Unique URL codes to view specific monitors

The daily stats page generated by the Server Check Monitoring System

Not everyone who uses the Server Check Monitoring System knows that it has a built-in web server that allows for remote viewing of monitor stats and monitor reports, as well as daily and monthly uptime pages which can be used for public uptime pages.

The web server is part of Server Check and doesn’t require additional stacks or software to be installed – there’s no need to have Apache or IIS running, and no need for PHP or MySQL. Everything you need is built right into Server Check. You can even add an SSL/TLS certificate (in PFX format) to the web server configuration so that all web pages can be served securely.

The best thing about all this is that the web server is fully functional even in the FREE versions of Server Check!

The web server configuration settings built into Server Check allow users to select which monitors are displayed, select which types of monitors are displayed, restrict the web pages to show only monitors with particular information or statuses (for example, show only healthy monitors and exclude any that are failing or failed), and so on. The stats pages will show all monitors that have the web feature switched on and that match the selections in the web server configuration.

However, a company might want to make the stats for one (or selected) monitor(s) available to view without showing all the others that are set up in their Server Check installation (for example, if you’re a web hosting reseller or web developer and want to allow customers to view the stats for their own web sites only).

We’ve now added a new feature that makes this exact feature available to all Server Check users. It’s ready to go in the latest version (which you can download here). The new unique URL codes allow individual, specific monitors to be viewed in the stats web pages, easily and quickly.

Let’s see how this works.


Define your unique URL code in the monitor edit panel:

Server Check’s new unique monitor codes for use in URLs

Note: when adding new monitors, a unique code will be automatically generated but you can change this if you wish to.

The monitor can now be viewed by visiting the URL of your Server Check installation, plus the URL of the stats page you want to view, plus the unique code as a “?view=” query string key/value pair in the URL. For example, if your IP address is “1.2.3.4” and your default daily stats page URL is “/daily” then a specific monitor’s unique URL would look something like this:

https://1.2.3.4/daily?view=e006ffc8840cbffb244583255f321a90

Note: the base URL of your Server Check installation may be an IP address, or a domain name if you have set this up in your DNS correctly and opened/forwarded the correct port for the web server configuration.

The query string key “view” can also be abbreviated or omitted, as in these examples:

https://1.2.3.4/daily?v=e006ffc8840cbffb244583255f321a90
https://1.2.3.4/daily?e006ffc8840cbffb244583255f321a90

Multiple monitors can also be viewed at once by including commas between each code, for example:

https://1.2.3.4/daily?view=mysmtpserver,customer2,sqlserver

As you can see, this feature is extremely useful for sharing stats with different customers, departments, or for creating different views and combinations of stats pages.

The unique URL codes allow monitor stats pages to be visited even when your main default pages are password protected (if you have this configured in the Web Server settings panel). This way, you can still see all stats and results securely as an admin, whilst clients can visit their unique URLs without needing any log in details – they just need the URL you provide to them. If you wish to disable this type of access, simply leave the monitor’s unique URL code blank and the URL will no longer work.

Server Check v1.2.20201026

We’ve just released Server Check v1.2.20201026 which adds a few new features that offer greater convenience and easier, quicker management by system admins:

  • We’ve added a new bulk monitor editing panel to allow changes to be made to all or multiple selected monitors at once, and we’ve removed the individual bulk email and SMS edit options as the new panel includes these options.
  • An optional “Auto Unpause” setting is now available and can be configured via the settings panel. This allows a paused system to be automatically unpaused after specified time, which is great if you pause Server Check and forget to unpause it! This new feature is optional, and is disabled by default.
  • We’ve made the monitor edit window sizes consistent between monitor types – previously when you scrolled through the edit window for your monitors you may have found that the windows bounced around a bit, but we’ve fixed them all at the same size now.
  • Some improvements have been made to behind-the-scenes handling of licensing server connection failures, but remember that Server Check still requires internet access to keep your license valid and to check for software updates.
  • We’ve fixed some issues and conflicts with some anti-virus software. Any virus alerts that previous versions of Server Check were causing were, of course, false – Server Check is not malicious software and contains nothing untoward. However we noticed some false positives in certain anti-virus environments so we’ve fixed that.
  • A runtime error caused by the tray icon at program launch has also been fixed – this was very intermittent but would cause Server Check to terminate when it occurred.

If you already have Server Check installed, you can update your software right now in the Help menu of the main program panel.

Want to give these latest features a try? If you’re not already a Server Check user, you can get a FREE lifetime license to monitor up to 10 monitors – it will never expire! Download Server Check right away – it only takes five minutes to install and get going!

Setting Up Server Maintenance Times

Whether we’re changing out hard drives, replacing fans, rewiring racks, swapping out power supplies, or just dusting and cleaning our equipment, servers need regular maintenance and attention to keep running.

The problem is that we sometimes have to take these servers offline, even just for a few seconds or minutes, while this maintenance takes place. If we don’t plan things correctly and set up maintenance times in our monitoring software, these planned periods of maintenance could show up as unplanned downtime.

We’ve built Server Check with this in mind. You can set a maintenance window for each individual monitor so that checks are not run during your hours of maintenance and no unexpected downtime statistics will be logged.

Double-click the individual monitor in the Monitors window, and in the Edit window make sure Run All Day is unchecked. Now you can set a Start Time and End Time for monitoring, and outside of these hours, Server Check will put these monitors to sleep. You can check in the Monitors window or in the web interface to see if any of your monitors are currently sleeping – if any of them are, they will show as SLEEPING in the Status column.

And yes, you can set start and end times that cross midnight, so a start time of 21:00 and an end time of 03:00 will keep the monitor alive for six hours, crossing midnight. Once 3:00am comes along it will go to sleep until 9:00pm that evening, when it will wake up again.

Server Check makes it easy to start monitoring your servers – whether its 24/7 monitoring, or only between certain start and end times – so that you can keep track of uptime and downtime, without maintenance time inccreasing your downtime statistics.

Not using Server Check yet? Start monitoring up to 10 Ping or HTTP monitors for FREE, and FOREVER! Download Server Check right away – it only takes five minutes to install and get going!

HTTP… to GET or not to GET?

We’ve just released our latest version of Server Check, which adds a search bar, better error information when testing a monitor, and improves the web page loading experience.

We also added a new mailing option to the software, which allows you to use the Server Check Mail System to send all emails instead of SMTP. This is great if you don’t have your own SMTP server, or your SMTP server has usage or technical restrictions in place. Using the Server Check Mail System option is also a lot quicker and hassle-free to set up, and it’s available in all licensed versions of our server monitoring software including the free 10-monitor version (as long as it is registered and has a license key applied to it!).

Another great new addition is the HTTP Request Method option, which is specific to HTTP monitors. This allows you to choose whether an HTTP or HTTPS request is made using the GET request method or the POST request method. On the surface, and particularly when monitoring a website with a plain address with no query string, these two methods appear to do the same thing. GET is the most common request method used, and is commonly used to request data from a resource. POST is often used to send data to a server for a variety of reasons, including submitting form data.

The magic happens when you are requesting a web address that includes a query string, for example:

https://www.mywebsite.com/index.php?variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday

In this example, https://www.mywebsite.com/index.php is the resource we are requesting, while variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday is the query string. The ? separates the requested resource and the query string.

The query string contains name/value pairs, which in our example above are set to:

variable = yellow
anothervariable = tuesday

There could be any number of these name/value pairs, all joined with an ampersand (&) between each. This is the data that is being used by the server in some way, to either process the request correctly and send back the correct information, or to provide information to the server for it to process, for example, to write to a database or look up something in a database.

The data in the query string can be sent to the server as part of the URL, which often means it is visible in the server logs (this is the GET request method) or sent more privately in the request body and not usually shown in server logs (this is the POST request method).

In Server Check, because we enter the URL in one text box, we include the name/value pairs as part of the URL, regardless of whether we want to make the request using the GET method or the POST method. Server Check will then either keep it as part of the URL when GETting the monitor check, or parse it out from the URL and send it in the request body when POSTing the monitor check.

So, if we use GET for our example above, Server Check will send a request to the server that looks something like this:

GET /index.php?variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mywebsite.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0
Connection: close

And if we use POST, Server Check will send the request in this format instead:

POST /index.php HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mywebsite.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 39
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0
Connection: close

variable=yellow&anothervariable=tuesday

There are some other important differences between GET and POST. GET requests can be cached, can remain in a browser’s history, can be bookmarked, and they have length restrictions. POST requests are never cached, they do not remain in a browser’s history (only the URL without the data would remain), they cannot be bookmarked without losing the data, and there are usually no restrictions on data length.

Other request methods also exist, including PUT, HEAD, DELETE and OPTIONS, but these are not currently available within Server Check.

If you want to find out more about HTTP request methods, you can visit https://www.w3schools.com and https://developer.mozilla.org.

Latest Features

We’re excited to announce the new features coming in our next release of Server Check, our free server monitoring software.

We’re introducing a Server Check SMTP option, which means that you can use our SMTP system for server and website down alerts, instead of having to use your own. While using your own SMTP server will still be an option, quite a few of our users have requested an easier SMTP solution that doesn’t rely on having their own SMTP servers. The Server Check SMTP option will be available in all versions of Server Check, both free and paid.

We’ll also be adding a search bar to the toolbar which will allow quick searching for monitors – essential if you have hundreds or even thousands of monitors deployed and you need to find one of them without endless scrolling. Now you’ll be able to check your server status even more efficiently by finding it instantly with the new search bar.

We’re also tweaking how Server Check monitoring and uptime status web pages load to optimise their loading times, as well as improving the error information when testing a server or website monitor.

Look out for the new release of Server Check featuring all of these new features and improvements – coming very soon!