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I have an internal line-of-business web application that is used on a daily basis by multiple employees. I would like to start gathering information about how they are using the software on a day-to-day basis.

Because they use the software for a significant portion of the day, I would like to record across multiple days, but I don't want accidentally capture web usage that is not related to this application.

Is there any screen recording software for Windows that triggers a recording when the browser has focus and has a specific URL base in the navigation bar? The recording should stop if the browser loses focus, or the user navigates to a different page.

Ideally I would like to only capture the browser window and provide timestamps in order to see the how the users interact with the application over the course of a full day.

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    I doubt it, but the solution might end up being a browser extension - what browsers/versions do you run? – Journeyman Geek Dec 13 '14 at 7:35
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    @JourneymanGeek Unfortunately it's a mix of IE9, 10 and 11. – Lucas Dec 17 '14 at 15:42
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Thinking out of the box I would say that you would be better off setting up your servers logging in an appropriate manner and using a server logfile browser/analyser to get the information that you desire. Most, if not all, web servers support this as it is a key to debugging web site problems.

There are several reasons to do this:

  1. It will be browser independent - i.e. it will not depend on which browser is used.
  2. It will only depend on the settings on one machine rather than all of the employees.
  3. You will not get false positives, where the user types a similar URL.
  4. If the user switches tabs you will not be recording what is happening in the other tab.
  5. You will not have to gather the logs in some way from the users machines.
  6. The logs will be in text format rather than video - smaller and much easier to analyse.
  7. You can easily control the size/age of the logs and your server is likely to have more space than the client machines.
  8. Recording logs of what goes on on your server is not invasion of privacy in any jurisdiction that I know of and the jurisdiction that applies in the server location should rule but recording what happens on employees machines is invasion of privacy in numerous locations and the jurisdiction or where the machine is may apply.
  • The challenge we have is that users are misusing features, either from lack of knowledge or training, yet they still manage to get things done at the cost of considerable effort since they are going "against the grain" of the app. So seeing how they interact with the app is fairly critical. – Lucas Dec 17 '14 at 15:45
  • Unless there is a lot of client side code every click on the app will result in a server event and, if you turn the logging level up, a log entry the only thing that you will not see is things that the users type and then erase before sending. If there is a lot of client side code then add logging into your client app and, with the users permissions upload the log. The other option is to give one-to-one mentoring to those users that you think are misusing features. Of course if they are doing things the hard way maybe your UI is not clear enough? – Steve Barnes Dec 17 '14 at 18:43
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If you have ownership over this line of business web application (meaning, you or someone in your company can make changes to its source code), you may want to consider an alternate approach to what you're asking.

Rather than install an application on each user's desktop to try to record how they're using the web app you mentioned, you can install a "visitor recording" solution on your web application itself.

Visitor recording tools integrate directly with the HTML of your website or web application, and enable you to record and watch everything that people do when visiting or using it. Best of all, they don't require you to install anything on anyone's actual machine - everything they do they do right within the browser (no special plugins are needed, either).

If this sounds like a good approach for what you're looking to achieve, there are a few visitor recording solutions on the market that you should take a look at:

(Full disclosure: I'm the founder of Tamboo)

Because these solutions are all cloud-based, it shouldn't matter if your web application is hosted on a public web server or on an internal machine. So long as your users have an active internet connection while they're using your web application, these tools should be able to collect and save recordings without an issue.

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