The following are FAQs regarding BrowserHawk's patented PLT technology and its use:


What browsers are supported?

Currently PLT technology is supported for Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher, Firefox 1.0 and higher, and others browsers based on Gecko with build dates later than February 2006. You do not need to manually turn PLT on/off based on browser type. BrowserHawk only sends the PLT instrumentation code to supported browsers.


I already use a hosted service for page load time monitoring. How is PLT different?

Please see the Advantages over traditional page load time monitoring topic.


What pages can I track PLT for?

PLT data can be tracked and logged for any or all pages on your site. Simply call the PltHead method from the pages you wish to log. PLT data can even be tracked for static pages, such as basic .htm files. Contact us for more information.


Is there an advantage to tracking all pages in a site?

Yes. All pages within a site that use PLT tracking are considered PLT "Family" pages. The more pages in your site that are in the Family, the more detailed results which are available. In particular the Latency measurement is only available as users move from one PLT Family page to another. Therefore the more PLT pages in the Family, the more Latency measurements that will be available.


What is the best way to integrate PLT into an entire site?

Typically the best way is to integrate BrowserHawk into your main page template. For example, if you are using ASP.NET you can put the code into your Master Page so that the PltHead method is called from each page, without you having to integrate BrowserHawk into every page. Other languages such as ASP, ColdFusion MX, and JSP have similar templating or include files available to accomplish the same.


Can I associate PLT data with a particular user or session?

Yes. You can use the PLTUserID and PLTSessionID properties (ActiveX) or UserID and SessionID properties (.NET/Java) for such purposes.


Can I associate PLT data with each user's browser and system configuration data?

Yes. First use the LogData method (ActiveX), or LogData method (.NET/Java) to log details to BRWS that you are interested in capturing, such as the visitor's browser type, version, platform, plug-ins, and security settings. Tag this data with a user ID or session ID using the LogDataUserID and LogDataSessionID properties (ActiveX), or LogOptions UserID and LogOptions SessionID properties (.NET/Java). Then use these same values for the PLT session and user IDs (as mentioned in the preceeding question).


I have additional information I'd like logged with the PLT data. Is this possible?

Yes. There are three integer columns, three "double" columns, and five string columns available for storing of any custom information as desired along with the PLT data. See the PLTExtraString1 property (ActiveX) and PLTOptions class (.NET/Java) for more information.


TIP: It is helpful when analyzing PLT data to know if the visitor was using a broadband vs. a dial-up connection. Use the above mentioned options to store a 1 for Broadband and 0 for Dial-up into the ExtraInt1 column so you can easily filter your database queries based on this criteria. Likewise it can be very helpful to store the visitor's country with the data as well. You can use the ExtraString1 property, for example, to store this information. Note that country information is available through cyScape's CountryHawk product, available separately.


I already have a session ID or user ID stored in a cookie that I'd like to use for controlling the session ID and user ID settings for the PLT data. Can I have BrowserHawk reuse these values?

Yes. See the PLTSessionIDFromCookie (ActiveX) and SessionIDFromCookie properties (.NET/Java) for details.


Does PLT tracking work with BrowserHawk pages that perform extended property tests?

Yes. PLT integrates seamlessly with pages that perform extended property tests. Just be sure to use the method signature of GetExtendedBrowser that takes a PLTOptions class along with the ExtendedOptions class if using the .NET or Java version of BrowserHawk.


Does PLT work without performing an extended property test?

Yes. PLT data does not require extended property tests or any round trip or overhead with the browser or server whatsoever.


Is PLT tracking an efficient process?

Yes. PLT tracking is highly optimized and accomplished using just 3KB of instrumentation code transmitted to the browser along with your page. This instrumentation does not place any additional load on your servers or slow the site down in any way.


Is the PLT data available on the browser at run-time, so that I can display the load times or take special actions based on the results?

Yes. BrowserHawk provides direct access to the PLT results at run time, so that using your own client-side scripting (such as JavaScript) you can display the results or take special actions accordingly.


The following is an overview of these features:


Displaying PLT data in your web page: After your page loads BrowserHawk looks for the followiing elements in your page:

If an element exists in your page that matches on ore more of those IDs, BrowserHawk will automatically set the elements to the corresponding PLT values once the page finishes loading.

For example, the simple action of placing the following HTML into your web page will result in displaying the total page load time on your page:

This page loaded in <span id='plt_total'></span> seconds.

Accesing PLT values through script: Once your page has loaded you can call the following global JavaScript functions within your page to access the raw PLT data:

For example, assume you wanted to display an alert if a page was viewed from the browser's cache. You could do so simply by including the following JavaScript in your page:

if (plt_isCached() == true) alert('This page is old. Hit refresh in your browser.');


See Also:

About Page Load Time Monitoring