Create a Custom Activity for Web Applications with Aternity Web Activity Creator (WAC 2.0)

The Aternity Web Activity Creator (WAC) enables you to quickly and intuitively create custom activities for web applications directly from the web page. The WAC is an interactive Google Chrome extension that opens as a floating sidebar next to your web page. It offers a simple workflow to create your custom activities all on one PC. With WAC you define an activity by selecting web elements that indicate the start and end of a business activity.

For example, you can use WAC to create an activity that measures the performance of signing in to Outlook Web Access. You can create many activities for each application.

Use WAC to create custom activities for Web Applications

Even though you create your web activities in Google Chrome with the WAC extension, Aternity monitors the activity in Google Chrome, Google Chrome for Mac, or Internet Explorer 11 (learn more).

Use WAC to select the Start event of an activity, by selecting elements on the web page which the user can see or select. Then, do the same to define the activity's Complete event which marks the moment when the activity ends. Test your activity in WAC to validate your design. Create as many activities as needed for your application, then finally generate a signature for each custom activity and upload them to Aternity.

WAC 2.0 allows creating activities within Google Chrome and Internet Explorer (IE):
  • To work within IE, make sure you first open Google Chrome and WAC, and only then you open IE. Proceed as explained in this document.

  • To work within Google Chrome, since you first open Google Chrome and then WAC, reload (or open in a new tab) that web page for which you create activities. In other words, the web page where you create activities must load after WAC is up and running.

After you created and uploaded the custom activities using WAC, Aternity can monitor the activities on monitored devices in Chrome or Internet Explorer when the device has Agent 9.2.4 or later for Windows, in Firefox when the device has Agent 12.0 or later for Windows, or in Chrome for MacOS when the device is running Agent for Mac 3.0 or later.

Before you begin

  • WAC 2.0 requires Agent for End User Devices 12.1 or later being installed on a Windows PC.

  • Always use the latest version of WAC (automatically updated).

  • Ensure you have Aternity user account and permissions to access WAC.

  • You must be able to access Aternity, and your role there must include permissions to edit managed applications.

  • Aternity stores your activities on its servers on cloud, you can access them on any machine by logging in using the same username/password that you use when logging in to your Aternity on-premise account. Make sure to open the necessary network ports for the connection between your network and the cloud.

  • Before creating activities, interview application users, novices and power users to determine the application's critical transactions which you want to measure (learn more).

  • WAC 2.0 requires that Agent for End User Devices will be not only installed, but also enabled and properly working. Otherwise, WAC will not function.

  • Download and set up WAC only on the device where you create activities.

  • (If end users run the app in IE11) To create activities in WAC, the site in IE must have document mode 9 or later. Older legacy web sites may have an earlier document mode. To verify, open the site in IE11 and select F12 to open the Developer Tools pane. In the right hand side of the top bar of the pane, check the document mode number is 9 or later.

    If the site uses an older document model, or if your users still browse in IE10 or earlier, you must capture your custom activity with Aternity Recorder (learn more).

    Verify IE11 document mode of web site is 9 or later


  1. Step 1 If you previously added a version of WAC, remove it.

    Open a browser and enter the address chrome://extensions/. Verify that Aternity Web Activity Creator does not appear in the list of extensions. If it does, select Remove.

  2. Step 2 Download WAC from the Chrome Web Store.

    Select + Add to Chrome. Read the permissions that you are granting to WAC before selecting Add extension. Those permissions apply only when WAC is open.

    Download the WAC. The icon color can vary depending on the version.
    If you don't have access to the Chrome Web Store, open a text editor, like Notepad, copy and paste there the following text:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 
    Save it as a .reg file. Launch the .reg file to add WAC, then close and reopen Chrome.
  3. Step 3 Open your web application in Google Chrome.
    For example, enter the URL for Outlook Web Access.
  4. Step 4 Open WAC by selecting Aternity Web Activity Creator next to the URL in Chrome (the icon color can vary depending on the version).

    If this PC is a monitored device, your Chrome browser already has the Aternity Extension for Chrome, which enables Aternity to monitor web applications that run in Chrome. It has a similar Riverbed icon to the newly added WAC.

    Select the icon in the upper right corner to open WAC
  5. Step 5 Sign in to WAC using your URL to Aternity which you use to view your dashboards, like Enter the URL and click Login.
    Sign in to WAC with your Aternity URL
  6. Step 6 In the Aternity Login page, enter your Aternity username and password which includes the role of editing managed applications.
    Enter user name and pasword to login
  7. Step 7 To create activities from within IE, now open Internet Explorer. To create activities from within Chrome, reload (or open in a new tab) that web page for which you create activities.
  8. Step 8 Select Add Element to choose the web element which the user selects to mark the start of the activity.

    When the Add Element header is orange, you are in the mode of looking for a page element by moving your mouse around the web page. When the header is blue, you are not actively looking for web elements. As you move the mouse pointer around the web page, WAC highlights the elements that you can select. For example, in Outlook Web Access you can select the Sign in button as the start of the activity.


    Ensure this element with its internal name is also visible on pages rendered in other browsers like IE11.

    Add a web element to your activity
  9. Step 9 Edit the properties of the start event in WAC to ensure that the activity captures it accurately.

    WAC automatically assigns values to the parameters of the new event. In many cases you can leave the default value, but there are some values you may want to edit. When you are done editing, select Save.

    Edit your new event
    Field Description
    Application > Application Name

    Displays the name of the application based on the URL of the web page. You can edit this to a more friendly name.

    For example, you can change the default application name in Google Chrome to Outlook Web Access.

    Activity > Activity Name

    Enter the name for the custom activity, for example, Sign in.

    Event Details > State

    Enter the type of event to capture:

    • Start begins the activity, like a mouse click or a key press.

    • Complete ends the activity, like the disappearance of a GUI element, or the appearance of a new GUI element like a logo.

    • Incomplete interrupts the activity, like an extra mouse click. Use this to reduce reports of a failed activity.

    Event Details > Event Name

    Displays the name of the element associated with the event, like the name of the button.

    Edit this to provide a meaningful name, which also appears later on in WAC notifications. For example, change to Sign-in button.

    Auto fail-safe

    Displays whether WAC should cope silently with users who double-click this element, by duplicating this event as an incomplete event. For example, if you click this button twice very quickly, WAC does not report the first click which is incomplete. It starts the timer from the second click.

    Page > Hostname(s)

    Displays the alternate URLs for accessing the web page, such as the DNS name, FQDN or IP address, ensuring the activity robustly monitors any of these as start events. It also displays the internal URLs or IP addresses to which your load balancer distributes requests.

    You can edit this list by selecting Edit, to add the hostnames to all of the application's activities.

    For example, the web page for Outlook Web Access has the URL in Internet Explorer, and in Google Chrome. The Chrome version appears automatically in WAC, but you must add the Internet Explorer version manually.


    Enter the exact string. Do NOT use regular expressions.

    Page > Port

    Displays the custom port used by the application. It does not display the port number for applications that use ports 80 or 443.

    Page > Path

    Displays the path that the browser appends to the hostname.

    For example, Outlook Web Access appends the path /owa/ to the hostname


    Enter the exact string. Do NOT use regular expressions.

    Page > Page Title

    (Optional) Enter the page title which must be present to trigger this activity:

    • any value means the activity triggers for any page title.

    • exactly requires the complete page title to be static as entered here.

    • contains requires that the page title contains the text entered here.

    • starts with requires that the page title begins with the exact string entered here.

    • ends with requires that the page title ends with the exact string entered here.

    For example, you can define that the activity only takes place only when the web page title starts with the word case.

    Set how the event must match the name of the web page

    Enter the exact string. Do NOT use regular expressions.


    Select the event that marks the start or end of the activity. The beginning of an activity is usually marked by a user action, while the end event marks when an element becomes visible or invisible.

    • Start Page Load is the moment when a revised web page begins to load. You must still select an element on the web page, but then WAC automatically removes it afterwards.


      If your activity has several possible start triggers, use Start Page Load to capture any event which starts the activity.

    • Click is when you press the main mouse down and then release it.

    • Mouse Down is the event ONLY of pressing the main mouse button down.

    • Mouse Up is the event ONLY of releasing the main mouse button after mouse down.

    • Right Click is when you press and release the secondary mouse button.

    • Double Click is when you click the main mouse button twice in quick succession (speed defined by the operating system).

    • Enter Pressed is the keypress of the Enter key.

    • Droplist Changed is when you made a selection from a drop-down menu (click or enter pressed on an item).

    • Visible is when a particular web element becomes visible. For example, an activity may be complete when a logo appears on the page.

    • Invisible is when a particular element becomes invisible. For example, an activity may start with a click on a Send button, and ends when the button is no longer visible on the page.

    You cannot start an activity by hovering the mouse pointer over an element. Monitoring hovers would impact too heavily on the browser's performance.


    Displays the parameters which determine the narrowness of the definition of the element on the web page. You can see the elements included in the definition by a red border around each element. If you have too many elements, add or remove these parameters until WAC displays only the elements which you need in your event definition. As you make changes, WAC changes to highlight the elements included with the selected parameters.

    For example, an email in Outlook Web Access has two Send buttons. By selecting the right combination of parameters, you can ensure that both are included as start events for the activity.

    Select parameters so that the right elements are highlighted
  10. Step 10 Select Save to add this to the list of activities in WAC.
  11. Step 11 Add the complete event, so that the Agent measures performance of completed activities.

    Select the + next to Complete and select the element that indicates that the activity is completed. Use the WAC Selector section to ensure that you assign the right element to the event. It is possible to use the And condition, so that both conditions must be met in order for the activity to complete.

    For example, in Outlook Web Access, you can define the end of the sign-in activity when the New button appears on the screen.

    Select a web element that indicates the end of the activity
  12. Step 12 Add other relevant start events, to ensure that Aternity measures the performance of all instances of the activity.

    For example, ensure that every button or link that starts the sign-in process has its start event in WAC.

    Select the + next to Start to add a start event.

    Add another start event to the activity
  13. Step 13 To test the custom activity, perform the activity with WAC open to view WAC notifications, to validates that WAC captures and monitors the events you designed.

    You can perform this validation at any phase of creating the activity. If you've only added the Start event, WAC will only report start notifications. After you've added Complete and Incomplete events, WAC will report Complete events, and if an activity is not completed, Incomplete events.

    For example, you can sign in to Outlook Web Access with the wrong password, and receive a Start and Incomplete notifications. Sign in again with the right password, and receive Start and Complete notifications. Each notification includes information about the event, so that you can validate your definition of the events.

    Validate your start, complete, and incomplete events
    Field Description

    Displays the time at which the event took place.


    Displays the name of the application as you defined it in WAC.


    Displays the name of the activity as you defined it in WAC.


    Displays whether this is a Start, Complete, or Incomplete type of event.


    Displays the name of the element that triggered the event, such as #submitButton - Mouse Down for a click of a mouse button.

  14. Step 14 Generate the signature so that you can upload it to Aternity.

    Hover over the activity and select Generate Signature to generate the signature file. WAC saves the file to the local user's Downloads folder.

    Generate the signature
  15. Step 15 After you generate the signature, provide it to an Administrator of Aternity so that they can upload your custom activity to Aternity. Learn more.

    Test the activity by performing it in the web application on the devices in the test group, on Chrome, Chrome for Mac, and Internet Explorer, and check that the performance results appear in the User Experience dashboard.