Trace remote HTTP calls with Prefix

How to Use Prefix to Troubleshoot Remote HTTP Calls

Matt Watson Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources Leave a Comment

Prefix enables to developers to easily see what their code is doing. Including SQL calls, errors, logs, and much more. One of the key features is tracking remote HTTP calls to know if they worked, how long they took, etc. Viewing what the code did on a remote server takes it one step further to simplify the daily life of a developer who is testing or troubleshooting their code.

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Why Do You Need to Trace Remote HTTP Calls?

This is insanely useful if your code does a lot of REST API calls to another web service. When troubleshooting an application, it is relatively easy to debug what the code is doing on your local machine. But when your code makes an HTTP web service call to a remote server, you have no idea what is going on remotely. This feature is a lifesaver/bug killer for quickly troubleshooting application problems. With remote HTTP call tracing, now you can seamlessly see what is happening locally and remotely. #amazing

How to Enable Remote HTTP Tracing

First off, you need Prefix on your workstation. You need a trial or a license of Prefix Premium. Setting up remote tracing is easy. All you need to do is install Retrace on the server that you want to view transactions for. You can start a free trial of Retrace, or don’t forget that your Prefix Premium license includes 1 free license for Retrace Dev/Test.

How to Trace Remote HTTP Calls

Prefix will automatically detect if your code does an HTTP call that it can do remote tracing for. A “View” button will then automatically show up to the HTTP call. Just give it a click and in a few seconds you will be able to see the complete transaction trace from the remote server.

This example below did an HTTP call to download the home page of a website. That website happened to be a CMS application. So you can see all the MVC child actions, SQL queries, etc. 

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What is Prefix Premium?

If you are not familiar with Prefix, it is a free tool from Stackify. However, remote tracing is a Prefix Premium only feature and also requires Retrace to be installed on your server. Prefix will warn you if your code is running the same SQL query multiple times, not closing a SQL connection and more. Instantly compare performance stats from QA & Prod to your local request. One click to compare all details in Retrace. Built on Stackify’s powerful, proven technology, but it’s so lightweight it will never slow you down.

Premium includes 1 license of Retrace APM for Dev/Test and also includes several other awesome features. Retrace APM starts at just $10 a month.

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About Matt Watson

Matt is the Founder & CEO of Stackify. He has been a developer/hacker for over 15 years and loves solving hard problems with code. While working in IT management he realized how much of his time was wasted trying to put out production fires without the right tools. He founded Stackify in 2012 to create an easy to use set of tools for developers.