Nearly two-thirds of Web site visits feature some kind of Web application failure, according to a new study released Friday by the Business Internet Group of San Francisco.
In "A Report on Web Application Integrity," BIG-SF researchers reported that commercial Web sites are commonly prone to failures—delivering incorrect data, blank pages and a host of errors that can cause customers to abandon the site. TeaLeaf Technology Inc., a Web application management solution provider, commissioned the independent study.
BIG-SF tested 315 Web sites over the first four months of 2002 and discovered an overall Web application failure rate of 63.5 percent, the report said. The researchers emulated new users on each site and took part in sessions that lasted no more than 15 minutes each.
Among the findings were that six out of 10 sites—primarily those in the retail, manufacturing, travel and financial services sectors—suffered technical errors such as blank pages, embedded content errors and failure notices such as "404 file not found" and "500 internal server error." In addition, the report said 40 percent of the sites also suffered user failures that impacted purchase processes, including the inability to buy after product comparisons or incorrectly selecting shipping addresses. And another 40 percent of surveyed sites suffered incorrect data errors, such as returning wrong pages or wrong items.
As a proposed remedy, BIG-SF researchers recommend IT managers find or develop a solution that "provides visibility into the production state of the Web application to properly test whether or not the Web application is functioning correctly."
In a statement, Frank Vaculin, CEO of San Francisco-based TeaLeaf Technology, said that "because the integrity of Web applications decreases as they grow more complex, IT operations require a solution that allows them to rapidly detect every application error and accelerate problem resolution." He said TeaLeafs IntegriTea Web application management solution could help alleviate these problems.