React 16 Error Boundaries Let You Recover Gracefully

Written By
Jason Skowronski

React recently announced the release of version 16 with long standing feature requests including error boundaries, fragments, improved server-side rendering and more. Error boundaries are especially useful so that an error in one small part of the UI doesn’t break your entire application. Instead, it’s better to contain those errors to the affected components and recover gracefully.

You can try using error boundaries yourself in our working Codepen example. We forked it from Facebook's initial version to show how to add Rollbar's JavaScript error logging. When you open this page, you can activate an error boundary by clicking at least five times on the counter. You will then see the error message “Something went wrong.” Let's dive deeper into this example to learn how error boundaries work.

Error boundaries Codepen example

Codepen example, React error boundaries

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Quickly edit and merge many error items at once

Written By
Jason Skowronski

Rollbar just added a new feature that allows you to quickly edit and merge hundreds or thousands of items at once. In the past, you could only edit or merge items on a single page, which is limited to 30 items at a time. We added a new link that allows you to apply the change to all items in your view or matching a search. This feature provides a similar user experience to how Gmail lets you select all conversions, and then update or delete them.

Merge all items screenshot

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Introducing AWS Lambda Support for Node.js and Python

Written By
Tyler Yuniarto

We’ve just updated our Rollbar.js and Python libraries, making it easy for you to monitor errors on AWS Lambda. If you’ve been considering building apps with serverless architectures on Lambda, we’ve got the exception tracking covered so you can rest easy.

Serverless architectures

Serverless architectures have taken resource abstraction to the next level.

We've now gone from having servers hosted and managed in the cloud, to having servers that require zero touch and are ephemeral in nature - they're spun up automatically only when certain events are triggered.

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Introducing JavaScript Telemetry

Written By
Jason Skowronski

We're excited to introduce JavaScript telemetry, which provides a timeline of events in the browser leading up to when an error occurred. This helps you find the root cause of JavaScript errors faster by providing critical information on user behavior, network activity, and more. You might also think of this timeline of events as a trail of breadcrumbs or a black box recorder which tells you what happened just before a crash or error.

In the screenshot below, we see a timeline showing a complete story of how the user encountered an error. First they loaded the page, typed their email address into the sign up form, validated the email, navigated to an onboarding page, and then the error occurred. This gives clear context on what caused the error and which component needs to be fixed.

JavaScript telemetry screenshot

JavaScript telemetry data, as seen in Rollbar

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Purpose-Built Error Monitoring Alternative to New Relic

Written By
Jason Skowronski

One of the more frequently asked questions we hear is: "Doesn't my existing Application Performance Management (APM) solution, such as New Relic, monitor and track errors in our application?"

The short answer is - it’s not enough. They are very complementary and most Rollbar users use both (we do) for various debugging scenarios. APM tools are great at telling you what's slow, when and where exceptions occur. Rollbar provides a lot more contextual information to help you determine what's broken, why they occur, who is affected, and how to fix them. It saves you a substantial amount of time dealing with errors and leaves more time for resolving issues and improving your product experiences.

Let’s see how New Relic and Rollbar compare when it comes to monitoring and managing application errors.

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Security matters: Rollbar now offers advanced encryption at rest

Written By
Jason Skowronski

Are your services secure?

In today’s world, you can hardly go a week without reading in the news about security breaches, malware, and more. We’ve already had headline news this year for Wanna Cry, and now there are dozens of copycat malware programs taking advantage of out-of-date systems. Think of all the services that your company uses from error monitoring to logging and APM. Some of them may be delivered by vendors and others set up by internal teams. Did your IT team evaluate these services to determine how secure they are? If not, you might want to reconsider the services you use or who can best deliver them.

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Merging versus Custom Fingerprinting

Written By
Jesse Gibbs

With the recent announcement of support for manual merging, there are now multiple ways to combine occurrences of errors into a single item.

Before merging was an option, if the default fingerprinting algorithm didn’t combine occurrences the way you wanted, then you needed to define custom fingerprinting rules. Custom fingerprinting rules require you to learn our JSON-based rule syntax, and that could be a deterrent against setting them up.

Now that you can easily merge errors via the UI, is there still value in setting up custom fingerprinting rules? Absolutely, and this blog post will explain why!

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Technical details and challenges of building Error Merging

Written By
Rivkah Standig

Hopefully you've had the chance to try out our latest feature, error merging. We've heard a lot of positive feedback from our users. They're especially excited to be able to easily merge and un-merge related errors. We thought it would be useful to share how the Rollbar team made this happen from a technical standpoint. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty of how we implemented error merging, read on.

I interviewed Todd Dampier, one of the engineers here at Rollbar who was instrumental in making error merging possible, about what was involved in engineering this feature.

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