Web developer nets chance at new tool

A Sydney-based software organisation found itself cast as 'johnny-on-the-spot' when a customer discovered its e-commerce gateway was down – eventually developing a new tool to meet the emergency.

Izilla, which also has a Newcastle (NSW) office, has its roots in Web development. While it was working in this field for a large Australian online company, the customer, in an unrelated discovery, found its e-commerce gateway was down -- and in fact had been for three weeks. It was only by chance that the problem was detected and the company was understandably shaken. Just how many orders had it lost? How many Web site visitors were likely to never return? And what if the company had simply not realised the gateway had failed?

Being on-site and working in the Web sphere, Izilla was asked if it knew of any monitoring tools available to keep an eye on Web-based applications and provide alerts on failure. Izilla took the challenge, but to its dismay found only simple tools -- programs that would basically test if the word 'welcome' was displayed, but nothing more. It realised a niche was open and committed to the in-house development of a tool to suit the purpose.

The end result is the development of what Izilla has termed "the WAM": Web Application Minder, using .Net. Izilla's business manager Chris Johnson says, "We originally called it the Web Application Monitor -- but that gives the wrong impression; it's not just a monitor." Instead, the WAM is a utility, which offers peace of mind to online businesses -- both in terms of keeping a site up, and in proactively minimising lost trade.

At its heart, the WAM runs pre-composed scripts -- on an externally hosted server -- to trace a 'perfect' walkthrough of the client's Web site. Should any script fail, the company's stakeholders are notified immediately. Of course, 'real' people don't always navigate in the 'perfect' order and so the WAM also actively logs each visitor's interactions with the Web site. Their actions can be fed back into the scripting engine, thus testing the site with realistic steps. Further, should the visitor abruptly stop working with the site, company personnel can be notified. It may be the visitor encountered a problem which only surfaces with specific input fields. Or, it may be the visitor simply changed their mind. Either way, the company can investigate and determine whether there is a genuine problem or if it can make contact with the visitor, learning of any concerns or objections and getting a second opportunity to capture the business.

Mark Davies, Web development manager, says .Net has been fundamental to the WAM's operation; Web services were central to keeping the component parts in constant communication with each other. "Without .Net and its Web services, we couldn't have achieved [this] without having to resort to much lower-level programming." By using Web Services, the externally hosted WAM server can have direct access to the client's Web server logs, a communication which was developed in Visual Basic .Net. Two full-time programmers produced the overall project in one year.

Although there is a lot more to the WAM, Izilla sees it as prevent organisations from losing business due to downtime, and helping businesses get a second bite at attracting a customer, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars to large companies. The tool is in beta trial with two Australian institutions now. Izilla is planning future expansion into overseas markets.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Williams

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?