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Real User Measurements by Pete Mastin

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Chapter 6. Using RUM for Application Performance Management and Other Types of RUM

Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.

James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds

In this chapter, we will delve even further into what people are using RUM for on the Internet. We will also note that this is not the only use of RUM, and as proof, I will discuss some RUM use cases that are very different but hopefully provide more context for this important type of measurement.

What You Can Measure by Using RUM

The types of information that can be gleaned from RUM are amazing. Focusing in on just website data (much of the focus of RUM for the past 15 years), we can see a huge variety in the types of analysis that RUM can provide. Let’s take a quick sidestep to understand some of the history of website RUM.

Back in the 90s and early 2000s, companies such as Tealeaf, Wily Technologies, and Coradient were attempting to use RUM to evaluate website performance. These tools were sometimes called End User Experience Management (EUEM) and they attempted to calculated page-load time by passively monitoring HTTP transactions. Chase Snyder, (@chasews) a writer employed by Extrahop, has made this observation:

These requests and responses were put through a byzantine process of HTML parsing, referrer/header parsing, and sessionization to determine which elements were part of the page. Eventually, ...

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