Postmortem from outage on October 21, 2016

Written By Brian Rue, Dan St. Clair, Cory Virok, and Ken Sheppardson October 25th, 2016

We had a significant outage this past Friday, October 21. Many customers were not able to reach or, some data was lost, and a few customers experienced cascading issues caused by our API outage. The root cause was a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on our DNS provider.

We weren't the only service that had issues on Friday, but that is no excuse—we know that our customers rely on Rollbar as a critical monitoring service and it's all the more important that we are up when everything else is down. We'd like to share some of the details about what happened and what we're doing to prevent this kind of issue from happening again.

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A better error monitoring workflow Rollbar + Atlassian

Written By Mike Smith October 12th, 2016

Dealing with errors can be time consuming and often an interruption in your everyday development workflow. It's important that we at Rollbar continue to work to improve this process and that we extend the capabilities and insights of your current toolset and workflows.

Atlassian users can now rejoice! 🎉 Debugging errors just got a whole lot easier and faster. With our latest improvements and integrations with Atlassian products you can now keep tabs on your application directly within the tools you're already using to build it. No more switching between multiple tools and services to debug and deploy code. Creating a seamless user experience and unified workflow around production errors.

Integrating Rollbar’s error monitoring with Atlassian’s products provides teams with:

  • Instant error grouping and aggregation: Errors are grouped by root cause and linked to your source code within Bitbucket.
  • Real-time notifications: Intelligent alerting rules configured for HipChat and JIRA.
  • Easy workflow and prioritization: Discover the most impactful errors with data and create issues in JIRA instantly with rich data, contextual details and error analytics.
  • Faster time to resolution: Debug, deploy fixes and track regressions much faster when your error data moves through HipChat, JIRA and Bitbucket automatically.

Watch our short video for an overview of how Rollbar and Atlassian's products work together:

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On the road again, where Rollbar will be this fall

Written By Rivkah Standig October 11th, 2016

Rollbar team members will be at the following events in the next few months, and we'd love to chat with you in person! Whether you have some specific questions about Rollbar, want to tell us about your projects, or just want some Rollbar gear, we'll be hanging out at these events eager to to talk shop. If you see us at any of these places, make sure to say "hi"! 👋

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Rollbar add-on now available for JIRA

Written By Mike Smith October 10th, 2016

We’ve recently released a new JIRA Add-On to help extend your application error monitoring workflow. JIRA is one of the leading issue tracking solutions used by agile teams. Enabling them to plan, track, release and support building better software.

Send rich error data to JIRA

Connect Rollbar to JIRA and enhance issues with detailed error data like stack trace, error status, total occurrences, unique IPs affected, first seen date, last seen date and the date the error reoccurred and regressed. All conveniently displayed, linked and accessible within JIRA.

Here are a few of the ways you can improve your monitoring workflow when you connect Rollbar with JIRA and install the new Rollbar for JIRA add-on:

  • Link and display root cause exception data in issues.
  • Set notification rules to automatically open new issues.
  • Create and assign JIRA issues with a few clicks.
  • Bidirectional syncing, update statuses in both Rollbar and JIRA.
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How CircleCI uses Rollbar to level up their continuous delivery

Written By Mike Smith September 22nd, 2016

I'm excited to share a fun and insightful interview our friends at The Changelog recently did with Paul Biggar, Founder at CircleCI (and Rollbar super-user). We're big supporters and fans of The Changelog and we asked their host and master interviewer Adam, to help us produce a few short interviews with our customers. It's a fun project that lets us pull back the curtain and learn more about how our customers monitor their applications and processes for handling errors and deploying code. Enjoy!

Featured in this interview: Adam Stacoviak, Founder & Chief Editor at The Changelog, a podcast on software development and open source. Subscribe via iTunes or RSS. Paul Biggar, Founder of CircleCI, a leading continuous integration platform.

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Improved ruby error reporting with our latest gem updates

Written By Jon de Andres September 14th, 2016

Recently, we released version 2.13.0 of the rollbar-gem. This update is full of new features and some minor bug fixes. The full release notes can be found here, Release 2.13.0. Here are a few of the highlights in this update:

1. Allow overriding configuration

Many customers have asked to implement a way to override the default configuration for a specific block of code. Some of them use the same process to send reports to our API for different projects, some need to change the environment, and others want to use one async handler for a single block of code (or none at all).

So, we've added a new method called Rollbar.with_config to do this. It receives a Hash object with the configuration overrides you want to use for the given block. The configuration options can be found at Configuration. The Hash passed to with_config should be formatted like {environment: 'specific-environment'}. For example:

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5 ways to reduce noise when logging your JavaScript exceptions

Written By Daniel Steuernol August 16th, 2016

Developing and maintaining user facing software is a challenge and a very distracting one at that. :-) Often times it can be difficult trying to stay focused on what matters most. It can be hard to tell what's really broken and why, with dozens of alerts notifying you every other minute. Volatile... The client-side being one of the most volatile of them all.

When we attempt to capture errors in this environment we can very quickly get overwhelmed by lots and lots of noise. This noise is typically generated from many different places. Some examples would be old outdated browsers, browser extensions, third-party scripts, bots, spiders, etc. Rollbar's JavaScript error monitoring supports many different ways of reducing this noise so you can be more proactive in what and how you're collecting your JavaScript exceptions.

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SAML-based Single Sign-On (SSO) now available

Written By Jesse Gibbs July 18th, 2016

If your team uses Google Apps for Work or Okta, you can now access your Rollbar account using SAML-based single sign-on (SSO). SSO via Google Apps and Okta is available on all paid plans, and can be setup in minutes by an admin.

Once SSO is enabled, users can access your Rollbar account with just a click from the Google App Drawer or Okta My Applications screen.

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Two-Factor Authentication now available for all users

Written By Jesse Gibbs June 23rd, 2016

We’re excited to introduce Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) in Rollbar as an optional extra layer of security on every user’s account. 2FA reduces your risk of having your account hacked through phishing, credential exploitation or other remote attacks.

We highly recommend enabling Two-Factor Authentication for your entire team. It’s easy to setup (and free)!

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Exception monitoring for production environments

Written By Hemant Jain June 6th, 2016

Tools like Rollbar have changed the way development teams are recording and managing their exceptions. What used to be a very personal developer-by-developer activity can now be a team-wide tool for greater transparency, and increased application quality.

But many still treat exception monitoring as a developer activity, and they are not leveraging its benefits across all environments, from development to stage and integration, to systems testing and production. In this post and another on QA environments, I will review why exception monitoring in all environments is so beneficial, and some best practices for setting it up.

We are trying to standardize with Rollbar for exception monitoring across environments and clients. It helps our clients have visibility and thus better input into the application and development processes, and it’s a good way for us to ensure quality prior to delivering releases to customers.

But even after release, the tool has been extremely useful for the following reasons:

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