Manage your Raygun quota effectively with these 7 tips

Editor’s note: this article was last updated November 2017 

If you have any concerns about going over your plan’s monthly error quota, this guide will help you implement strategies to manage your Raygun error quota effectively.

The key to staying within your quota is to keep the Raygun dashboard organized. Staying organized helps save time, too, as you’ll prevent non-critical errors staying active, ensuring you and your team are only alerted to the errors that matter.

We recommend implementing the following seven items to manage your error quota effectively. Each item only takes a few minutes:

  • Triage and manage errors inside Raygun
  • Mark errors as “Permanently Ignored
  • Use the “Usage” tab to see which errors are taking up the most of your plan quota
  • Fix the errors in your application
  • Order errors by highest occurrence
  • Use the “Inbound Filters” feature to stop seeing unimportant errors
  • Use the “Error Count” Dashboard tile as a visual aid
  • We go into more detail below.

    How to triage and manage errors inside Raygun

    When you launch Raygun Crash Reporting, you’ll see a range of tabs under the central graph:

    Any new errors from your application will land in your “Active” tab. Depending on your notification settings we will also send you an email to let you know that an error has occurred. If you have integrated with one of our ChatOps providers (e.g. Slack or HipChat), you’ll also get notified there.

    To make sure you stay aware of the active errors your system is experiencing we recommend you check in with your “Active” tab regularly. Raygun automatically orders errors in the “Active” tab chronologically. However, you can reorder by frequency by clicking the “Count” tab which will bring the highest occurring errors to the top of the list.

    Errors ordered by “Count” will also indicate how many users have been affected. Raygun recommends that you prioritize error fixes based on how many users are affected by an error.

    As long as an error remains in the “Active” tab, Raygun will continue to collect all the details related to the error which will count towards your quota.

    Once you have fixed an error in your application and deployed the change, we recommend you immediately move the error group to the “Resolved” tab.

    By keeping your dashboard organized, you can stay focused on the critical errors in your “Active” tab.

    Mark errors as “Permanently Ignored”

    Raygun will capture any errors that are happening in your system, including errors that may be low value or are not deemed to be of consequence for your system.

    An example is if a customer’s web application is using an out-of-date and unsupported browser which caused client side errors to land in Raygun. You have no intention of fixing this type of error and do not wish to see them in your dashboard. Errors of this nature can both be distracting and have the ability to start consuming your quota.

    To manage this, you can ignore them without consuming your quota by moving them into the “Permanently Ignored” tab.

    You will see the following dialog where you can choose if you still want Raygun to collect any more information about this error (which will count towards your quota), or if you want to stop receiving the error information (which will mean that this error will no longer count towards your quota):

    Manage your Raygun error quota by permanently ignoring errors

    For errors that you do not intend to fix, invalid configurations that you do not intend to support, or false errors you want to ignore, we recommend that you select to stop collecting information about these errors to avoid consuming your quota. (Refer to the Inbound Filters area in this guide for how to set up filtering for errors that are deemed unimportant.)

    Use the “Usage” tab to see which errors are taking up your quota

    Have you ever wondered which application is contributing to the largest amount of error events reported inside Raygun? It’s quite easy to tell.

    Head to your username located in the top right corner of your Raygun dashboard. Navigate to the connected plan for which you need to see your usage.

    From here, select the “Usage” tab. On this page, you can view your total usage for the month with a complete error summary breakdown per application. If you have both Crash Reporting and Real User Monitoring enabled, you can sort this information by product:

    The “Crash Reporting” tab shows the total processed events:

    This tab will break down the total processed events and reveal which applications on your plan were throwing the most errors contributing to your limit:

    The usage tab is one of the most effective ways of managing your Raygun error quota

    If you have a large number of applications, this tab quickly highlights which applications are consuming your quota. Use this tab to review the errors for that particular application. Use this as a measure of how to understand if you need to start resolving errors in your Active tab, or if you no longer wish to track them and can send them to your “Permanently ignore” tab.

    The “Real User Monitoring” tab shows total processed sessions:

    Use this tab to understand how many sessions are contributing to your  usage:

    The usage tab is one of the most effective ways of managing your Raygun error quota

    Fix the errors in your application

    The most effective way to reduce the number of errors being processed by Raygun is to fix them in your application. That way they are never sent to Raygun in the first place to be processed:

    Error instance data and stack trace information give you the details you need to fix your errors

    Raygun offers detailed diagnostic information about every error happening in your code. By selecting an error from the application dashboard, you can drill into the error’s technical information, and highlight where the problem is occurring in your code. We refer to this page as the “Error details” page:

    The error details page give the diagnostic information needed to fix software errors

    The “Error details” page allows you to loop in your team members either by adding a comment and “@” mentioning them, or by using the assignment controls located on the top right of the page to assign them ownership of the error.

    When an issue is assigned to a team member, the error will not only show up in its associated workflow tab (e.g. “Active” or “Resolved”), but it will also show up on the “My Errors” tab. This lets each of your team quickly see what errors have been assigned to them to fix.

    Raygun also has a comprehensive set of integrations with all popular issue tracking software (e.g. JIRA or Visual Studio Online) allowing you to link a Raygun report with a new or existing issue in your issue tracking system. This lets you leverage your existing workflow for getting work completed and bugs resolved.

    Order errors by highest occurrence and fix the biggest problems first

    On the main Raygun dashboard view, you can sort the table underneath the main graph by the number of events  (or “Count”). The highest frequency issues affecting your application will appear at the top of the table:

    Ordering errors by error count another way to managing your error quota effectively

    Prioritizing the errors that have the highest occurrences means you can vastly reduce the number of errors happening in your app while saving your quota from being taken up by the processing of these errors.

    The more errors that Raygun processes for you, the more you use up your quota. Stop these error groups first and fix them in your application to keep you well under your error quota.

    Set up Inbound Filtering to avoid seeing unimportant errors

    Once you have an active triage and resolution process in place, you may find there is a commonality to the errors not relevant to your system.

    To help save you time and effort in managing these, we offer the ability to define rules (referred to as “Inbound Filters”) which Raygun uses as a rule around which errors it should be ignoring.

    A typical example is when crawler bots or other robot agents try to index your web application and raise errors. (Which is quite common.)

    These errors often come from invalid or unsupported behavior. Rather than having to ignore these on a case by case basis, inbound filtering helps you create a rule that tells Raygun to discard any errors triggered by robots immediately.

    Discarding errors in this way will save you the hassle of dealing with them and the frustration of being notified about a low priority issue.

    Using “Inbound Filters” you can choose to ignore errors associated with the criteria listed below. For web applications, we also include a set of standard filters which cover bot traffic, 404’s and errors that we commonly see raised by vulnerability scanning tools.

    Note: Inbound Filters don’t apply to currently stored errors.

    Here’s how to set up the Inbound Filters feature

    Step 1. Select the “Inbound filters” option

    Head to your Raygun Crash Reporting application and select “Inbound Filtering”:

    Step 2. Select filter criteria

    Select your filter based on one of the following criteria:

  • IP address
  • Machine name
  • HTTP hostname
  • Versions (including “no specific version”)
  • Message
  • Tag
  • User agent
  • Inbound filters are a very good way of managing your Raygun error quota

    You can also toggle some of the more frequently requested filters on or off using the green sliders shown below: 

    Toggle between popular filters inside Raygun

    Use the “Error Count” Dashboard tile as a visual aid

    Raygun’s dashboard feature helps to organize vast amounts of data into easy to read charts and maps. Add the “Error Count” tile to your dashboard display to keep this number front of mind:

    Raygun's dashboard feature is a key part of effectively managing your error quota

    Error spikes are easy to spot with the “Error Group” tile. Use the TV Mode to display the data around your office, so error spikes are visible to the whole team.

    In summary

    Raygun ensures you have all the information you need to find and fix software errors. Adopt an effective workflow for triaging and resolving errors and you are sure to stay well beneath your quota.

    The Raygun team is always on hand to help with any questions you may have. Contact us here.

    Further reading

    How we found 263 users were experiencing errors plus what we did to resolve it

    Are you using all of Raygun’s features? Which could you be missing out on?