Collecting data with Trackers and Webhooks

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Tracking specific events

Events supported by the Java Tracker at a glance:

Events*Description
track(ScreenView event)Track the user viewing a screen within the application
track(PageView event)Track and record views of web pages
track(EcommerceTransaction event)Track an ecommerce transaction and its items
track(Structured event)Track a Snowplow custom structured event
track(Unstructured event)Track a Snowplow custom unstructured event
track(Timing event)Track a Timing with Category event

You can also directly Track a TrackerPayload object. Please only use this function to re-track failed event payloads.

tracker.track(aTrackerPayload);

Common

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

SelfDescribingJson

SelfDescribingJson is used as a wrapper around either a TrackerPayload, another SelfDescribingJson or a Map object. After creating the object you want to wrap, you can create a SelfDescribingJson using the following:

// This is the Map we have created Map<String, String> eventData = new HashMap<>(); eventData.put("Event", "Data") // We wrap that map in a SelfDescribingJson before sending it SelfDescribingJson json = new SelfDescribingJson("iglu:com.acme/example/jsonschema/1-0-0", eventData);

You can create a SelfDescribingJson with the following arguments:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Type
schemaJsonSchema that describes the dataYesString
dataData that will be validated by the schemaNoMap, TrackerPayload, SelfDescribingJson

SelfDescribingJson is used for recording custom contexts and unstructured events.

Custom contexts

In short, custom contexts let you add additional information about the circumstances surrounding an event in the form of a Map object. Each tracking method accepts an additional optional contexts parameter:

t1.track(PageView.builder().( ... ).customContext(List<SelfDescribingJson> context).build());

The customContext argument should consist of a List of SelfDescribingJson 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" } }

To construct this as a SelfDescribingJson:

// Create a Map of the data you want to include... Map<String, String> dataMap = new HashMap<>(); dataMap.put("movie_name", "solaris"); dataMap.put("poster_country", "JP"); dataMap.put("poster_year", "1978"); // Now create your SelfDescribingJson object... SelfDescribingJson context1 = new SelfDescribingJson("iglu:com.acme/movie_poster/jsonschema/2.1.1", dataMap); // Now add this JSON into a list of SelfDescribingJsons... List<SelfDescribingJson> contexts = new ArrayList<>(); contexts.add(context1);

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

Optional Device Sent Timestamp override

In all the trackers, we offer a way to override the device sent 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.track(PageView.builder().( ... ).deviceCreatedTimestamp(1423583655000).build());

Optional Subject override

In this tracker, we offer a way to attach an event specific Subject if you want the event to be specific to a certain user. If you don’t, we attempt to attach the Tracker subject or no Subject if neither are available.

This is useful for quickly overriding the Tracker subject for specific users.

Here is an example:

t1.track(PageView.builder().( ... ).subject(aUserSubject).build());

Optional Event ID override

In this tracker, we offer a way to override the event id of a specific event instead of using the automatically generated one. If you don’t use this option we will simply use the auto-generated alternative.

Here is an example:

t1.track(PageView.builder().( ... ).eventId("custom-event-id").build());

True Timestamp

You can set the True Timestamp of the event when sending an event.

Here is an example:

t1.track(PageView.builder().( ... ).trueTimestamp(1423583655000).build());

Track screen views with track(ScreenView event)

Use track(ScreenView event) to track a user viewing a screen (or equivalent) within your app. You must use either name or id. Arguments are:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Type
nameHuman-readable name for this screenNoString
idUnique identifier for this screenNoString
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString
subjectOptional custom Subject objectNoSubject

Examples:

t1.track(ScreenView.builder() .name("HUD > Save Game") .id("screen23") .build()); t1.track(ScreenView.builder() .name("HUD > Save Game") .id("screen23") .customContext(contextList) .timestamp(1423583655000) .eventId("uid-1") .build());

Track pageviews with track(PageView event)

You can use track(PageView event) to track a user viewing a web page within your app.

Arguments are:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Type
pageUrlThe URL of the pageYesString
pageTitleThe title of the pageNoString
referrerThe address which linked to the pageNoString
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString
subjectOptional custom Subject objectNoSubject

Examples:

t1.track(PageView.builder() .pageUrl("www.example.com") .pageTitle("example") .referrer("www.referrer.com") .build()); t1.track(PageView.builder() .pageUrl("www.example.com") .pageTitle("example") .referrer("www.referrer.com") .customContext(contextList) .timestamp(1423583655000) .eventId("uid-1") .build());

Track ecommerce transactions with track(EcommerceTransaction event)

Use track(EcommerceTransaction event) to track an ecommerce transaction.

Arguments:

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Type
orderIdID of the eCommerce transactionYesString
totalValueTotal transaction valueYesDouble
affiliationTransaction affiliationNoString
taxValueTransaction tax valueNoDouble
shippingDelivery cost chargedNoDouble
cityDelivery address cityNoString
stateDelivery address stateNoString
countryDelivery address countryNoString
currencyTransaction currencyNoString
itemsItems in the transactionYesList<EcommerceTransactionItem>
itemsItems in the transactionYesEcommerceTransactionItem...
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString
subjectOptional custom Subject objectNoSubject

The items argument is a List of individual EcommerceTransactionItem elements representing the items in the e-commerce transaction or it can be a varargs argument of many individual items. Note that track(EcommerceTransaction event) 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.

EcommerceTransactionItem

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

EcommerceTransactionItem item = EcommerceTransactionItem.builder() .itemId("item_id") .sku("item_sku") .price(1.00) .quantity(1) .name("item_name") .category("item_category") .currency("currency") .build();

These are the fields that can appear as elements in each EcommerceTransactionItem element of the transaction item’s List:

FieldDescriptionRequired?Type
itemIdItem IDYesString
skuItem SKUYesString
priceItem priceYesDouble
quantityItem quantityYesInteger
nameItem nameNoString
categoryItem categoryNoString
currencyItem currencyNoString
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString
subjectOptional custom Subject objectNoSubject

Example of tracking a transaction containing two items:

// Create some Transaction Items EcommerceTransactionItem item1 = EcommerceTransactionItem.builder() .itemId("item_id_1") .sku("item_sku_1") .price(1.00) .quantity(1) .name("item_name") .category("item_category") .currency("currency") .build(); EcommerceTransactionItem item2 = EcommerceTransactionItem.builder() .itemId("item_id_2") .sku("item_sku_2") .price(1.00) .quantity(1) .name("item_name") .category("item_category") .currency("currency") .build(); // Add these items to a List List<EcommerceTransactionItem> items = new ArrayList<>(); items.add(item1); items.add(item2); // Now Track the Transaction by using this list of items as an argument tracker.track(EcommerceTransaction.builder() .orderId("6a8078be") .totalValue(300.00) .affiliation("my_affiliate") .taxValue(30.00) .shipping(10.00) .city("Boston") .state("Massachusetts") .country("USA") .currency("USD") .items(items) .build()); // Or include the items as varargs in the items section tracker.track(EcommerceTransaction.builder() .orderId("6a8078be") .totalValue(300.00) .affiliation("my_affiliate") .taxValue(30.00) .shipping(10.00) .city("Boston") .state("Massachusetts") .country("USA") .currency("USD") .items(item1, item2) .build());

Track structured events with track(Structured event)

Use track(Structured event) 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?Type
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 dataNoString
propertyA string describing the object or the action performed on itNoString
valueA value to provide numerical data about the eventNoDouble
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString
subjectOptional custom Subject objectNoSubject

Examples:

t1.track(Structured.builder() .category("shop") .action("add-to-basket") .label("Add To Basket") .property("pcs") .value(2.00) .build()); t1.track(Structured.builder() .category("shop") .action("add-to-basket") .label("Add To Basket") .property("pcs") .value(2.00) .customContext(contextList) .timestamp(1423583655000) .eventId("uid-1") .build());

Track unstructured events with track(Unstructured event)

Custom unstructured events are a flexible tool that enable 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 track(Unstructured event) 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?Type
eventDataThe properties of the eventYesSelfDescribingJson
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString

Example event json to track:

{ "schema": "iglu:com.acme/save_game/jsonschema/1-0-0", "data": { "levelName": "Barrels o' Fun", "levelIndex": 23 } }

How to set it up?

// Create a Map of your event data Map<String, Object> eventMap = new HashMap<>(); eventMap.put("levelName", "Barrels o' Fun") eventMap.put("levelIndex", 23); // Create your event data SelfDescribingJson eventData = new SelfDescribingJson("iglu:com.acme/save_game/jsonschema/1-0-0", eventMap); // Track your event with your custom event data t1.track(Unstructured.builder() .eventData(eventData) .build(); // OR t1.track(Unstructured.builder() .eventData(eventData) .customContext(contextList) .timestamp(1423583655000) .eventId("uid-1") .build();

For more on JSON schema, see the blog post.

Track timing events with track(Timing event)

Use track(Timing event) to track an event related to a custom timing.

ArgumentDescriptionRequired?Type
categoryThe category of the timed eventYesString
labelThe label of the timed eventNoString
timingThe timing measurement in millisecondsYesInteger
variableThe name of the timed eventYesString
customContextOptional custom contextNoList<SelfDescribingJson>
timestampOptional timestampNoLong
eventIdOptional custom event idNoString

Examples:

t1.track(Timing.builder() .category("category") .variable("variable") .timing(1) .label("label") .build()); t1.track(Timing.builder() .category("category") .variable("variable") .timing(1) .label("label") .customContext(contextList) .timestamp(1423583655000) .eventId("uid-1") .build());