Tests are great, but they test predictable input. As anyone knows, your product will do unpredictable things when run in the wild with real, live users.
There are no tools quite like LogRocket on the market. But we borrow from three established categories: Exception Trackers, Session Replay, and APM.
Examples: Bugsnag, Sentry, Rollbar, TrackJS
Exception trackers are built for a very specific use case: your application hit an unexpected situation, and you’d like to be notified ASAP—at least, the first time it happens.
Exception trackers are great for understanding new back-end problems, but front-end introduced a whole new set of complications which typical exception tracking tools can't handle.
Back-end vs Front-end Errors
Investigating front-end and backend errors are very different processes. Server-side code runs on a single platform. Often, the only state in the system that can cause hard-to-reproduce errors comes from easily logged events like database or cache queries. When an unhandled exception in server code takes place, it usually means there is a clear-cut problem that needs to be fixed.
On the front-end, things aren’t so simple. The average web application runs in over 15 different browsers, across hundreds of device types. State can be highly complex, coming from memory, local storage, local databases, service workers, and APIs. A web app must be robust to connectivity issues and cross-browser differences, and unlike the backend where exceptions are usually clear-cut, it can be tricky to gauge the impact on the frontend.
By using context from user session capture, LogRocket can actually tell you did this error impact the user's experience, and show you the steps needed to reproduce the problem.
Examples: Hotjar, Inspectlet, FullStory, Jaco, Smartlook
Traditional session replay tools are built to help marketers and designers analyze how users interact with your product. With features like heatmaps and built-in surveys to gather user feedback, they are great for understanding user behavior and iterating on product design.
While LogRocket also provides some of this functionality, we are focused on helping developers and support teams who are mostly interested in solving two problems:
- Performing root cause analysis of user-reported issues
- Understanding the most impactful issues in your product
Session replay is helpful for understanding what a user did to trigger an issue, but video alone is not enough— you can see a bug happen on the screen, but not know why it happened.
LogRocket combines this log data with session replay to intelligently show you the most impactful issues that are affecting your users — something that no other tool on the market can accomplish.
Examples: New Relic, Dynatrace, AppDynamics
APM tools are a great way to get started and set benchmarks for important user experience issues. However, they fall short when you start to ask more sophisticated questions about performance in your front-end, particularly within SPA-frameworks like React and Angular.
Beyond these differences in performance monitoring, LogRocket's base features set also helps you fix bugs and reproduce user issues.
There’s no such thing as the “best” tool: there is only the tool that best fits your needs. LogRocket is a new type of tool, designed and evolved to meet the real needs of sophisticated front-end apps. (If you’re running a simple front-end product, you probably don’t need LogRocket.) We don’t fit neatly into any of these other categories, though we share aspects with each of them.
Questions? Want to talk through your particular use case and pain points? Please reach out to [email protected].
Updated over 4 years ago