Believe it or not, one of the support requests that we most frequently get is to recover deleted information. Sometimes it's an accident. Sometimes a domain or a record is deleted thinking that it is no longer needed and then our customers realize that they have to replicate the configuration on a new domain. (By the way, if this ever happens to you, create a template right away and you will make your life much easier).

Back in the day we couldn't be of much help. Unless the data loss was significant enough to go through database backups, there wasn't much we could do.

However, at DNSimple, we use customer support as a source for features to add to our application. Since the whole team is involved in this task, it's easy for us to spot frequent questions and requests. We can then discuss what's the best course of action to relieve this pain (because while we love hearing from our customers, we prefer it's because they're wildly successful using our service, not because something went wrong). Seeing that lost information was a common support issue, we decided to act on it.

We already had some tracking in place for certain events that occur in DNSimple. Since most of the time questions were about deleted records, it was obvious for us that we had to start recording all record deletions. Seeing how useful this information could be, and taking advantage of some architectural changes that were already in progress, we started logging everything else.

It has been a long process but our Big Brother feature is now complete.

So far it's proven to be super helpful for our customer support duties. We can easily answer those tickets about deleted records now. But it's more than that: seeing a list of all the actions that a particular customer has taken can be eye-opening to detect where the problem is when diagnosing configuration issues.

It's proven so helpful, in fact, that we couldn't keep it for ourselves: we are pleased to make activity tracking available to our customers.

You can now see all the changes that have happened on a particular domain or on your whole account.

activity tracking

Personal plan subscribers will be able to see all events that occurred during the last 30 days while Professional and Business customers will have access to the whole history since we started tracking.

Knowing how noisy it can get when you have several users making changes on your account, Professional and Business customers will also have an awesome filtering tool available to them to precisely find the information they need:

activity tracking

You will be able to select the exact event types that you want to see and the time frame for when they happened. Along the particular event you will see:

  • What changed, along any relevant data (like the record contents).
  • Who triggered the event, should anyone be blamed. ;-)
  • When the event took place.

We look forward to your feedback to make this feature even better. We think it will be very helpful for teams using DNSimple to manage their domains.