging tool for web developers and internal software testers; and Feedback by BugReplay, a reporting tool for website users to submit bug reports to customer support teams. For more information, visit http://www.bugreplay.com and follow on Twitter @BugReplay.

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