New protocols for testing access to your web services

Many of you told us that you were using Hitflow to test REST APIs and that some features were missing to allow you to go further.

Today’s update is therefore linked to the improvement of the tests carried out using the HTTP (or HTTPS) protocol.

If you go to the HTTP(S) type test settings form, you will see that we have added new options in the “HTTP/HTTPS settings” section.

You can choose in the row “Query method” according to this list :

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT

You can also define data sent during these tests by clicking on the “Add” button in the “Query data” line. The added data work on the key principle (left box) value (right box).

Please note that the features described in this article may not be available depending on the offer linked to your Hitflow account.


Scheduling maintenance of your services

If you have scheduled an update to your website that will result in a service interruption, we invite you to schedule this maintenance in Hitflow.

Indeed, rather than receiving unnecessary alerts or disabling monitoring, at the risk of forgetting to turn it back on afterwards, maintenance scheduling in Hitflow will allow you to disable alerts punctually according to the criteria you will have defined beforehand.

To schedule one now, go to your Hitflow account:

  1. Login to your management interface
  2. Go to the navigation menu on the “Alerts > Maintenance” page.
  3. Click on the “Schedule a Maintenance” button to open the creation form.
  4. From the form, specify a name for the Maintenance.
  5. Enter the period of time during which all alerts should be disabled.
  6. You can define a recurrence if this Maintenance is repeated over time.
  7. If you do not want to disturb your availability statistics, check the box “Automatic deactivation”.
  8. Select the services and servers that should no longer be monitored during the maintenance.
  9. Finish by scheduling the maintenance using the “Save” button.

At the date and time indicated, our robots will ignore any access problems that your websites and servers may experience and once the time limit has passed, monitoring will resume normally.


Send automatic reports by email

You can send yourself activity reports by email to get a summary of the tests performed over a defined period of time according to three possible choices: daily, weekly, monthly.

To configure this new feature, we invite you to follow the following procedure:

  1. Login to your Hitflow account.
  2. Go to the “Alerts > Reports” page and click on the “Create a report” button.
  3. In the creation form, specify a name for this automatic report, choose the frequency of sending and the email of the recipient.
  4. Define the content of the report by checking the websites, SSL certificates, domain names and servers that should be included in the report.
  5. Validate the creation of the report by clicking on the “Save” button.

According to the defined frequency, you will receive your email according to the rules below:

  • Daily: every day at 7am.
  • Weekly: every Monday at 7am.
  • Monthly: every 1st of the month at 7am.

We plan to allow a report to be sent to multiple email addresses. However, while waiting for this change, we invite you to create several automatic reports (one per email address).


Hitflow Multi-User Account Management

We are continuing the development of functionalities related to the use of Hitflow in the enterprise by offering you a new update allowing multi-user management.

For all eligible offers, you can now share access to your account with other Hitflow users.

By giving access to your account, other users will be able to :

  • Set up availability tests.
  • Set SSL certificate or domain name reminders.
  • Set server monitoring alerts.
  • Change the information of contacts receiving alerts.
  • Customize public status pages.
  • Manage Hitflow API authentication tokens.

The management of the accesses to your account is done from the manager in the “Settings > Users” section. In this page, you will be able to add, delete or deactivate access to a user.

Please note that although the main part is shared between all users of the account, the settings page is accessible only by the account holder (creator).

A management of permission groups allowing in particular the definition of certain roles will be deployed as part of a future update.


Monitoring the resources and performance of your servers

We are pleased to present, in today’s update, our easy to implement server monitoring solution!

By closely monitoring the use of the resources of your servers, our robots will alert you in case of anomalies and you will be able to intervene even before your users are blocked by an unavailable service.

How server monitoring works

As with website monitoring, our server monitoring solution is based on the principle of regular testing with the following steps:

  1. Your server sends our APIs a report on the status of its resources.
  2. This report is recorded and analyzed by our robots.
  3. If one of the alert thresholds is exceeded, an alert is immediately sent with detailed information.

In addition, in the event that your server no longer sends reports (Internet outage or server down), an alert is automatically sent when the timeout period has expired.

Setting up monitoring

There are two main steps in configuring the monitoring of a server :

  1. Access key generation to allow server authentication when reporting to our APIs.
  2. Installation of a scheduled task allowing the execution of a script to collect and send information.

To help you in the process, we have developed a Python script that you can download from your manager. This script can be run directly on your server or template service to allow you to develop your own data collection script.

For more technical information on the installation, we invite you to consult the documentation relating to the setting up of the monitoring.


Domain name renewal reminders

Forgetting to renew a domain name despite reminders from hosting providers is something that can happen.

Our mission being to accompany you to avoid any interruption of web services, we propose, in this update, a tool allowing the programming of renewal alerts.

In addition to reminders, you can take advantage of security alerts in the following cases:

  • The domain name is no longer protected against transfers.
  • The owner has been changed.
  • The domain name has been renewed.

For this tool to work, our robots retrieve domain name information (expiration date, owner…) from public data available in Whois directories.

The directory of your domain name may not provide the expiration date or other information useful for the proper functioning of the monitoring. Therefore, before using this service, we invite you to consult the list of compatible domain names.

To take advantage of the monitoring of your domain names, you can register them to have reminders like this :

  • Login to your Hitflow account.
  • Go to “Monitoring > Domain names”.
  • Click on the “Add a domain name” button to display the creation form.
  • Fill in a name displayed in the manager.
  • Define the domain name to be monitored (without subdomain).
  • Set up reminders according to the number of days you wish.
  • Activate the alert options to be notified of parameter changes.
  • Select the persons who should be alerted about the domain name.
  • Validate the creation by clicking the “Save” button.

After a few minutes, our robots will have retrieved the information about your domain name and the monitoring will have started.


Monitor the status and renewal of your SSL Certificates

With the widespread use of SSL certificates on the Web, new parameters must be taken into account to ensure the proper functioning and access of your websites.

Our monitoring solution already takes care of notifying you when the certificate of your website is invalid. However, today we propose to protect your websites from two new cases.

This new tool will allow you to schedule reminders when the certificate expiry date is approaching. Indeed, very often, the validity period of a certificate being more than 1 year, one can quickly forget its renewal.

Our tool will also alert you when a certificate change is detected. If you are not responsible for the change, it is possible that an unauthorized person may be responsible for the change, in which case you will need to investigate.

From now on, you can take advantage of certificate monitoring by proceeding as follows:

  1. Login to your Hitflow account.
  2. Go to the new section “Monitoring > SSL Certificates”.
  3. Click on the “Add SSL Certificate” button.
  4. In the creation form, enter a name for your SSL certificate.
  5. Define a URL from which the SSL certificate will be accessible.
  6. Define the number of days remaining before receiving an alert.
  7. Choose the contacts you want to alert.
  8. Confirm the creation by clicking the “Save” button.

After a few minutes, our robots will have tested your certificate and you will see some information appear in your manager.

You will also receive renewal reminders when the expiry date matches the number of days indicated.


Summary of updates as of May 2019

During the beginning of May, we made a number of service improvements, the main elements of which are detailed below.

Form for setting up availability tests

Following the numerous additions of functionalities, the page allowing the configuration of availability tests has been redesigned to facilitate the entry of useful information.

You may find that depending on the type of test (ICMP, TCP, HTTP), a certain amount of additional information may be requested.

Performance report pages

We have reorganized the report page to provide you with the main availability information from your website more quickly.

A quick access has been set up to allow you to perform the following two actions quickly:

  • Change the time interval between tests.
  • Enable or disable website monitoring.

Billing management

In anticipation of the marketing of our monitoring solution, we have completed the page in the manager allowing you to download the invoices associated with your account.

To download an invoice, go to your manager, in the “Billing” tab accessible from the “Settings” section in the navigation menu.


Account email addresses and detailed reports

This evening we carried out a manager’s update in order to prepare the further development of our monitoring service.

Validation of the email address of the account

The next time you log in, you will find a banner at the top of the page inviting you to validate your email address. This validation is done by clicking on a link sent by email to your address.

The reason for this new step is to ensure the security of our infrastructure. As you may know, we were planning to offer a free offer to test our monitoring solution.

Thus, we are obliged to set up this email address verification system to prevent misuse.

In the event that an email address is not validated, the account will be automatically deactivated after 48 hours and all information will be deleted 7 days after its deactivation.

Detailed reports of an availability test

You can now view more information on a test performed by the availability robots by going to the “reports” page.

In the “Logs” tab, you will see a clickable button at each test line allowing the display of a popup containing all the information useful to understand the result.


Hitflow Account Permission Management

An important step in the development of our monitoring solution has just been taken: we have just added offer management! This new functionality implies important changes that we will detail to you now.

Concretely, until now, you could benefit from all the monitoring functionalities developed without any restrictions. However, from now on, a new management system based on four offers is in place limiting access to certain functionalities.

As we are currently in “open beta”, you will be able to continue to enjoy all the monitoring functionalities free of charge after completing the procedure below from your account.

  1. Login from the manager to your Hitflow account.
  2. Open the “Settings” section and click on the “Offers” tab.
  3. Select the “Business” offer if you wish to have access to all the monitoring tools by clicking on the “Change” button.
  4. Follow the procedure on our order interface and when you are prompted to enter a code, enter it : BETA
  5. By validating the code, you won’t have to pay anymore and you will be able to confirm the order.

Once you have validated the order, the selected offer will be automatically assigned to your account and you will be able to take advantage of all the features immediately.