What Does Your User Agent Say About You?


A user agent is a computer program representing a person, for example, a browser in a Web context.

Besides a browser, a user agent could be a bot scraping webpages, a download manager, or another app accessing the Web. Along with each request they make to the server, browsers include a self-identifying User-Agent HTTP header called a user agent (UA) string. This string often identifies the browser, its version number, and its host operating system.

Spam bots, download managers, and some browsers often send a fake UA string to announce themselves as a different client. This is known as user agent spoofing.

The user agent string can be accessed with JavaScript on the client side using the navigator.userAgent property.

A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".


User Agent String

Browser Data

Application Insights User Agent

Ava Flores
• Sunday, 22 May, 2022
• 9 min read

Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. This article contains the quick start commands expected to work for most environments.

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If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin. The module only currently supports codeless instrumentation of .NET web apps hosted with IIS.

Does Application Insights Agent support proxy installations? There are multiple ways to download Application Insights Agent.

If your computer has internet access, you can onboard to the PowerShell Gallery by using -Proxy parameters. You can also manually download the module and either install it on your computer or use it directly.

It’s now possible to monitor your ASP.NET applications hosted on Azure Virtual Machines running IIS without touching a line of code by installing the new ApplicationInsightsagent on your VM. This article walks you through enabling ApplicationInsights monitoring using the ApplicationInsightsAgent and provides preliminary guidance for automating the process for large-scale deployments.

For monitoring your ASP. Net applications running on-premises, use the Azure ApplicationInsightsAgent for on-premises servers, which is generally available and fully supported. The preview version for Azure VMs and VMS is provided without a service-level agreement, and we don't recommend it for production workloads.


After that, based on your specific scenario, you can evaluate whether manual instrumentation is needed. You may install or update the ApplicationInsightsAgent as an extension across multiple Virtual Machines at-scale using a PowerShell loop.

Get list of installed extensions for Azure virtual machine scale sets .NET Core, Java, and Node.js applications are only supported on Azure virtual machines and Azure virtual machine scale sets via manual SDK based instrumentation and therefore the steps below do not apply to these scenarios.

Azure ApplicationInsights helps you gain powerful insights into how people use your app. With this knowledge, you can make data driven decisions about your next development cycles.

The best experience is obtained by installing ApplicationInsights both in your app server code, and in your web pages. The client and server components of your app send telemetry back to the Azure portal for analysis.

Replace instrumentation key with the appropriate value for your Application Insights resource: Get telemetry: Run your project in debug mode for a few minutes, and then look for results in the Overview blade in Application Insights.

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Find out when people use your app, what pages they're most interested in, where your users are located, what browsers and operating systems they use. If someone accesses your site with different browsers or client machines, or clears their cookies, then they will be counted more than once.

Understand what specific features cause users to come back more than others Form hypotheses based on real user data Determine whether retention is a problem in your product The graph in the middle gives a visual representation of the overall retention percentage by the time range specified.

The graph on the bottom represents individual retention in a given time period. To get a clear understanding of what users do with your app, it's useful to insert lines of code to log custom events.

Although in some cases, page views can represent useful events, it isn't true in general. With specific business events, you can chart your users' progress through your site.

With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about the priorities in your development backlog. If you don't know which variant of a feature will be more successful, release both of them, making each accessible to different users.


For this technique, you attach distinct property values to all the telemetry that is sent by each version of your app. In the ApplicationInsights portal, filter and split your data on the property values, to compare the different versions.

ApplicationInsights, a feature of Azure Monitor, is an extensible Application Performance Management (APM) service for developers and DevOps professionals. It will automatically detect performance anomalies, and includes powerful analytics tools to help you diagnose issues and to understand what users actually do with your app.

It works for apps on a wide variety of platforms including .NET, Node.js, Java, and Python hosted on-premises, hybrid, or any public cloud. It integrates with your DevOps process, and has connection points to a variety of development tools.

You install a small instrumentation package (SDK) in your application or enable ApplicationInsights using the ApplicationInsightsAgent when supported. In addition, you can pull in telemetry from the host environments such as performance counters, Azure diagnostics, or Docker logs.

In the Azure portal, you can apply powerful analytic and search tools to the raw data. ApplicationInsights is aimed at the development team, to help you understand how your app is performing and how it's being used.

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Smart detection and manual alerts Set up automatic alerts that adapt to your app's normal patterns of telemetry and trigger when there's something outside the usual pattern. Application map Explore the components of your app, with key metrics and alerts.

Metrics Explorer for aggregated data Explore, filter, and segment aggregated data such as rates of requests, failures, and exceptions; response times, page load times. Live Metrics Stream When you deploy a new build, watch these near-real-time performance indicators to make sure everything works as expected.

Analytics Answer tough questions about your app's performance and usage by using this powerful query language. Power BI Integrate usage metrics with other business intelligence.

REST API Write code to run queries over your metrics and raw data. Watch Live Stream when you deploy a new release, to know immediately about any degradation.

Examine profiler, snapshots, stack dumps, and trace logs. ApplicationInsights is one of the many services hosted within Microsoft Azure, and telemetry is sent there for analysis and presentation.


It's free to sign up, and if you choose the basic pricing plan of ApplicationInsights, there's no charge until your application has grown to have substantial usage. Your app might also show signs of strain by returning failure codes.

To evaluate the alert, the average is taken of the received values over the preceding period. This occurs every time a metric is received, so emails can be sent more frequently than the period you set.

Multiple roles in an app: Use a single Application Insights resource, and filter on cloud_Rolename. Separating development, test, and release versions: Use different Application Insights resources.

This lets you modify or filter telemetry before it is sent from your app to ApplicationInsights. If you have only a few users, send custom events or metrics, using the data of interest as the metric value or event name, and setting the user ID as a property.

To analyze page views, replace the standard JavaScript trackPageView call. In the script snippet after instrumentation Key:..., insert:,maxAjaxCallsPerView:3 (or a suitable number).


There are several metrics you can get as a standard part of the Azure website control panel. If you have an Azure account with subscription for Visual Studio Online, you can request a limited preview of the ApplicationInsights platform, that allows you to monitor the performance, availability, usage and diagnostic aspects of not just web, but services, Windows Phone, Windows Store, and Azure PaaS based applications and apps.

ApplicationInsights primarily consists of the Monitoring Agent that you need to install for on premise Windows Servers. Note that, IIS Management Tools and Scripts is a prerequisite for installing the monitoring agent.

Figure 2: Wizard Driven Interface to Add a New Application for Monitoring You will need to download the instrumentation tool and extract the files to be placed into the AppInsightsAgent folder inside your web role.

The Telemetry SDK with ApplicationInsights allows you to surface usability patterns of the deployed application. You can also use the SDK to log KPIs for important events occurring inside your application.

The ApplicationInsights portal also lets you diagnose issues and exceptions as they are recorded by the monitoring agent. ApplicationInsights is a very promising and powerful utility to monitor the performance, function and usability of a wide range of applications and apps, and the journey that started from Intelligence finally seems to have unified the application monitoring and diagnostics experience under one roof.


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