Saturday, April 12, 2014

Browshot and the Heartbleed bug

You are probably familiar with the Heartbleed bug by now. If not, there is a good read on it at http://heartbleed.com/.

We use the Linux CentOS 6.5 distribution on all our servers. It shipped with one of the vulnerable version of openSSL.

Browshot has updated all of its 7 web servers to the latest openSSL version. We are not vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug anymore. If you want to check if a website is affected by this SSL vulnerability, try out http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Browshot has acquired Thumbalizr

Browshot has acquired the screenshot service Thumbalizr.com. Thumbalizr is one of the oldest screenshot service still in business. It was started in 2007.

There will be no impact to the Browshot users. While Thumbalizr and Browshot will share the same platform in the coming months, Thumbalizr will use separate instances. We have added a server to the Browshot back-end to increase our capacity.

This acquisition shows the commitment of the Browshot team to be a major player in the screenshot market. We are committed to grow our business and to make Browshot your reliable partner.




Thumbalizr focuses on simplicity. The subscription-based service is going to remain the same. Thumbalizr will use the Browshot platform.





Browshot is the most powerful screenshot service. Browshot offers unique features such as automated uploads to S3, custom requests (cookies, POST data, custom JavaScript, etc.), mobile browsers like the iPhone and Android, etc.


Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any question about Browshot, Thumbalizr or the acquisition.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Maintenance on 03/07/2014 (COMPLETE)

We have scheduled an upgrade of Browshot on Friday March 6th, 2014 at 9:00pm PST until 10:00pm PST. We expect less than 5 minutes of downtime. During this time, the website and the API may return errors.

We are adding a server to our infrastructure to increase our screenshot capacity.

We will post updates on this post during the maintenance window.

Upgrade

9:00pm PST: upgrade started
9:01pm PST: back-end restart
9:04pm PST: upgrade complete

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Maintenance on 01/24/2014 (COMPLETE)

We have scheduled an upgrade of our back-end on Friday January 24th, 2014 at 9:00pm PST until 10:00pm PST. We expect less than 5 minutes of downtime. During this time, the website and the API may return errors.

We will post updates on this post during the maintenance window.

Upgrade

9:43pm PST: upgrade started
10:56pm PST: back-end restart
11:04pm PST: upgrade complete

Saturday, January 4, 2014

API 1.14: batch requests, JPEG, multiple screenshots

Happy New Year!

We expect a lot new exciting features in Browshot for 2014.

We have released the API 1.14 which includes:
  • batch requests: get thousands of screenshots from a text file. More details below.
  • JPEG: choose your screenshots in PNG or JPEG
  • multiple screenshots of the same page

All of these features were requested by our customers. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need anything.

Batch requests

Download a ZIP of all your screenshots
It is now easy to get hundreds or thousands of screenshots from your dashboard. Upload a text file with the list of URLs (1 URL per line), choose your parameters (screenshot size, browser, etc.) and voila!

You will get a ZIP file with all the screenshots as well as a CSV file (which can be opened with a text editor or Excel) that maps each image file with its URL.

Request thousands of screenshots from your dashboard

We provide an API as well to create new batch request and to track them.

JPEG format

While PNG is a better image format for most cases, we now offer JPEG format as well. You can specify format=jpeg in the screenshot/thumbnail API call.

Multiple screenshots of the same page

You can take multiple screenshots of the same page, for example 3 screenshots every 10 seconds.

And more...

We have increased our screenshot capacity by a factor of 5 on all desktop browsers. We've made additional improvements in the rendering of mobile devices.

We have removed our CDN offering. We can offer much better prices with our distributed Browshot hosting.

I wish everybody a happy new year. I'm sure it will be an exciting year for Browshot!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Impact of the distributed access

This week-end we switched for a centralized access to our server in Germany to a distributed access through UK, US, Australia and Germany.

DNS resolution time is just one parameter that makes a website faster. Here is the average RTT to resolve browshot.com (data from APM Cloud Monitor).

Before

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After

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As expected, countries close to a new access point saw the biggest reduction in RTT.

We are working on making our architecture more distributed and more redundant.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Distributed access to Browshot.com

Browshot.com has always been a distributed service, with browsers running in the US, Germany and Australia. Starting 11/23/2013, we will distribute the access to browshot.com and api.browshot.com.

Users will access browshot.com through the closest access point:
  1. US
  2. Germany
  3. UK
  4. Australia

The geo-localisation will happen transparently through DNS. In the unlikely event that you will want to access browshot.com and api.browshot.com through a specific country only, you can use:

  1. US: us.browshot.com and api-us.browshot.com
  2. Germany: de.browshot.com and api-de.browshot.com
  3. UK: uk.browshot.com and api-uk.browshot.com
  4. Australia: au.browshot.com and api-au.browshot.com

This should result in faster access to our website regardless of your location. We will phase out or CDN hosting offer in favor of the newly distributed Browshot hosting option.