HTTPWatch is a tool which can be used to check the HTTP traffic triggered when we access a web page. It can be used for debugging. Mostly all web applications make extensive use of the HTTP protocol (or HTTPS). HTTPWatch integrates with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. It also supports non-interactive examination of HTTP data wherein we can even examine log files that our customers and suppliers have recorded. It gives information regarding the URL, methods used (GET/POST), parameters passed etc.
How to Use HTTPWatch:
HTTPWatch works with Internet Explorer 6 - 8 and Mozilla Firefox 2.0 - 3.6 on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (including IE protected mode) . It can be easily installed in a few minutes - No device drivers or proxies have to be configured. After installing,
Open the HttpWatch window by clicking on the HttpWatch icon on the toolbar
Click on Record to start logging requests in HttpWatch
Main Features of HTTPWatch:
Records HTTP: HTTPWatch captures a wide range of HTTP related data like Headers, Cookies, URLs and method (e.g. GET, POST, etc), Parameters sent in a query strings and POST requests, HTTP status codes and errors etc.,
Integrates With Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox: An extra icon will be added to Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox allowing HTTPWatch to be opened and started with just two mouse clicks.
Compact & Comprehensive Log Files: The log file format used by HTTPWatch is very small when compared to other formats such as XML and contains everything that is displayed in HTTPWatch.
Summary of Recorded Traffic: The Summary view can be used at any time to quickly display data like Performance, Page Events, Timings, Status Codes, Errors etc.,
Detects Potential Problems: HTTPWatch examines each request and issues warnings if problems relating to performance, security or functionality are detected. Requests that have warnings are highlighted with a Warning column marker.
Data can be exported to other formats: The data captured by HTTPWatch can be exported in CSV (comma separated variable), HAR (HTTP Archive) or XML formats.
Automatic Recording And Saving: HTTPWatch can be configured to automatically record and save log files with no manual intervention or programming. Log files are written out to a specified directory at regular intervals or when the browser closes:
Supports Advanced Filtering: HTTPWatch supports filtering of requests by wide variety of criteria such as content types, response codes, URLs, headers and content.
Easy to Use – It starts logging after just a couple of mouse clicks in Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Productive – We can quickly see cookies, headers, POST data and query strings without having to manually decode raw HTTP packets
Robust - It reliably logs thousands of HTTP transactions for hours or days while tracking down intermittent problems
Accurate - It has minimal impact on the normal interaction of the browser with a web site.
Flexible - HttpWatch only requires client-side installation and will work with any server side technology that renders HTML pages in Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Comprehensive - works with HTTP compression, redirection, SSL encryption etc.,.
Benefits of HTTPWatch:
Few benefits of HTTPWatch are as below:
Testing a web application to ensure that it is correctly issuing or setting headers that control page expiration.
Checking the information that the browser is supplying when you visit a site.
Verifying that a secure web site is not issuing sensitive data in cookies or headers.
Tuning the performance of a web site by measuring download times, caching or the number of network round trips.
Below are some tools similar to HTTPWatch
Firebug Lite: It is compatible for IE6+, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome
Tamper Data: It is addon for Firefox
Httpfox: HttpFox is an addon for Mozilla based browsers