Collecting data with Trackers and Webhooks

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  6. Tracking specific events

Tracking specific events

Function*Description
trackScreenView()Track the user viewing a screen within the application
trackEcommerceTransaction()Track an ecommerce transaction and its items
trackStructuredEvent()Track a Snowplow custom structured event
trackUnstructuredEvent()Track a Snowplow custom unstructured event

Common

All events are tracked with specific methods on the tracker instance, of the form trackXXX(), where XXX is the name of the event to track.

Custom contexts

In short, custom contexts let you add additional information about the circumstances surrounding an event in the form of an Object. Each tracking method accepts an additional optional contexts parameter after all the parameters specific to that method:

t1.trackScreenView(name:String, id:String, context:Array, timestamp:Number);

The context argument should consist of a Array of SchemaPayload representing an array of one or more contexts. The format of each individual context element is the same as for an unstructured event.

If a visitor arrives on a page advertising a movie, the context dictionary might look like this:

{ "schema": "iglu:com.acme_company/movie_poster/jsonschema/2-1-1", "data": { "movie_name": "Solaris", "poster_country": "JP", "poster_year": "1978" } }

Note that even if there is only one custom context attached to the event, it still needs to be placed in an Array.

Optional timestamp & context argument

In all the trackers, we offer a way to set the timestamp if you want the event to show as tracked at a specific time. If you don’t, we create a timestamp while the event is being tracked.

Here is an example:

t1.trackScreenView("HUD > Save Game", "screen23", contextList, 123456789);

Tracker method return values

To be confirmed. As of now, trackers do not return anything.

Track page views with trackPageView()

Use trackPageView() to track a user viewing a screen within your Flash app, in the case where the screen behaves like a web page and has its own unique URL that appears in the browser’s address bar. Arguments are:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Validation
nameHuman-readable name for this screenNoString
idUnique identifier for this screenNoString
contextCustom context for the eventNoArray
timestampOptional timestamp for the eventNoNumber

Example:

tracker.trackPageView("www.mysite.com#page3", "Page Three", "www.me.com", contextList);

In Flash, the more common case is to use trackScreenView.

Track screen views with trackScreenView()

Use trackScreenView() to track a user viewing a screen (or equivalent) within your app. Arguments are:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Validation
nameHuman-readable name for this screenNoString
idUnique identifier for this screenNoString
contextCustom context for the eventNoArray
timestampOptional timestamp for the eventNoNumber

Example:

t1.trackScreenView("HUD > Save Game", "screen23", contextList, 123456);

Track ecommerce transactions with trackEcommerceTransaction()

Use trackEcommerceTransaction() to track an ecommerce transaction.

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Validation
order_idID of the eCommerce transactionYesString
total_valueTotal transaction valueYesNumber
affiliationTransaction affiliationYesString
tax_valueTransaction tax valueYesNumber
shippingDelivery cost chargedYesNumber
cityDelivery address cityYesString
stateDelivery address stateYesString
countryDelivery address countryYesString
currencyTransaction currencyYesString
itemsItems in the transactionYesArray
contextCustom context for the eventNoObject
timestampOptional timestamp for the eventNoNumber

The items argument is a List of individual TransactionItem elements representing the items in the e-commerce transaction. Note that trackEcommerceTransaction fires multiple events: one transaction event for the transaction as a whole, and one transaction item event for each element of the items List. Each transaction item event will have the same timestamp, order_id, and currency as the main transaction event.

Ecommerce TransactionItem with trackEcommerceTransaction()

To instantiate a TransactionItem in your code, simply use the following constructor signature:

trackEcommerceTransactionItem(order_id:String, sku:String, price:Number, quantity:int, name:String, category:String, currency:String, context:Array, timestamp:Number)

These are the fields that can appear as elements in each TransactionItem element of the transaction item Array:

FieldDescriptionRequired?Validation
order_idOrder IDYesString
skuItem SKUNoString
priceItem priceNoNumber
quantityItem quantityNoint
nameItem nameNoString
categoryItem categoryNoString
currencyItem currencyNoString
contextItem contextNoArray
timestampOptional timestamp for the eventNoNumber

Example of tracking a transaction containing two items:

// Example to come, in the meantime here is the type signature: t1.trackEcommerceTransaction(order_id:String, total_value:Number, affiliation:String, tax_value:Number, shipping:Number, city:String, state:String, country:String, currency:String, items:Array, context:Array = null, timestamp:Number = 0); t1.trackEcommerceTransaction("6a8078be", 300, "my_affiliate", 30, 10, "Boston", "Massachusetts", "USA", "USD", items, context);

Track structured events with trackStructuredEvent()

Use trackStructuredEvent() to track a custom event happening in your app which fits the Google Analytics-style structure of having up to five fields (with only the first two required):

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Validation
categoryThe grouping of structured events which this action belongs toYesString
actionDefines the type of user interaction which this event involvesYesString
labelA string to provide additional dimensions to the event dataYesString
propertyA string describing the object or the action performed on itYesString
valueA value to provide numerical data about the eventYesint
contextCustom context for the eventNoArray
timestampOptional timestamp for the eventNoNumber

Example:

t1.trackStructuredEvent(category:String, action:String, label:String, property:String, value:int, context:Array = null, timestamp:Number = 0);

Track unstructured events with trackUnstructuredEvent()

Custom unstructured events are a flexible tool that enables Snowplow users to define their own event types and send them into Snowplow.

When a user sends in a custom unstructured event, they do so as a JSON of name-value properties, that conforms to a JSON schema defined for the event earlier.

Use trackUnstructuredEvent() to track a custom event which consists of a name and an unstructured set of properties. This is useful when:

  • You want to track event types which are proprietary/specific to your business (i.e. not already part of Snowplow), or
  • You want to track events which have unpredictable or frequently changing properties

The arguments are as follows:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Validation
eventDataThe properties of the eventYesSchemaPayload
contextCustom context for the eventNoArray
timestampOptional timestamp for the eventNoNumber

Example:

t1.trackUnstructuredEvent(eventData, contextList);