Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Honeycomb Announces Frontend Observability Tool with Improved Real User Monitoring

Honeycomb Announces Frontend Observability Tool with Improved Real User Monitoring

Honeycomb has introduced an early access program for its new tool, Honeycomb for Frontend Observability, which aims to enhance web application performance. The tool integrates OpenTelemetry instrumentation as an NPM package, to collect and analyze Core Web Vitals data. Its main feature, the Web Launchpad, provides deep insights into site performance, helping users identify and resolve issues impacting these metrics. Honeycomb claims users can set this up in under an hour.

The Web Launchpad captures Core Web Vitals and grants access to Honeycomb's analysis tools, such as BubbleUp, Service Map, and Service Level Objectives (SLOs). These tools enable swift performance issue resolution and informed improvements, thus enhancing customer satisfaction.

Honeycomb for Frontend Observability claims to remove the limitations which traditional Real User Monitoring (RUM) tools have when dealing with modern web applications. These often use client-side frameworks like React, which involve asynchronous data fetching and dynamic updates without full-page reloads. Honeycomb argues that traditional tools mainly focus on initial page load metrics and offer limited insight into complex user interactions, and lack custom attributes and data retention. This limits their utility for detailed performance analysis and customer journey investigations.

Honeycomb Dashboard

Honeycomb's OpenTelemetry wrapper collects Core Web Vitals data alongside standard performance metrics, offering actionable insights to improve SEO and site performance. Honeycomb's events model allows custom attributes, like session IDs from tools such as Sentry or FullStory, to be added at no extra cost. Trace header propagation enables end-to-end tracing, helping to identify issues across frontend and backend systems and enhancing cross-team collaboration.

Honeycomb for Frontend Observability also captures detailed contextual event data, which developers can query for up to 60 days without pre-aggregation. This enables thorough investigations and hypothesis testing. The Query Assistant feature simplifies data analysis, making it accessible even to those without query language expertise.

Other frontend observability tools are available - such as Grafana Faro. The Honeycomb Web Instrumentation package is open-source and available to all users. However, the early access program for the Web Launchpad feature is limited to Honeycomb Enterprise plan customers. Interested parties can contact their Honeycomb Customer Success Manager or apply for early access through the blog post.

About the Author

Rate this Article