StillAlive

This add-on is operated by Copper Cloud Inc

The best way to monitor the live functionality of your web application

StillAlive

Last Updated: 19 March 2014

addons ga monitoring

Table of Contents

StillAlive is an add-on for providing full stack production monitoring for your web application.

Adding StillAlive monitoring to an application provides you with the best way to monitor the live functionality of your web application.

StillAlive is a cloud service for making sure your website stays online and doing what it is meant to do. You set up a test recipe for your site, this recipe is then run continuously against your website, with StillAlive then SMSs or emails you whenever it fails.

StillAlive is a lot more than a simple 200 OK response. Use of custom test recipes allows you to setup StillAlive to log into your application and use it like any user would - every minute of every day you can ensure that all layers of your service, from the Database through to third party APIs you use, are operational.

StillAlive does not require you install anything into your web application or modify your application in any way. You can use it on any kind of application in any language.

Provisioning the add-on

Provisioning StillAlive into your application will make a simple test script that just checks your home page comes up when we visit your site, it’s highly recommended that you modify this to do other checks to take advantage of the power of StillAlive. See the Improving Your Script section below.

StillAlive can be attached to a Heroku application via the command line interface:

$ heroku addons:add stillalive
Adding stillalive on sharp-mountain-4005... done, v86 ($9/mo)
Thank you. Please log in to StillAlive via Heroku to setup your monitoring.
Use `heroku addons:docs stillalive` to view documentation.

After installing StillAlive the application should be configured for the add-on/ web-site monitoring as per later documentation.

The developer plan that gets installed does not include any SMS support, to get this, please install either the starter or plus accounts.

Using with Rails 3.x, Python/Django, Rack, Sinatra, Java, Node….

StillAlive is a cloud service and requires no language specific setup or configurations and so will work on any application written in any language. Even a static page only site can use and benefit from StillAlive.

Monitoring & Logging

Once you have your site recipe provisioned, you should go into your StillAlive dashboard via Heroku and update your contact information through the Profile tab. Each of the methods you list here (alert mobile, email and twitter) will then become available for you to select for each site you have being monitored.

If you want Twitter alerts, be sure to follow @stillalivehq so we can send you a Direct Message if your site goes down.

When you have filled in this information, go back to your Dashboard and view the site and edit the collaborators tab. Here you will see check boxes for each of Email, Twitter and SMS. Check the ones that you want to receive alerts on for this site.

Adding collaborators

There is no limit to the number of collaborators you can have on StillAlive.

You can add as many collaborators as you want to any site. This is useful if you have several sites being monitored by StillAlive, through Heroku and directly. Just invite yourself as a collaborator on each of these sites. Then you will be able to log in and view all of the sites you are collaborating on in one simple dashboard.

Dashboard

For more information on the features available within the StillAlive dashboard please see the docs at help.stilallive.com.

The StillAlive dashboard allows you to write, test, view and edit your scripts, set your reporting criteria and details (i.e. email addresses and SMS numbers), and view reports of the results from monitoring your web application.

The dashboard cannot be accessed via the CLI. Instead go to the Heroku apps web interface and select StillAlive from the Add-ons menu to get logged in.

Improving Your Script

Once you have deployed StillAlive to your Heroku account using the “Deploy to Heroku” section below, the StillAlive system will have created your first, passing script.

The automatically created script will be simple, it will log into the root URL of your site and check for a 200 response. You will most likely want to log in and add more steps to this script.

Script management is done within the Site View page. From your StillAlive dashboard, follow the view button on the Site you want to manage. You will see your currently defined scripts, and have the option to add more scripts to your site if you are on the plus or extra StillAlive plans.

Editing a script does not modify your running script until you save it. So once you are done, press the “Finish Editing” button to save your changes.

Because the StillAlive script editor includes a preview of the site as StillAlive is seeing it, you can build the script step by step to get exactly what you want.

Once you have a passing script with the Test Now button, press Finish Editing and then StillAlive will queue your script up for future tests and notify you if anything goes wrong.

Troubleshooting

Getting a script running correctly against your website can take some work. There is a lot of documentation of available script editor commands on our help site that should give you a good basis to start.

However, if you have any problems at all, you can contact us directly at the StillAlive Support portal.

Migrating between plans

A list of all plans available can be found Heroku Addons Page for StillAlive.

Migrating between plans can be done via the Heroku website or via the Heroku Command line as follows:

$ heroku addons:upgrade stillalive:plus
Upgrading to stillalive:plus on sharp-mountain-4005... done, v88 ($35/mo)
Use `heroku addons:docs stillalive:plus` to view documentation.

The upgrade allows you to add more scripts to your account.

Removing the add-on

Before removing StillAlive from Heroku you should go to the StillAlive Dashboard and remove your account. To do so select “Account”, then “Update Details” from the left-hand menu, and then “Delete Account” at the bottom of the page.

StillAlive can then be removed via the CLI.

This will destroy all associated data and cannot be undone!

$ heroku addons:remove stillalive
-----> Removing stillalive from sharp-mountain-4005... done, v20 (free)

Support

All StillAlive support issues, non-support related issues or product feedback is welcome at StillAlive Support.