By Dejal Systems, LLC
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
Dejal Simon is the essential site monitoring tool for Mac OS X. It checks websites and servers for changes or failures, and notifies you via sound, speech, Growl, or other means. You can use it to track updated sites, and to alert you when an important server goes down or recovers.
Simon is very versatile. It can be used to monitor your own website and servers, track posts and new comments on your or friends' blogs, check for web mail, get notifications of updates to favorite news and entertainment websites, keep an eye on auctions, and many other uses.
CHOOSE THE BEST EDITION FOR YOU
Simon comes in three editions:
* Simon (available from the Dejal website) has limits on the number of active test configurations, based on license level, and includes a wide range of services, filters and notifiers, and enables customizing them, plus a reports feature.
* Simon Express (this edition) has no limitation on the number of test configurations, but is a streamlined edition with only a few of the most popular services, filters and notifiers, and no reports. It is ideal for webmasters and others who want to monitor hundreds of websites.
* Simon Free (also on the Mac App Store) is the same as Simon Express, except that it is limited to 5 active test configurations. It is ideal for people who just want to monitor their own site and a few others.
Visit the Dejal website for support and a feature comparison chart.
MONITOR YOUR SITES AND SERVERS
Central to Simon is the Monitor window. It enables you to see at a glance the current status of all of your monitored websites and servers. In addition to a colorful status icon and up-time percentage, the tests table displays how long ago the last change and failure occurred, and when the next check will occur. But that's not all. This window also displays further statistics about the tests, and tables listing recent checks (including the check duration and a bar chart), changes (including the text that changed), failures (including the error description), and activity, including when tests start checking, and the various steps during the check (starting, stopping, service result, each filter, notifications, etc), plus other actions on tests, e.g. editing, pausing, etc.
AT YOUR SERVICE
A number of services come built-in. Services tell Simon how to check a test. They include:
* DNS: Query a domain name server to ensure the domain is visible.
* FTP: Look at a file on an FTP server, to detect its availability or changes.
* Ping: Ping any server to check responsiveness; you can specify timeout and packet loss limits.
* Web (HTTP): Check a website for changes or failures.
PUT A DETECTIVE ON THE JOB
Simon has a very useful feature called Filters, where you can tell it what part of the page to look for, e.g. a comment count on a blog, or the lead headline area on a news site.
* Block: Look for two pieces of text in the filter input, and output the text between them, if found. Also detects if a change occurred from the previous time it was checked. Advanced options include the ability to look for a specific occurrence of the markers.
* Block Without Changes: Similar to the Block filter, but doesn't detect changes; useful as a filter before others.
Change: Simply detect a change anywhere in the input text.
* Change: Simply detects any change in the input text.
* Simple Format: The Format filters can reformat the output text, including using variables, for example to combine the output of two filters, or wrap in quotes.
COMMUNICATION IS THE BEST POLICY
In addition to displaying the status of tests in the Monitor window, Dock icon and Status menu, Simon can also notify you of changes, failures and recoveries. Notifiers in this edition include:
* Three different built-in sounds.
* Speech for changes, failures and recoveries.
* Show in your web browser.
* Bounce Dock icon.
* Use the third-party Growl alerts.
What's New in Version 3.4
- New tests now use the Change filter by default, to avoid confusion over new tests not detecting changes. (You can of course alter that to a more specific filter, or disable it.)
- Fixed issue where an offline test wouldn't check again until checked manually.
- Fixed an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.3.
This app is extremely useful for all kinds of monitoring. I use it to keep track of the uptime of our servers, as well as track the stability of our branch office connection to home base. That doesnt include all the other great things you can do like track changes on websites. My one criticism is I wish it had the ability to do the twitter alerts like the higher end versions they dont sell on the app store. Add that and I will come back and give 5 Stars.