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Product Updates

Chromium Upgrades for ThousandEyes Transaction Tests

By Lulu Bai & Andrew Varnell
| | 5 min read

Summary

We have released Cloud and Enterprise Agents that include both the current and future Chromium versions. This capability is intended to provide better visibility before rolling out the Chromium upgrade to all of our agent vantage points.


If you use Chrome, chances are you’re aware of the badge that will update your browser. You might even recognize that it pops up every month or so. If you’re using a corporate device, you might also receive pings from a compliance team telling you to update your browser to the newest version. Have you wondered why there are so many reminders to upgrade your browser?

The Chromium Project, an open-source project that is the foundation of the Chrome browser and Microsoft Edge, regularly releases improvements that range from new features to critical security enhancements on a monthly schedule. In this ever-changing landscape of browsers, staying up to date ensures compliance with internal security policies and enables the proper display and functionality of web pages and applications as intended.

This update practice is true for our synthetic browser-based tests as well! At ThousandEyes, our transaction tests are a great way to identify outages and performance problems impacting end-user experiences and critical user journeys before a customer complains about them. Our transaction tests offer tremendous flexibility, allowing our users to script browser interactions with complex applications. With that flexibility, you also get access to experimental Chromium features, some of which will change from version to version. But if you’re not careful, it can cause false alarms for your performance monitoring tests when these versions change.  

Both Versions of Chromium

We want to give our customers the flexibility of advanced transaction scripting and visibility into issues, while we continually update our browser, Chromium. To provide that visibility before a Chromium upgrade gets rolled out to all of our agent vantage points, we’ve provided a version of the Enterprise Agent with both the existing version of Chromium and the version we will be upgrading to next.

All Cloud Agents, which ThousandEyes manages, will also automatically include both versions of Chromium. You can choose to upgrade your internal Enterprise Agent vantage points using Agent Settings, as shown in Figure 1.

Snapshot of the ThousandEyes platform showing configurations for updating Chromium with internal Enterprise Agents
Figure 1. Configurations for updating Chromium with internal Enterprise Agents

With that agent setup, all of your tests will still use the default Chromium version to ensure the consistency of test results. You’ll then also have two options to understand the impact of the newer version of Chromium on any existing test:

  1. Duplicate the test and run a lower-interval scheduled test on the newer version: This allows you to be alerted anytime we update the Chromium version in the future, and if there is any incompatibility. 

  2. Adjust the test settings without saving the changes: The two settings to adjust are "Agents" selected and the "Chromium Version." Then, run an instant test to see the results for just one test round. 

We’ve also added the ability to identify the version of Chromium used in Views to help troubleshoot any issues with version inconsistency.


If you use ThousandEyes to run browser-based tests, we’d love for you to try this capability out on your Enterprise Agents and Page Load or Transaction Tests.  

As we continue to improve our browser-based tests, we plan to upgrade Chromium regularly, just as you upgrade your browser periodically. Doing so will give you the best view into how the web page was intended to be rendered, enable compliance with corporate policies, and help keep you and your organization secure. 

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