Welcome to Raygun: A quick start guide for new and returning usersPosted Sep 12, 2017 | 11 min. (2253 words)
Welcome to Raygun. Whether you are new to Raygun or have been a customer for a while, there is always plenty to discover inside the Raygun app.
Raygun helps your development team discover and reproduce issues affecting end users with greater speed and accuracy. Less than 1% of users report a software error they encountered. Raygun helps you to discover these errors, look after your users and prevent future software problems.
In this article, you’ll learn how to best set up Raygun to be the most effective, and a few key features that we recommend.
Send data from production
Invite team members or join an existing team
Strip any sensitive data from Raygun
Integrate Raygun with your existing tools
App definition and handle your environments
Set your notifications preferences
Error statuses and solving your first error
Customizable error notifications
Filter and search information relating to errors
Full session trace on errors
How does Raygun automatically group errors?
Gain more control over error grouping
Not sure where to start? The essential setup section of this guide will help you navigate through creating the foundation of your Raygun account. Raygun is highly customizable to your business needs, so once you have the basic setup steps completed, we recommend you follow the advanced guide to start receiving data that suits your preferences and developer workflow.
Start sending data to Raygun
The first step is to add Raygun to your production environment. Data will start flowing through your Raygun dashboard immediately, and you’ll be able to sort, assign and act on the data. Installation is language specific.
Invite your team to Raygun
Add team members to Raygun so everyone can get access to your account. (We understand you might want to explore Raygun first so that you can skip this step until you are ready.)
Strip sensitive information and define your privacy settings
You have maximum control over how much data Raygun collects. If you do not wish to capture any user identifier information, exclude sensitive data as early as possible. You may also be interested in how Raygun handles privacy, including government and industry compliance (such as HIPPA).
Integrate your current technology stack
Build robust error resolution processes by integrating your existing development tools with Raygun. Integrating doesn’t take long, and can have a profound difference on the time it takes to raise issues to the right person.
Source control: Raygun works with your source control software to synchronize issues, making it easier to stay on top of errors in your application. You can also link back to source with GitHub, BitBucket, and GitLab for the fast retrieval of a stack trace.
Alerting: If something breaks in the middle of the night, you need to be reassured it will be raised and fixed quickly. Raygun integrates with alerting software like PagerDuty and VictorOps to ensure on-call developers have the diagnostic details they need to fix an error quickly.
Project management: Integrate your issue tracker or project management tool with Raygun so you can plan, track, release and support your software. Here’s a guide to integrating JIRA Software and Raygun.
What is an ‘app’ in Raygun, and how do I handle environments?
As a first time user, you may be wondering what defines an app in Raygun.
Each application you create in Raygun has a unique and separate API key. It is the API key that tells Raygun where to send the error report. Your API key provides a way to group errors into containers. It’s your very own filing system to store your errors.
Set up your notifications preferences
Raygun Crash Reporting wants to keep you regularly updated on the health of your software. Any time your software throws an error, Raygun will automatically keep you in the loop by sending an email notification containing the diagnostic details you need for a fix. We recommend you customize these notifications from day one, so you receive the relevant notifications and disregard noise.
*Important: Avoid using your email provider’s inbox filters for any Raygun emails. You may miss important emails regarding billing information. Whitelist the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure important emails regarding you plan reaches your inbox. Error notifications come from email@example.com
Raygun is designed to provide you with the actionable data you need to find and fix performance problems for your end users. To get the most from your Raygun plan, we recommend you customize your Raygun account to receive the data that makes sense for your development workflow. This advanced setup section will help you surface the most pertinent data to the right people on your team.
Search custom data with Tagging
Tags allow you to attach custom data to send additional contextual information when the error occurs. All custom data is then searchable and filterable within Raygun so you can pinpoint and triage errors with greater speed and accuracy. You can also tag VIP users to understand how they use your application and which errors they run into frequently, so you can prioritize the fix.
Attach a trail of events leading to a crash with Breadcrumbs
Using this feature, you can connect an accurate trail of the events through your system leading up to the moment a crash report was generated. You’ll gain more insight into why the application crashed when it did, making prioritization of fixes much easier.
Filter unnecessary data with Inbound filters
Inbound filtering is one of the best ways to sort your errors. Create criteria to ignore errors coming from a particular IP address, machine name, created by a specific version, and more.
Identify your users with User tracking
Use Raygun to determine the individual users having a bad experience so you can offer exceptional and personal customer service by enabling User Tracking. View performance breakdowns on page load speeds as well as full diagnostic details for errors and crashes that caused users to walk away. Use this information to reach out to customers before they report the error – they will be delighted.
Set up Deployment tracking
Deployment tracking will give you visibility into software releases and the effects they have on both your application and end users.
Discover if the latest version release slowed down your application, or if it caused an error. You’ll be able to make a more informed decision on whether you roll back the deployment, or address the fix.
Visualize and access data quickly with Dashboards
Raygun gathers a great deal of data on your applications, and the Raygun dashboard allows you to visualize all this data in one place. Drag and drop tiles showing error trends over time, adoption rates and more, and create multiple dashboards depending on your needs. Dashboards are invaluable when you need a quick at-a-glance health check. You’ll see error spikes and performance problems displayed in an easy to digest UI.
How Raygun organizes and displays data
Great, so now you should be all set up with our core features. But how can you start navigating all your customized data? This section will explain how Raygun sorts and displays your data so you can organize your dashboards quickly.
Error statuses and how to solve your first error
When Raygun receives an error, it gets sent to the ‘Active’ tab in your main dashboard. You can then take action to change it to another status. Error statuses are a great way to organize your dashboard and prioritize your resources for error fixes. They also directly affect your plan’s usage. Use the error statuses to drag an ‘Active’ error to the ‘Resolved’ tab. Congratulations, you resolved your first error!
Customizable error notifications
Raygun wants to keep you regularly updated on the health of your software. Any time your software throws an error, Raygun Crash Reporting will automatically send an email notification containing the diagnostic details you need to fix it.
How to filter and search information relating to errors
Use inbound filters to filter error groups: Inbound filters are necessary because they will reduce any error noise from any applications you wish to ignore. (For example, a legacy version.)
Search error groups: Raygun search allows you to view error groups and instances that match the keyword queries you enter.
Build custom reports: Raygun never samples data; we store every single error instance, which means you can download detailed reports for analysis. (Business and Enterprise plans only.)
Full session trace on errors
Edge cases are usually caused by an unforeseen sequence of events, for example, the way the end user is traveling through your app combined with the browser they use. Therefore, replicating the environment in which an error occurred takes longer. The full session trace is invaluable for revealing this information.
How does Raygun automatically group errors?
Raygun’s error grouping algorithm relies primarily on the stack trace. Therefore, it works best when errors are given the appropriate design considerations before they are sent into Raygun.
How to get more control over error grouping
If rewriting your error messages is not a viable option, here are some ways you can add additional controls over your error grouping.
Make sure you are using the latest version of your Raygun language provider: Running your application on an outdated version means you won’t get all the benefits of the best grouping logic Raygun has to offer. Each time Raygun adds an updated version we include many edge cases from the billions of data points we collect.
Merge error groups inside the app: You can merge similar errors inside the app on an ad-hoc basis by using the merging feature. After merging singular errors into a group, both types of error will appear under the newly merged group. Reoccurring errors will also appear in the newly merged group.
Use the custom grouping feature: Everyone has slightly different ideas of how to group errors. Inconsistencies between languages make grouping criteria even harder. Raygun groups errors primarily on the stack trace.
When there are edge cases that Raygun can’t deal with, you can use the custom grouping feature to apply additional logic on top of what Raygun can automatically provide.
This is a feature that should be used with caution and only used when the built-in grouping logic doesn’t quite suit you.
Need further assistance with error grouping?
We are constantly working on improving our grouping algorithm to ensure that the right errors are grouped together. Having said that, it is a difficult problem and we don’t always get it right, so it helps to get some examples from our users to help us improve.
If you’ve tried all of the above methods, understood how Raygun automatically groups errors, and you still need further assistance, we’d like to hear from you.
Send us the name of the provider and language you are using and the URLs of the error events that you believe are grouped or separated incorrectly, and one of our engineers will be in touch.
Maintaining your Raygun account
Raygun will soon become an integral part of your workflow. Keep your eye on our monthly product newsletter and in-app messages for updates. In the meantime, you may be interested in where Raygun fits into a workflow, and how to keep your error quota in check.
Where does Raygun fit in with my workflow?
This question will depend on your technology stack, but many of our customers use integrations to set up a robust debugging workflow.
How can I keep my error quota in check?
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.
Suggest features in our feature request forums
Is there something missing from Raygun that would make your life easier? Suggest what you need in our feature request forums. We read every one, and if we receive enough requests, we’ll get to work building it for you.
Are you still unsure about some of your plan settings or how to find features? Ask for a walkthrough of how best to set up your Raygun plan.