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The Best Tools to Monitor & Debug JavaScript

The Best JavaScript Monitoring Tools

Scott Pickard

From error monitoring tools to debugging IDEs, these nine tools will help you identify and mitigate bugs during JavaScript development.

Here is our list of the best tools to monitor & debug JavaScript:

  1. Airbrake An error and performance monitoring solution that can integrate with various products for seamless bug notifications and issue mitigation.
  2. Sentry A complete bug tracking and performance monitoring tool with excellent options for obtaining detailed input on bug reports and actionable insights that are tightly correlated to your development.
  3. Glitchtip An open-source bug-reporting option offers all of the basic features of paid programs while remaining wholly accessible and adaptable.
  4. Raygun This solution contains a suite of bug diagnosis and fixing mitigation tools, developed primarily for crash reporting and bug monitoring.
  5. Rollbar An approach for bug reporting and error aggregation offers various notification control and tracking options to help you optimize your debugging process.
  6. Komodo IDE An open-source IDE with great debugging features and VCS integration that supports numerous languages (including JavaScript).
  7. Visual Studio One of the best IDEs on the market regarding its intelligent debugging tools, the solution comes with a suite of tailor-made debugging utilities.
  8. JS Bin A straightforward open-source JavaScript-specific debugging tool that includes collaborative debugging features.
  9. Selenium A free, open-source testing framework with full CI/CD pipeline integration offers in-depth test scripting capabilities.

Bugs can crop up both during and after deployment, and ensuring that your JavaScript projects are bug-free is an important responsibility. There are various tools available on the market to help you reduce bugs that might arise during development, and there are similarly a large number of tools available to help identify and fix bugs post-deployment.

This article runs through nine different debugging and error monitoring tools that will assist your debugging process. They can be divided into two main categories: those that help during development, and those that help after the product has been shipped.

Development Debugging (IDEs)

While developing your JavaScript projects, the debugging process is all about preventing mistakes and spotting them before the product is shipped. A rigorous testing phase is typically where most bugs are found, but that ties into post-deployment discussed below.

During development, the biggest tool to help you with debugging is your IDE. This article discusses several IDEs that can spot errors and bugs as they might crop up. Several solutions include intelligent debugging utilities that go above and beyond simple error events.

Post-Deployment Debugging (Error Reporters)

Generally speaking, the majority of your bugs will be discovered by your testers- and even after releasing your product, your end-users will also undoubtedly run into bugs as they crop up. Of course, browser testing tools can find these problems, but error reporting solutions will massively expand on your Javascript bug monitoring.

These products aggregate bug reports that are submitted either by your testers or end-users. Some products expand on this by integrating with your development environment to allow you to immediate action bug reports. Some even integrate with CI/CD workflow solutions to smooth the bug fixing process.

The Best Tools to Monitor & Debug JavaScript

1. Airbrake

Airbrake

Airbrake is an error monitoring platform that provides performance monitoring and deployment tracking features. The platform is built specifically with developers in mind and has support for JavaScript, among other languages. However, the biggest draw for Airbrake is the fast, lightweight installation and rapid integration.

The error reporting tools provide immediate notifications and integrate Slack, Trello, Github, etc., for better bug notifications and workflow management. In addition, the code snapshots and breadcrumbs features make bug mitigation easier, and the user monitoring provides in-depth information about who is discovering your bugs.

Key Features

  • Error and performance monitoring
  • Deployment tracking
  • Mitigation tools (e.g., code snapshots)
  • CI/CD integration
  • Multi-language (including JavaScript)

There is a 30-day free trial available for all of the product’s features. In addition, the product itself is divided into pricing Tiers that determine capacity. For example, the Tier 1 package supports 25k errors and costs $19 per month. At the same time, the Tier 4 package supports up to 1 million errors and costs $299 per month.

These Tiered packages are split between both performance monitoring and error monitoring. This means for both toolsets combined; you’re effectively paying double the price for each Tier. Depending on your capacity needs, this might mean Airbrake is out of your budget, so it's worth considering your exact capacity demands.

2. Sentry

Sentry

Sentry is an error tracking and performance monitoring tool that can diagnose and resolve JavaScript issues. The service compiles your mistakes into a searchable list and allows you to identify areas of your code to make it easier to reproduce errors.

The performance monitoring tools can help you diagnose problems in your development projects by allowing you to spot unusual readouts quickly. In addition, a stack tracing tool simulates your development environment, enabling you to debug discovered mistakes and better understand where bugs are occurring in the code.

Key Features

  • Bug tracking
  • Fault aggregation workflows
  • Performance monitoring
  • Log data insights
  • Free with premium options

Sentry's primary capabilities are entirely free to use with a limited user capacity. Upgrade to the Team package for $26/month, which increases the error detection algorithms, or the Business package for $80/month, which expands the error insights even more.

A free trial is offered for both the Team and Business editions. If you approach Sentry directly, Enterprise size services are available if you require large-scale considerations such as complete platform error monitoring and cross-project insights.

3. Glitchtip

Glitchtip

Glitchtip is an open-source bug reporting application that collects and organizes problem reports into a legible, fixable format. The solution appears to have been developed in response to Sentry's decision to abandon open-source, but it still works with Sentry's open SDK.

You can host the solution locally because it is open-source, but the company also provides hosting choices. In addition, it outperforms other alternatives because it is open-source, which means it has a larger community of users than some other products. Glitchtip is still in its infancy, but it could be the ideal answer for tiny enterprises or low-budget projects that require open-source.

Key Features

  • Bug aggregation
  • Open-source
  • Performance monitoring
  • Integration with Sentry SDK
  • Self-hosting options

When self-hosted, Glitchtip is open-source and entirely free. You can also use their hosted platform for free up to 1000 events. They offer services for small, medium, and large businesses in addition to the free hosted alternative.

The Small package is $15 per month and supports up to 100k events. The Medium package costs $50 per month and supports up to 500k events. Finally, the Large package costs $250 per month and supports up to 3 million events.

4. Raygun

Raygun

Raygun aggregates user data to enable accurate crash reporting and bug feedback. The solution splits its primary functions into three different products. This means you can opt into the services you need, which provide a customized product.

The solution includes issue tracking tools as well as debugging mitigation solutions. These features, combined with user data monitoring, make this solution ideal for debugging an existing operational service.

Key Features

  • Error reporting and feedback
  • User monitoring
  • Crash report diagnostics
  • Inbuilt bug fixing information
  • Customizable purchase options

The solution is divided into three primary services, which can be tried for free on the website. In addition, your monitoring needs will benefit from the Application Performance Monitoring and Real User Monitoring packages, which start at $8 per month.

The correct JavaScript debugging tools can be found in the Error Monitoring & Crash Reporting application, which costs $4 per month. Similarly, the price for each product is scalable based on the required capacity, with 10,000-unit increments being typical.

5. Rollbar

Rollbar

Rollbar is an error reporting and fault aggregation solution based on real-time issue identification. You can trace bugs emerge using telemetry data obtained through the various integrations available, which speeds up bug repair.

Automated issue tracking and workflow triggers help you avoid accidentally shipping projects with known but untreated defects. The solution includes a set of notification tools for quick and accurate issue reporting and the ability to categorize bug notifications for easier reading intelligently.

Key Features

  • Error tracking and aggregation
  • Bug report management
  • Workflow/VCS integration
  • Bug notification tools
  • Free with premium options

Rollbar is free for up to 25,000 error events and has enough basic capabilities to get you started, especially if you're working in a small development team.

The Essentials plan, which costs $21 per month and covers up to 50,000 error events, is included in the premium plans. The Advanced plan allows for up to 100k error occurrences and a multi-project feed with combined monitoring.

6. Komodo IDE

Komodo IDE

Komodo is an IDE that supports a wide range of languages, including JavaScript. Komodo is open-source, and the base product is available for free. The true allure of Komodo is its open-source foundations, which means it has a lot of support and extension options.

This solution will provide numerous features to boost your debugging capabilities if you require a new IDE for Python development. The IDE’s In addition, the visual debugger and code inspection capabilities excel at debugging, improving error identification, and preventing problems. In addition, you can avoid defective builds from being distributed thanks to built-in support for VCS like Git and workflow management solutions.

Key Features

  • Visual debugger
  • Open-source platform
  • CI/CD integrations
  • Git integrations
  • Multi-language (including JavaScript)

The program may be downloaded and installed on the company's website, but to use it, even the free version, you'll need an ActiveState account.

Because the IDE is free and open-source, it's worth considering if you're on a budget and need a solution. However, keep in mind that it appears to be fading in popularity and support while the product is still supported.

7. Visual Studio

Visual Studio

Visual Studio is an IDE with one of the most comprehensive debugging toolkits available. When it comes to addressing bugs, Visual Studio's suite of debugging features means it can compete with any other IDE. In addition, visual Studio can support a vast number of languages; therefore, the usability isn't limited to JavaScript.

Breakpoints can isolate individual lines of code that are creating problems, and visual debugging tools can be used to diagnose and mitigate concerns. You can also use the debugging tool in step sequences to figure out which line of code is causing the issue.

Key Features

  • Visual debugger
  • Debugging tools
  • Multi-language (including JavaScript)
  • Workflow integrations

Visual Studio is available in various versions, including the Community version, a free, open-source version targeted for individual small-scale developers.

If you operate in a group, you might want to look into the Business options available as part of a $45 per month subscription. For $250 per month, Enterprise services are available for large-scale commercial needs.

8. JS Bin

JS Bin

JS Bin is a straightforward and free JavaScript debugging tool. However, it provides limited features and no accurate monitoring capabilities. Still, the simplicity, debugging features, and lack of associated costs make this tool excellent for small or solo JavaScript developers who just need to check their code quickly.

The utility has collaborative features that allow multiple developers to interact with the same code. Still, unless you pay a premium for a ‘private bin,’ your code is technically exposed to the public. The project is entirely open-source and primarily funds itself through donations and Pro subscriptions.

Key Features

  • JavaScript debugging suite
  • Github exporting tools
  • Templating features
  • Dropbox backup sync
  • Collaborative features

JS Bin is entirely free and open source. There is a Pro subscription available for $126 per year or $16 per month. The Pro version removes any capacity limits in place and adds the ability to create private workspaces for secure collaboration.

9. Selenium

Selenium

Selenium is an open-source testing framework that can help you reduce bugs by automating JavaScript web testing. Selenium provides a basic framework with no interface and requires advanced foundational programming knowledge.

Selenium's three main functionalities are web automation testing, a development IDE for test scripts, and a central management point. All essential functions are available for free and fully integrated into various CI/CD platforms.

Key Features

  • Scripted web automation testing
  • Development IDE
  • Multi-environment management
  • Browser interaction record-and-playback
  • Open-source and free

You can download Selenium from the website for free. Selenium Webdriver is the web automation testing suite and supports JavaScript. Selenium IDE provides the script creation platform with browser integration and supports Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Finally, Selenium Grid is the management and multi-environment orchestration platform and must be installed on a central server to be installed on. While you don’t need Selenium Grid for your CI/CD pipeline, it will likely be worthwhile for the full integration.

In Summary

This article discusses several tools that you can use to monitor and debug your JavaScript development projects. Most of which can be split between pre-deployment and post-deployment solutions, with post-deployment solutions being heavily focussed on the monitoring side of the debugging process.

Pre-deployment debugging is heavily reliant on your IDE. We have recommended a few IDEs without this article that can massively overhaul your debugging abilities during development. Namely, Komodo IDE and Visual Studio are two of the best IDEs out there for debugging JavaScript.

Other tools can assist you before deployment that isn’t specifically IDEs. Two we have included on this list are the Selenium testing framework and JS Bin. Selenium can be used to rigorously test your JavaScript web projects to catch bugs through automation. At the same time, JS Bin simulates a collaborative IDE with the main focus being on catching bugs.

Post-deployment bug fixing is mainly about bug monitoring, reporting, and aggregation. We’ve covered several error reporting solutions in this article, such as Airbrake, Glitchtip, and Rollbar. These error reporting solutions allow your team to identify bugs from testers and end-users and convert the data into actionable tasks.

Overall, if you want to cover your bases, your best choice is to combine a debug-focussed IDE with an error-reporting solution. This will help you catch bugs in the net before deployment and provide you with the best insight into where your bugs exist and how to fix them after your product has been shipped.