Chrome Engines with Audits and Journeys

New, November 2019: The default browser for audits and web journeys was changed to Chrome. This document describes the effects of this change.

Chrome has replaced Firefox as the default browser for visiting pages in audits and web journeys. This change allows for much better data collection (think cookies, network logs, and console logs) and makes the audits and journeys more representative of the actual user experience. In addition audits and journeys are noticeably faster in most cases. 

What's Changed

Besides not having to toggle the Chrome browser on with each audit, there are several other improvements as well.

Chrome - Linux is the default User Agent String.

Delete Cookies toggle removed. By default the Chrome browser removes cookies between page views. However, you can preserve cookies by setting a User Session, which can be as simple as navigating to a page. This will preserve the cookies for 100 pages. (Remember, pages in the User Session are not recorded in the audit, so make sure that the User Session page is also a Starting Page if you want to collect its data.)

Full time Adobe Auditor toggle. Adobe Auditor reports are now compatible withe Chrome and can be turned on for any audit, if enabled for your account.

Full time VPN toggle. VPN can now be turned on for the Chrome engine if enabled in your account.

Remote file mapping is always available. Previously it was not available for Chrome. 

Failed User Session stops the audit. Previously audits tried to continue on when their user session failed to execute, which was confusing and did not reflect real-world use.

Page Details Report: This report automatically includes Cookies, Network Logs, and Console Logs. Older audits not run on Chrome will need to be re-run to see this data. 

Audit Timeouts on the Page: Audits can run faster partly because they continue to the next page only 3 seconds after the page loads if there is no additional network traffic. If there is network traffic, the audit will wait up to only 15 seconds before continuing. Previously the 15-second wait time was a minimum and the audit could be delayed substantially until it found 15 seconds of network silence.

Journey Action Timeouts: Default is the same as for audit timeouts.

Google's Chrome no longer supports Flash.

What Stays the Same

The following summarizes what remains the same with the full-time Chrome engine. Speed factors remain the same (with the exception of audit timeouts above).

Revisiting pages. The audit will still visit the same page up to 2 more times if it can't find a tag it is looking for.

Reduce Server Load. The audits continue to run with 10 servers by default. The Reduce Server Load toggle allows an audit to run on a single server as always, but best practice is still whitelisting the ObservePoint servers.

VPN toggle remains the same if enabled for your account.

Template Mode is still available.

User Agent Strings can still be selected to override the default.

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