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Home > Success Center > Web Performance Monitor (WPM) > Add authentication action to existing WPM recordings

Add authentication action to existing WPM recordings

Updated: 5-17-2017

Affected versions: WPM 2.2.1 or later

After upgrading to WPM 2.2.1 or later, existing recordings may fail due to a missing authentication step. Starting with version 2.2.1, the WPM Recorder requires an authentication action in every recording to occur in situations where WPM Browser Engine is forced to use an authentication method other than anonymous.

This occurs because the anonymous user account did not gain access to one or more of the following:

  • The requested file or Web page
  • Any of the requested objects embedded in the file or Web page (for example, images)
  • The ISAPI extensions associated with the requested file or Web page (for example, .shtml file)

Without the authentication step, the recording and playback will not function in the environment where Windows Integrated authentication credentials are needed.

To resolve: After upgrading WPM, you need to update transaction recordings by adding an authentication action to playback correctly. Administrators can edit existing recording files to add the authentication step by exporting the recording, manually editing to add the authentication action, importing the edited recording, and updating the authentication action with proper credentials.

SolarWinds recommends creating a recording as a user who has the same privileges as users used to playback on player machines.

For technical understanding: Starting with version 2.2.1, when the WPM Recorder or Player is started, the following register keys are set to value 0x10000 by default for WPM Recorder and Player at playback time:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\1\1A00
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\2\1A00
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3\1A00
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\4\1A00

This setting is reverted back to its original value when WPM Recorder or Player process is closed. These settings enforce the authentication step to occur at recording time and it is required at playback time to be able to navigate to pages where Windows level authentications are needed.

Edit existing recording files

This process requires the following steps:

  • Export the original recording
  • Play the recording to find out which navigation action needs authentication action
  • Modify exported recording file to add artificial empty authentication action
  • Import the recording into WPM Recorder
  • Modify imported recording to add proper credentials to the artificial authentication action
  • Save the transaction in WPM

Step 1: Export the recording to a file

To start we have to export an old recording to a file. We can do it from WPM Recorder by opening this recording at first.

  1. Start the WPM Recorder.
  2. Connect to the Orion Server with proper credentials.
  3. From menu choose File > Open, or use shortcut CTRL+O.
  4. Select an existing recording to add the authentication action, and click Open.
  5. Select File > Export, or use shortcut CTRL+E.
  6. When prompted to protect the recording by encryption sensitive data, select No if you are not going to send this recording to someone.
  7. Enter a name for the exported recording and save it to the Desktop.

Step 2: Play the recording to find out which navigation action needs an authentication action

We have to find out which navigation action in the recording requires an added authentication action to properly navigate to a secured page.

  1. Open the recording in WPM Recorder.
  2. Play the transaction by clicking play button on toolbar, or click on Edit > Play.
  3. Wait until the recording fails to navigate to the secured page. The failure occurs at some point in the recording. It may happen at the first navigation action or a later step.

In this example, the recording failed to navigate to the secured page in step nr 2 with a navigation action to http://mytestpage.com/auth/index.html. This is the step you need to locate in the recording. You will add the authentication action to that step.

Step 3: Modify the exported recording file to add artificial empty authentication action

  1. Open exported recording file in a text editor.
  2. Locate the step that failed in XML recording structure of recording. For this example, locate step nr 2.
  3. Add a new line after this step. Place the cursor at the end of the line for the navigation action to a secured page and Press ENTER key to add the line.
  4. In the new line, copy and paste the following artificial authentication action code:
    <action type="Authenticate" guid="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" browserIndex="0" username="" password="" cancel="false" />
    For example, the code was added to step nr 2:
  5. Save the recording file.

Step 4: Import the edited recording into WPM Recorder

  1. Open the WPM Recorder and connect to Orion Server.
  2. From menu choose File > Import, or use shortcut CTRL+I.
  3. Locate and import the edited recording file.

Step 5: Modify imported recording to correct artificial authentication action

You need to edit the artificial authentication action in the WPM Recorder to set the proper Windows Identification credentials.

  1. Open the imported recording file.
  2. In the WPM Recorder, locate and double click on the authentication action in the time line section. A Windows Security window should open to enter credentials.
  3. Enter the proper user name and password required to navigate to the secured page in the steps, and click OK.
  4. Play the transaction to verify the authentication action works with the entered credentials.

Step 6: Update the transaction in WPM

WPM does not have an update option for existing transactions. You can create a new recording by saving the edited recording with a new name.

  1. Click the Save button in the toolbar.
  2. Give the recording a new name. You cannot reuse the name of the original recording, every recording name has to be unique.
  3. Click the checkbox Open web console to create a monitor for this recording.
  4. Click OK.
  5. The Web Console opens with a wizard asking you to set a few settings for this new transaction.
  6. Set the location for this new transaction, and click Next.
  7. Set thresholds and the proxy server URL (if needed).
  8. Save the new transaction.
    Wait a few minutes to see the transaction result of the playback of this transaction and the status of UP.

You are done. The recording includes the required authentication step with working credentials.

To update additional existing recordings, follow all of these steps as needed.

Last modified
16:19, 17 May 2017

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