Recording Web Surfing Sessions with Zebra Tester

Recording a Web surfing session is supported by using any web browser, like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari.

You can use also Zebra Tester in either Firefox or Chrome without installing their respective Apica Recorder Extensions.

However, without either Firefox or Chrome browser extension, you must reconfigure your Web browser before you will be able to record a Web surfing session. This is described in the Installation Guide, Chapter 3:

**Note:** Using a Recording Extension requires that the ZebraTester Console is started.

Before using ZebraTester, you must configure appropriate Web browser settings:

  • Pop-up windows must be allowed from the local host (
  • A special, local proxy server is already started with the product. Recording web surfing sessions require that the data exchange between the Web browser and the Web server(s) flows through this local proxy server; therefore, the Web browser must be reconfigured for recording.

Note: As a convenient alternative, you can use the Apica Recorder Extension which is available for both Chrome and Firefox here.

For IE 11 browsers, the proxy settings are found under Internet Options (LAN Settings)

Under LAN Settings, check the box to use a Proxy server for your LAN and click Advanced to Proceed.

In the Proxy Settings Window, use these values for HTTP & HTTPS connections. Add the Exceptions as illustrated.

  • Proxy host
  • Proxy port 7997
  • Do not use Proxy for

Load tests against Web servers or web applications are usually based on recorded web surfing sessions. This means that you usually first record a Web surfing session before you can execute a load test. In simple cases - when no login is required and no HTML forms need to be submitted - you may alternatively use the Page Scanner tool instead of recording a web surfing session manually.

  1. Start a second Web browser window
  2. Clear the Web browser cache and all cookies ¹
  3. Click the Start Recording button in the Web Admin GUI in the first Web browser window
  4. Enter the desired start page of the Web server or Web application in the second Web browser window

The first Web page should now be recorded. Click the Refresh Display button in the right upper corner inside the Web Admin GUI to see if the recording of the Web page was successful. If no data was recorded, you should check the proxy configuration of the Web browser.

¹ Please note that you must first clear the Web browser cache and all cookies every time before you start recording a new Web surfing session. Chapter 3.3 in the Installation Guide contains some illustrations about how to clear the Web browser cache and all cookies.

First Web Browser Window - Web Admin GUI

Second Web Browser Window - Web Application

You must insert a page break before the next Web page is called. The reason for this is that the local proxy server cannot recognize when a Web page starts, and when it finishes. The local proxy server only sees singe URL calls, such as requests for HTML data or image files. Adding a page break manually here is necessary in order to record the session properly.

Use the following strategy during the recording of a web surfing session over several web pages:

  1. First plan which URL or hyperlink you will call (and record) next, but don't click on it just yet!
  2. Then, insert a page break comment into the Web Admin GUI. Enter a comment describing the expected result of the next recorded Web page.
  3. Now call the desired URL by clicking on a hyperlink or submitting a form.

Repeat this strategy for each Web page that you call during recording. Remember that you must insert the page break before you click the next hyperlink or submit the next form.

The time in seconds near the page break comment is the user’s think time which will be applied during the load test. This is the time which a (human) user needs to study the content of the Web page before clicking on the subsequent page. The percentage value near the time is the randomized range of the think time which will be calculated new every time, for each user and page-call during the test. This means that concurrent users will not use the same think time.

Click the Stop Recording button in Web Admin after you have finished recording all Web pages.