Collecting data with Trackers and Webhooks

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Advanced Usage

Advanced usage

This section covers the more advanced elements of the Snowplow JavaScript Tracker API.

Callbacks

If you call snowplow with a function as the argument, the function will be executed when sp.js loads:

snowplow(function () { console.log("sp.js has loaded"); });

Or equivalently:

snowplow(function (x) { console.log(x); }, "sp.js has loaded");

The callback you provide is executed as a method on the internal trackerDictionary object. This means that you can access the trackerDictionary using this:

// Configure a tracker instance named "cf" snowplow('newTracker', 'cf', 'd3rkrsqld9gmqf.cloudfront.net', { appId: 'snowplowExampleApp', platform: 'web' }); // Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var userFingerprint = cf.getUserFingerprint(); doSomethingWith(userFingerprint); })

The callback function should not be a method:

// TypeError: Illegal invocation snowplow(console.log, "sp.js has loaded");

will not work, because the value of this in the console.log function will be trackerDictionary rather than console.

You can get around this problem using Function.prototoype.bind as follows:

snowplow(console.log.bind(console), "sp.js has loaded");

For more on execution context in JavaScript, see the MDN page.

Methods which can be used from inside a callback

getUserFingerprint

The getUserFingerprint method returns the tracker-generated user fingerprint:

// Configure a tracker instance named "cf" snowplow('newTracker', 'cf', 'd3rkrsqld9gmqf.cloudfront.net', { appId: 'snowplowExampleApp', platform: 'web' }); // Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var userFingerprint = cf.getUserFingerprint(); doSomethingWith(userFingerprint); })

getDomainUserId

The getDomainUserId method returns the user ID stored in the first-party cookie:

// Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var domainUserId = cf.getDomainUserId(); doSomethingWith(domainUserId); })

getDomainUserInfo

The getDomainUserInfo method returns all the information stored in first-party cookie in an array:

// Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var domainUserInfo = cf.getDomainUserInfo(); doSomethingWith(domainUserInfo); })

The domainUserInfo variable will contain an array with 7 elements:

  1. A string set to '1' if this is the user’s first session and '0' otherwise
  2. The domain user ID
  3. The timestamp at which the cookie was created
  4. The number of times the user has visited the site
  5. The timestamp for the current visit
  6. The timestamp of the last visit
  7. The session id

getUserId

The getUserId method returns the user ID which you configured using setUserId():

// Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var userId = cf.getUserId(); doSomethingWith(userId); })

getCookieName

The getCookieName method returns the complete cookie name for the domain or session cookie:

// Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var cookieName = cf.getCookieName('id'); doSomethingWith(cookieName); })

The argument corresponds to the basename of the cookie: ‘id’ for the domain cookie, ‘ses’ for the session cookie.

getPageViewId

The getPageViewId method returns the page view id:

// Access the tracker instance inside a callback snowplow(function () { var cf = this.cf; var pageViewId = cf.getPageViewId(); doSomethingWith(pageViewId); })

Extracting the Google Analytics cookie ID

Use the following function to extract ID stored in GA’s first-party cookie:

// Find the utma cookie and extract the unique user ID function getGoogleId() { var id, a, c = document.cookie.split('; '); for (var i in c) { a = c[i].split('='); if (a[0]==='__utma') { id = a[1].split('.')[1]; } } return id || 'unknown'; }

You can then set a user’s Snowplow business user ID to be equal to the user’s GA ID:

snowplow('setUserId', getGoogleId());

Getting the most out of the PerformanceTiming context

The domCompleteloadEventStart, and loadEventEnd metrics in the NavigationTiming API are set to 0 until after every script on the page has finished executing, including sp.js. This means that the corresponding fields in the PerformanceTiming reported by the tracker will be 0. To get around this limitation, you can wrap all Snowplow code in a setTimeout call:

setTimeout(function () { // Load Snowplow and call tracking methods here }, 0);

This delays its execution until after those NavigationTiming fields are set.

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