When there is an issue involving the screens rendered via ITS service or via WEBGUI, an HTTP trace can help finding the solution for the issue.

I will present two of the most popular sniffers, Fiddler and HttpWatch, showing the differences among them.

Basics

Fiddler is a web debugging proxy tool. It is installed independent from the web browser used. Installing Fiddler allows you to record an HTTP trace using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Fiddler is free, but offers a Enterprise Support subscription. There is no limitations in the free version.

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HttpWatch is a browser HTTP sniffer. It installs a plugin for the support web browsers: Internet Explorer 8 to 11 and Mozilla Firefox 32 to 40. There is no support for new Firefox releases. (http://blog.httpwatch.com/2015/08/12/httpwatch-will-not-support-firefox-41/)

The HttpWatch tool has two versions: Basic and Professional. The Basic edition allows you to record a trace, but you cannot analyze the trace (there is a limitation). The Professional version allows you to open the traces and deep dive into analyzing the entries.

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Recording a first trace

Using Fiddler

By simply opening Fiddler, the capture of the network traffic starts – independent of which web browser is opened! Just press F12 to stop the recording and delete the entries that might have appeared in the window.

Be sure to close all the unnecessary web browser windows.

Start recording (by pressing F12 again) and reproduce the issue in the web browser window.

Press F12 again and stop the recording:

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You can save the session using format SAZ – the default option. You can come back later to continue the analysis:

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Using HttpWatch

The easiest way to record the trace using HttpWatch, is opening the plugin and press the record button – quite intuitive. In IE, just click “Tools” -> “HttpWatch Professional” (“HttpWatch Basic” for the other version):

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Then reproduce the issue. Click in the Stop button when finished:

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The file can be saved with HWL format, which holds all the information. There are other file format options, but there are information loss.

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Coming next…

Let me show the differences between the traces – how to obtain the same information in both tools.

Later on, how to use advanced features provided in both applications – and how this can help to resolve issues involving ITS/WEBGUI.

See also

2235384 – How to create a Fiddler trace for an ITS/WEBGUI issue

1816543 – How to create HttpWatch trace to troubleshoot ITS related problem

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