From Steps to Credits in Transactions and Multi-Step API monitors

We’ve changed Transaction steps and Multi-step API Monitoring steps to Transaction credits and Multi-step API Monitoring credits.

In short: Steps are used to group your actions in your monitor definitions, and credits are used to buy Transaction or Multi-Step API monitors.

Let’s explain that in more detail.

What is a step?

Web Application Monitoring (Transactions) and Multi-step API Monitoring both operate on the concept of steps. We are keeping the concept of steps in your monitor setup, and we aren’t changing anything in your monitor settings.

For clarity, let’s take a look at what a step means in your monitor settings. Although the idea of a step is similar in both monitoring types, the definition of a step is different based on the monitoring type.

Transaction Monitoring steps: A step in a Transaction monitor is an arbitrary grouping of user actions and monitor actions. User actions are things like clicks, entering text, and hover events. Monitor actions are events such as content checks, changes in window/tab, or iframe focus. You can group actions any way that you like. Your reports show timings on a step-by-step basis, so finishing your step with a server request is a logical end of step in most cases.

Multi-step API Monitoring steps: A step in a Multi-step API monitor is either a server interaction that includes a server request and response or a wait step (an extra pause to allow processing time for a particular request).

How steps affect your monitor pricing

They don’t. Previously, you may have heard that we base your monitor price on the number of steps in the monitor. That wasn’t a completely accurate statement. There were two situations when that was possibly true:

  • If your transaction monitor didn’t contain any waterfall reports or screenshots and every step only included one server request, that was true.
  • If your Multi-step API monitor didn’t have any wait steps, it was also true.

So the number of steps sometimes—by coincidence—was the basis of your monitoring price. Confused?

Added confusion

Some monitors require more resources/space than others, so the prices reflect the amount of resources/space needed. If you had a large transaction or API monitor that resulted in a higher cost than your plan allowed, you could buy more steps in your account settings.

The use of the term, “steps” in your account settings enforces the idea that we base your monitor pricing on the number of steps.

Still not true.

Clearing up the confusion

You can no longer buy extra Transaction steps or API monitoring steps. Instead, you buy Transaction credits and API monitoring credits.

You’ll still use the concept of steps in your monitoring for organizing and reporting purposes.

When do I use a transaction or API monitoring credit?

Great question! You use credits for a few different events in your monitors.

Server requests: If your transaction or API monitor needs to make a server request, your monitor uses a credit. Server requests are used to retrieve data, post data, and to transition to a new page or state. Our system automatically calculates the number of server requests and thus used credits.

Waterfall charts: You can add a waterfall report to any step in your transaction monitor. Each waterfall report uses one transaction credit.

Screenshots: Screenshots let you see what the screen looks like at a particular step in your transaction. You can add as many screenshots as you want to a transaction monitor, each screenshot in the monitor uses one credit.

When don’t I use a transaction or API monitor credit?

By not using the term, “steps” to mean two different but closely related things, we can clear up a few misconceptions. You might have previously thought some actions in your monitor used steps (now called credits) that didn’t.

Wait steps: Your API monitors include the option of adding wait steps. A wait step tells the checkpoint to give the server a little extra time between requests. A wait step doesn’t use an API monitoring credit.

Transaction steps that don’t make a server request: You group your user actions into logical groups for your own reporting purposes. If you define a step that doesn’t include an action that results in a server request, the step doesn’t use a credit.

On the flip side of no server requests in a step, you can have multiple requests in a step. Each request in the step uses a credit.

Content checks: We encourage you to use content checks frequently in all your monitors, so content checks are always free and use on credits.


Goodbye to confusion, hello clarity! Here are the ideas we hope you gain from this article.

  • We’ve changed the term used in your account settings to define the cost of your Transaction and API monitors from steps to credits.
  • The logical arrangement of actions and events in your API and transaction monitors is a step. The use of steps in this context has not changed.
  • The term credits is used to refer to the cost of your transaction and API monitors.
  • Each server request, waterfall report, or screenshot in your monitor uses a credit.
  • Wait steps and content checks do not use credits (They’re free!).
  • Your Monitors Overview, Subscription Settings, and new invoices, now use the terms Transaction credits and API credits.