Track HBX Style Links in SiteCatalyst

I hear from a lot of people migrating from HBX to SiteCatalyst who are looking for ways to make that process a little easier. One of the hurdles I see is trying to migrate all of their HBX link tracking that is already in place to a format that SiteCatalyst can easily understand. That is an easy one to tackle. It’s called the setupLinkTrack plug-in.

Other than tracking all of you current HBX coded links, any SiteCatalyst user can get some benefit from it. Here is another great use for this plug-in. Recently I was reading a great article from @adamgreco about learning to track website navigation. It is a really great article and if you have not had a chance to read it you should go check it out. In one part of the article Adam writes “you should have your developer write code that will pass the name of the link to a Traffic Variable (sProp) when a visitor clicks on each link in your navigation”. Well I’m the guy responsible for the tracking code for my website, so how can I track those links without adding a whole ton of JavaScript onclicks or some other server side hacks? This plug-in will easily handle that, without adding the extra server calls that come with the standard SiteCatalyst link tracking.

First take the plug-in code and add it to the plug-in section of your s_code.js file. Make sure you have the utility functions s.split and s.apl.

 * Plugin: setupLinkTrack 2.0 - return links for HBX-based link 
 *         tracking in SiteCatalyst (requires s.split and s.apl)
s.setupLinkTrack=new Function("vl","c",""
+"var s=this;var l=s.d.links,cv,cva,vla,h,i,l,t,b,o,y,n,oc,d='';cv=s."
+"x in vla)s._hbxm(vla[x])?s[vla[x]]=cva[x]:'';}s.c_w(c,'',0);if(!s.e"
+"o&&!s.lnk)return '';o=s.eo?s.eo:s.lnk;y=s.ot(o);n=s.oid(o);if(s.eo&"
+":o.parentNode;if(!o)return '';y=s.ot(o);n=s.oid(o);}for(i=0;i<4;i++"
+"&&i>-1){eval(\"__f=/ src\s*=\s*[\'\\\"]?([^\'\\\" ]+)[\'\\\"]?/i\")"
+"+'^^'+s.pageName+' | '+(o.lid=o.lid?o.lid:'no &lid')+'^^'+o.lpos;if"
+"(t&&(h||l)){cva=s.split(cv,'^^');vla=s.split(vl,',');for(x in vla)s"
+"._hbxm(vla[x])?s[vla[x]]=cva[x]:'';}else if(!t&&oc.indexOf('.tl(')<"
+"0){s.c_w(c,cv,0);}else return ''");
s._IL=new Function("a","var s=this;return a!='undefined'?a.length:0");
s._II=new Function("a","b","c","var s=this;return a.indexOf(b,c?c:0)");
s._IS=new Function("a","b","c",""
+"var s=this;return b>s._IL(a)?'':a.substring(b,c!=null?c:s._IL(a))");
s._LN=new Function("a","b","c","d",""
+"var s=this;b=a.href;'';c=s._LVP(b,'lid');d=s._LVP("
s._LVP=new Function("a","b","c","d","e",""
+"var s=this;c=s._II(a,'&'+b+'=');c=c<0?s._II(a,'?'+b+'='):c;if(c>-1)"
+");return e}return ''");
s._LS=new Function("a",""
+"var s=this,b,c=100,d,e,f,g;b=(s._IL(a)>c)?escape(s._IS(a,0,c)):esca"
+"rn unescape(b)");
s._LSP=new Function("a","b","c","d","var s=this;d=s._IP(a,b);return d"
s._IP=new Function("a","b","var s=this;return a.split(b)");
s._RP=new Function("a","b","c","d",""
+"var s=this;d=s._II(a,b);if(d>-1){a=s._RP(s._IS(a,0,d)+','+s._IS(a,d"
+"+s._IL(b),s._IL(a)),b,c)}return a");
s._TL=new Function("a","var s=this;return a.toLowerCase()");
s._NA=new Function("a","var s=this;return new Array(a?a:0)");
s._hbxm=new Function("m","var s=this;return (''+m).indexOf('{')<0");
s._hbxln=new Function("h","var s=this,n=s.linkNames;if(n)return"
+"n,',','lnf',h);return ''");

Next in the s_doPlugins section of the s_code file you need a couple lines of setup.

s.hbx_lt = "auto" // manual, auto

The plug-in will use 4 variables and a name for a cookie it will set. For this example I am going to use props 1 thru 4.

Next we have the actual code that will appear in the anchor tag that the plug-in will look for. It is a simple name attribute tag of lid and lpos. This is what a link would look like with the code properly formatted.

<a href="my-page.php" name="&lid=Featured Articles&lpos=Left Nav">Cool Article Name</a>

Here’s what it will do. After clicking on a link that contains a lid and lpos (the exact link shown above), this is what you will find in the debugger on the page you land on:
Debugger 1
The plug-in entered the s.pageName value of the page that the click occurred into prop1, the value of lid into prop2, a combination of the prop1 and the value of lid into prop3 and the value of lpos in prop4.

Lets change up what we include in the actual link code. Lets remove the lid from the tag and just use this link:

<a href="my-page.php" name="&lpos=Left Nav">Cool Article Name</a>

This is what we will get from the debugger:
Debugger 2
You can see by not using the lid tag then the plug-in will use the actual anchor text in those positions.

Now lets say you are not interested in capturing the previous pageName value, or the combined previous pageName/lid value. You can just omit those variables in the plug-in setup. Change the code to:

s.hbx_lt = "auto" // manual, auto

You can see I left the commas in there as empty place holders. Clicking the link with that setup and a lid and lpos value will return this in the debugger:
Debugger 3

What about the other links on the page? What if they do not include a lid or lpos value? The plug-in will track those also. Clicking one of those links will return this in the debugger:
Debugger 4
The plug-in will still capture the previous pageName value, the anchor text and the combined values of the two.

I’m sure by now you noticed that auto/manual setting. Up to now its been set on auto. Let’s flip it to manual and click a link on the page that does not include any code. Here is what you will get:
Debugger 5
You will only get the two previous pageName values. If I would have omitted those two variables like I did earlier then it would have not returned anything. If you click on a link with a lid and lpos variables then it will perform the same as if it were set to auto.

If you want to not add the code to the links so you can track all of the links on a page, but you only want to do it on a specific page and not the whole site you can then wrap the code in an if statement like this:

s.hbx_lt = "auto" // manual, auto

You could also do that using document.location (or a million other ways to identify a specific page).

Since it also grabs the previous page value I no longer need the previous pageName plug-in (useful when using the getPercentPageViewed plug-in).


Implement Adobe SiteCatalyst in 5 Minutes (or less!)

One of the biggest things I always hear from people considering moving to Adobe SiteCatalyst is the fear of a difficult implementation. It feels to me that most people think they need to implement everything at once, and that is not so. You can just take baby steps and implement small sections at a time. Let’s get started with just a standard implementation to get things going. I’m going to show you how to do a basic implementation of SiteCatalyst in 5 minutes.

First we need to set up a new report suite from the SiteCatalyst Admin Console Report Suite Manager. That can be found by selecting Admin > Report Suites.
Admin Console
Once we are in the Report Suite Manager, select Create New > Report Suite.
Create New
This will open up the New Report Suite setup page. On this page we have two sections to deal with, the first being where we can choose what type of site we are creating the report suite for. I recommend just leaving this set at the default suite type. Since we plan of adding some neat customizations in the future as our analytics needs increase, the default will work fine for us right now.
Suite Type
Next on this page we have five items that need to be filled in. They are all marked with red stars, with the most important being the first one, Report Suite ID. Why is this the most important? Because it the only one we cannot change later. I recommend it should be something you can easily understand what it means. If your site is then I would just simply choose apple and not something cryptic like 89e7rghv9e7gh (yes I have seen that done before). It actually doesn’t matter what you choose (in case you had your heart set on using 89e7rghv9e7gh), anything will work, but choosing something simple may save some headaches in the future. The Site Title is what you want it to be referred to by in the SiteCatalyst interface, Time Zone is your time zone, Go Live Date is when the site is expected to launch (it must be a date in the future), and Estimated Page Views per Day is just what it says. This number is used by the Adobe engineers to determine what resources to dedicate to your site to ensure everything is recorded correctly. Remember any of these items (except Report Suite ID) can be changed later if you need to. There are other things listed here and you can fill them out or change them if you would like, they are not required in setting up the report suite. Fill out the five required fields, click submit and the report suite is created.
Configure Suite
There are some additional things we need to set up before we start with the actual data collection code. Head back to the Report Suite Manager and find you new suite in the list. Click it to highlight it and then mouse over the Edit Settings link. This will bring up a list of additional settings we can adjust. Remember this section. Later when you get more advanced with your SiteCatalyst data collection, this is where you will go to turn on and off variables for more advanced tracking. There are only two items we need to touch right now, and are going to be located under General.

Under Internal URL Filters you need to set what the domain of your site is. On every single page view there is a referrer. When your visitors go from your home page to your about us page, the referrer to that page is the home page. You do not want that showing up in your referrer reports, so this is where you list out the domain names that you do not want included in those reports. Quick tip: If your site is, and you enter in the URL filter, it will also filter out sites that have that name included in it, for example or Add a period to the front of the domain name to make sure that only your site is filtered, You can also enter the subdomain with the URL in the filter if your site only lives at a single subdomain, or you can list all of them in the filter.
Internal URL FIlter

Next you want to hit the Paid Search Detection. In here you need to set up a query sting parameter that will be used for your paid search. Even if you do not plan on doing paid search fill this out any way. It is important in making sure your Search Engine and Search Keywords reports work properly.
Configure Suite

We created our report suite, filled out a handful of variables and we are now ready to start playing with the actual collection code. From the Admin Console Home you can find a direct link to the Code Manager, or you can find it from the navigation menu on the left.
Admin Console Home

In the Code Manger we can generate all types of code for what ever we decide to track. From mobile phone apps to flash video players, all the collection code is here. We just want to generate the simple JavaScript Tracking code. Nothing fancy. Select your report suite, set your character encoding or your currency type and click Generate Code. You will get a little pop up warning you to make sure you know what you are doing or the world will end. Just click OK and move on.
Code Manager

Your code is generated now. Take the contents that are under the Core Javascript File tab and save them in a file that you name s_code.js. Take that file and upload it to your web server where it can be accessed from every page of the site.
Code Manager
Now take the contents under the Page Code tab and paste that to every page of your site, right before the closing body tag. In that code you will see the place marked INSERT-DOMAIN-AND-PATH-TO-CODE-HERE. In this position enter the path to the s_code.js file that you previously uploaded.

That’s all there is to it. This should be easily to be accomplished in 5 minutes or less. We setup the report suite, generated the page code and the s_code and added them to the site. This will give us the basic recording of the site traffic, referrals and visitor information. After this is up and running we can go back and add in some additional elements to the s_code file and the page code to customize your SiteCatalyst implementation to your specific site.


Getting Started With the Omniture PHP Measurement Library

The Omniture PHP Measurement Library lets you use PHP to record your visitor’s activity on your Web site. At first glance it can look a little intimidating, but it really is not that complicated. Once you have it implemented, all that you will see in the source code of your pages is the image request for the standard Omniture tracking pixel. This is what it looks like implemented.

Here is how to get started with it. From the Code Manager, download the OmnitureMeasurement.class.php file and add it to your server in a place so it can be referenced from every page of your site. Next you will need to include the Omniture PHP code on every page of your site.

Here is what a basic version of the PHP page code would look like:

require_once 'OmnitureMeasurement.class.php';
$s = new OmnitureMeasurement();
$s->account = 'ACCOUNT NAME HERE';
$s->botDetection = true;

$s->pageName = "Homepage";
$s->server = "Server";
$s->channel = "Channel";

$s->events = "events";
$s->prop1 = "prop1";
$s->prop2 = "prop2";
$s->eVar1 = "eVar1";
$s->eVar2 = "eVar2";

$s->currencyCode = 'USD';
$s->imageDimensions = '5x5';
$s->trackingServer = '';
$s->sendFromServer = false;
$s->debugTracking = false;

Lets break it down by section so you will see what is going on here. Here is the first section of the code:

require_once 'OmnitureMeasurement.class.php';
$s = new OmnitureMeasurement();
$s->account = 'ACCOUNT NAME HERE';
$s->botDetection = true;

The first thing we have here is the call to the Omniture Measurement class require_once ‘OmnitureMeasurement.class.php’;. This is what makes the Omniture PHP tracking work. As I said you can download it from the Admin section of SiteCatalyst. That is followed by a line of code that will get the tracking started $s = new OmnitureMeasurement();. Next is the place where you enter the report suite id that is associated with the site you plan on tracking. Finally we have a line to detect bots. When this is set to true, the Measurement Library detects if the HTTP User-Agent field is a bot, and does not send bot-generated data to Omniture. If this is not included it is set to false by default. If you decide to not include that, then be prepared to see Googlebot show up in your reporting.
Googlebot User Agent

$s->pageName = "Homepage";
$s->server = "Server";
$s->channel = "Channel";

This next section should be pretty self explanatory. This is where I set the pageName, the server, and the channel variables. On my 404 error page this is where I also include the pageType variable, which would look like $s->pageType=”errorPage”;.

EXTRA: For a lot of my sites I like to use the folder name of the URL as the page name. Here is how you can do that using PHP. I insert this code before the Omniture tracking section:

$pNme = parse_url($url, PHP_URL_PATH);
if ($pNme=="/")$pNme = "Home Page";

Then in the measurement library code I include:

$s->pageName = $pNme;

This pulls the file name from the URL and uses that as the page name. I also added a line that looks if all it finds is a slash / then I know they are on the Home Page and use that instead.

$s->events = "events";
$s->prop1 = "prop1";
$s->prop2 = "prop2";
$s->eVar1 = "eVar1";
$s->eVar2 = "eVar2";

This next section is where we are going to add the Custom Traffic variables, Custom Conversion variables, and Success Events. Again, this section should be pretty straight forward. If you know how to set props and eVars on the page and in the s_code file, you should know what to do here.

$s->currencyCode = 'USD';
$s->debugTracking = false;
$s->imageDimensions = '5x5';
$s->trackingServer = '';
$s->sendFromServer = false;
$s->debugTracking = false;

This final section contains some pretty important elements. The first thing you will see is where you declare the Currency Code used for purchases or currency events. You can see I have mine set to US currency, USD. Next I have the call that specifies the width and height of the image request, in pixels. By default, this variable is 1×1. You can see I have mine changed to 5×5 to ensure support for all mobile devices. Next I enter my tracking server info. You should be able to find that in your s_code.js file.

The next two lines are pretty cool. Let’s say you do not to show any Omniture code on the page. You have the option to not have any thing appear in the source code. When $s->sendFromServer is set to true, the Measurement Library makes a direct HTTP request from the server instead of rendering an image tag to the Web browser. If you view the source of the page you will not see anything but the visitor will still be fully tracked. You can see a live example of it here.

Without any code on the page it can be difficult to debug the code to make sure everything is being passed in successfully. That’s where the next variable comes in, $s->debugTracking. With this set to false then we do not see anything. If it is set to true then you will see an output on the page of the metrics that are being passed into Omniture. You can see a live example of it here.

The problem with that is you either have it off all the time, or you have it on where all of your visitors can see a bunch of code on the page. What I like to do is to add in a little bit of extra code that will only allow the debug code to appear only for me. I do this based off of my ip address. I include this bit of code before the Omniture code:

if ($ip=="") {
	$atHome = true;
} else {
	$atHome = false;

And then In the Omniture code I have it set as:

$s->debugTracking = $atHome;

What this does is allows me to see the variables that are being set every time I visit the site, but none of my visitors have to see it.

The last thing you will see listed in this section is $s->track(); which is the call to fire off the code. Without this nothing works. This is the equivalent of having the line var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code) in the standard JavaScript tracking. In other words, make sure you include this line.

OK, what else can we do with this? Well as many people know I am a big fan of using plug-ins. Here is one to get you started. One of the more useful ones is the Time Parting plug-in. As I have written about before, I like combining all of the time variables so I only use a single prop/eVar, so it looks something like s.prop1=”thursday|10:00pm” and then using a SAINT classification to break it out. How do we replicate this using the PHP Library? Here you go.

Above the Omniture Measurement code I include this:

$dayname = date('l');
$dayname = strtolower($dayname);
$hourname = date('g');
$minname = date('i');
$ampmname = date('a'); 

if ($minname <= "14") {
	$mintype = "00";
} else if ($minname >= "15" && $minname <= "29"){
	$mintype = "15";
} else if ($minname >= "30" && $minname <= "44"){
	$mintype = "30";
} else if ($minname >= "45" && $minname <= "59"){	
	$mintype = "45";
$fulldayparting = "$dayname|$hourname:$mintype$ampmname"; 

Then in one of the available props in the code I have:

$s->prop16 = $fulldayparting; 

This returns something like thursday|10:00pm, exactly like the Javascript plug-in does. I also like to copy this same value to an eVar, but I only want to do it once per visit. I like using the eVar for when the visit started, and the prop for every page view. Here is how I get that same value recorded only once per visit.

At the top of all my ‘extra’ code that I have included before the Omniture measurement code, I include this:

$sesionnumber = $_SESSION['count'];
if ($sesionnumber == '1') {
     $fulldaypartingsession = $fulldayparting;
} else {
     $fulldaypartingsession = '';

And then with the available eVars I include:

$s->eVar16 = $fulldaypartingsession;

What this does is on the first page of the session it will set the Time Parting value, but will just leave it blank for the rest of the session giving you a good session start time.

Hopefully this is enough to get you started. There are a lot of other cool PHP tricks that will allow you to replicate most of the functions of the Javascript tracking. Make sure you download and read the PHP Measurement Library Implementation Guide from the Omniture Help Section for additional details.


Track Hash Query Parameters in Omniture SiteCatalyst

Do you have a site that uses a hash symbol in the URL with query parameters and you want a way to track them in SiteCatalyst? Well you have come to the right place.

What am I talking about? Lets say you have a URL that looks like this:
and you want to capture the value of cid=. The standard getQueryParam plugin will not work in this case. It looks for a question mark in the URL, and as you can see this one did not have one.

To capture this value we can use the getHashQueryParam s_code.js plug-in. What this plug-in does is looks for the hash symbol # at the end of the URL, then looks for the parameter you have listed in the function, then inserts the value in to the associated variable. This works just like the standard getQueryParam plugin, but looks for the hash instead.

Here’s how to use it. Insert this line of code in the s_doPlugins(s) section of your s_code.js file. Make sure you use the correct variable you want the metrics recorded in and which query string you want it to be associated with. I’m using s.prop17 and cid in this example.


Next enter this code in the plug-in’s section of your s_code file:

 * Plugin: getHashQueryParam
function getHashQueryParam(a){
if(QueryString==''){var WinExtra=window.location.hash;
if(WinExtra.length > 0){if(WinExtra.indexOf(a)>-1){
var returnValue='';var keyValPairs=QueryString.split('&');
if(!keyValPairs){ keyValPairs = new Array();  
for(var counter=0;counter<keyValPairs.length;counter++){
var keyVal=keyValPairs[counter].split('=');if(keyVal[0]==a){
returnValue=keyVal[1];break;}}return returnValue;}

Here is an example of it live in action. After you click on the link, open the debugger you will see the value entered in s.prop17.


Don’t Forget Your SiteCatalyst Utility Functions!

Have you ever tried to use a new plug-in and found it did not work? You were probably missing a utility function. Utility functions are designed to work with SiteCatalyst plug-ins. There are 6 utility functions that are commonly used. They are apl, p_c, p_gh, split, replace, and join.

These functions do things like join elements of an array into a string delimiter by a string, replaces characters in a string, splits a string on a specific character, append a value to any delimited lists, and more. THese utility functions are referenced by several standard plug-ins.

Here’s how I do it. I take all these utility functions and wrap them all up in one neat package, and include this as one of my standard plug-ins to add when creating a s_code file. This way not thing is missed, nothing is forgotten and all of my plug-ins will work no problem.

Here’s what it looks like:

 * Utility Functions: apl, p_c, p_gh, split, replace, join
s.apl=new Function("L","v","d","u",""
+"var s=this,m=0;if(!L)L='';if(u){var i,n,a=s.split(L,d);for(i=0;i<a."
+"e()));}}if(!m)L=L?L+d+v:v;return L");
s.p_c=new Function("v","c",""
+"var x=v.indexOf('=');return c.toLowerCase()==v.substring(0,x<0?v.le"
s.p_gh=new Function(""
+"var s=this;if(!s.eo&&!s.lnk)return '';var o=s.eo?s.eo:s.lnk,y=s.ot("
+"o=o.parentElement?o.parentElement:o.parentNode;if(!o)return '';y=s."
+"ot(o);n=s.oid(o);x=o.s_oidt}}return o.href?o.href:'';");
s.split=new Function("l","d",""
+"var i,x=0,a=new Array;while(l){i=l.indexOf(d);i=i>-1?i:l.length;a[x"
+"++]=l.substring(0,i);l=l.substring(i+d.length);}return a");
s.repl=new Function("x","o","n",""
+"var i=x.indexOf(o),l=n.length;while(x&&i>=0){x=x.substring(0,i)+n+x."
+"substring(i+o.length);i=x.indexOf(o,i+l)}return x");
s.join = new Function("v","p",""
+"var s = this;var f,b,d,w;if(p){f=p.front?p.front:'';b=p.back?p.back"
+":'';d=p.delim?p.delim:'';w=p.wrap?p.wrap:'';}var str='';for(var x=0"
+";x<v.length;x++){if(typeof(v[x])=='object' )str+=s.join( v[x],p);el"
+"se str+=w+v[x]+w;if(x<v.length-1)str+=d;}return f+str+b;");

I just make sure that is block is included in every s_code file. Then I am assured that every plug-in I use can find the correct utility function it needs to work properly.


Additional Methods To Measure Interaction Using The Get Time To Complete Plug-In

Recently there was a great article on the Omniture Blog all about Capturing Time Spent on . . . well, just about anything. It’s a great post and definitely worth checking out. After reading it I was wondering if there was another way to do it? Of course there is! I present the Time To Complete Plug-in.

The getTimeToComplete plug-in will track the time it takes a user to complete some process on your site. The “clock” begins when you call the plug-in with the value “start” and stops when the plug-in with the value “stop”. The plug-in can be used to track the time to complete a checkout process, to track the time to complete an application process, to track the time a user spends viewing/using Rich Internet Applications (RIA), or to track the time between a download and a purchase.

s.getTimeToComplete( v, cn, e )

v is the Value – ‘start’ or ‘stop’
cn is the Cookie Name – example: ‘ttc’
e is the Expiration – days to expiration of the cookie, 0 for session
This function will return an empty string ” or a value in days, hours, minutes or seconds

There is a bunch of different ways to use this plug-in. I like this first method because you do not have to add a single of code to the page to make it work (I have found it is much easier to get a development team to simply upload a new s_code file as opposed to adding additional code to the site.) Lets say you want to track a form on your site. Lets say the form is at /my-form.php. Once the visitor fills out the form, they are taken to the thank you page which lets say is at /my-form-thanks.php. I would add this bit of code to the s_code file:

if (window.location.pathname=='/my-form.php') s.ttc='start';
if (window.location.pathname=='/my-form-thanks.php') s.ttc='stop';

What this does is looks for the path in the URL for /my-form.php and sets start in s.ttc. When the plug-in see’s this it set’s the cookie ttc with a start time Then when the URL path is /my-form-thanks.php stop is set. When the plug-in see’s stop, it then reads the ttc plug-in and records the time difference in s.prop1. The time value that you will get will have days and hours rounded to .2 (e.g. 1.4 days), minutes to .5 (e.g. 2.5 minutes), and seconds to 5 (e.g. 15 seconds).

NOTE:When this is implemented, if you check the debugger you will not see any value for s.prop1 until you have reached the stop point of the process.

Here is another way to use the code. Let’s say you have some events set right on the pages of your site. We want to know how long it takes to get from when event1 is set to when event2 is set. I would add this code into the s_code file:

if('event1')>-1) s.ttc='start';
if('event2')>-1) s.ttc='stop';

What this does is look for when event1 happens, then set start in s.ttc. When event2 happens stop is set, and the time value is set in s.prop1.

NOTE: Another thing to remember is this can be used to record the time of many different processes or paths on your site. If you do that I suggest using a different cookie name and variable value in each one so there are no issues.

Here is the actual plug-in code:
The getTimeToComplete plug-in returns the time to complete a task. When v is ‘start’ a cookie is written with the timestamp. When v is ‘stop’ the cookie is read and the expired time is returned in days, hours, minutes, or seconds.

 * Plugin: getTimeToComplete
s.getTimeToComplete=new Function("v","cn","e",""
+"var s=this,d=new Date,x=d,k;if(!s.ttcr){e=e?e:0;if(v=='start'||v=='"
+"_w(cn,d.getTime(),e?x:0);return '';}if(v=='stop'){k=s.c_r(cn);if(!s"
+".c_w(cn,'',d)||!k)return '';v=(d.getTime()-k)/1000;var td=86400,th="
+"3600,tm=60,r=5,u,un;if(v>td){u=td;un='days';}else if(v>th){u=th;un="
+"'hours';}else if(v>tm){r=2;u=tm;un='minutes';}else{r=.2;u=1;un='sec"
+"onds';}v=v*r/u;return (Math.round(v)/r)+' '+un;}}return '';");

I really like this plug-in because you end up with a report that is completely dedicated to the time it takes to complete that exact action.


Enhance Your SiteCatalyst S_Code Using Server-Side Scripting

I receive a lot of questions from people working on their own SiteCatalyst implementations and I’m always happy to help. One that I got recently is “why is your s_code file a php file”? I figured there were not too many people out there doing it like this or even know about this, so I thought I would help out those that were interested in what the advantages of using server side code to enhance your data collection.

The reason I use a php file to house all of my s_code script is simple. I want to be able to do what is not easily done with using standard JavaScript. Here are a couple of examples.

First things first. How do I get a php file to act like JavaScript? It’s actually pretty easy. First thing you do is in the top of your file add this small bit of code:

<?php header('Content-type: application/javascript'); ?>

The purpose of this line is just to say ‘hey, unless instructed otherwise, treat everything you are going to see here as JavaScript. Next change your file extension from .js to .php. That’s all you need to do to start adding in some php scripting into your file.

Here are some things I am using it for. I like capturing the IP address of my visitors. I like to track this because I have had problems with spammers, scraper bots and general bad visitors in the past, and I just like keeping my eye on things. Here is the code to capture IP address.

s.eVar17="<?php echo $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']?>";

I also have this matched with the get Val Once plug-in.

Another thing I like to capture is User Agent. How many people come to my site from a specific build of IE6? Is Googlebot executing my JavaScript when crawling my site? Here is how I capture User Agent.

s.eVar23="<?php echo $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']?>";

Again I match this up with the get Val Once plug-in.

Another thing I like to do is use php to populate the configuration variables of the Time Parting plug-in. The latest version of the plug-in, 2.0, uses specific daylight savings time variables (the 2.0 version is available from the Omniture Help section. The version I host here on the site is the older 1.4 version). The 3 variables that need to be configured for the plug-in are Daylight Savings Time start day for the current year, Daylight Savings Time end day for the current year, and the Current Year. Now all of these can be hard coded, but I’d rather do a little bit of one time coding and never have to worry about it again. Here is how I set those variables using php.

s.dstStart="<?php echo date('m/d/Y', strtotime("Second Sunday March 0"));?>";
s.dstEnd="<?php echo date('m/d/Y', strtotime("First Sunday November 0"));?>";
s.currentYear="<?php echo date('Y');?>";

All of these take advantage of the date() functionality of php. Combine that with a little bit of extra code, and with the fact that I know that daylight savings time always begins the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, I never need to touch those variables again.

Increase SiteCatalyst Clickmap Functionality with Dynamic Object IDs Plug-in

ClickMap. Pretty useful tool. It gives you a neat overlay that shows you what links are clicked on a page and the associated traffic. I wonder how we can make it better? Knock knock. Oh who is that at the door? Why its the Dynamic Object IDs Plugin. Please step right in.

The Dynamic Object IDs Plug-in dynamically adds an object ID to the click thru URL. You can see it using the debugger. It is designed to improve the function of the Clickmap.

Let’s take a look at an example. From the home page of this site, there are 3 links that take you to the Contact page. I click the last one on the page, then open the debugger on the page I land on. Here you can see that the click thru URL has been appended with the number of the order that it happened to appear in on the page. So now when I have multiple links on a single page each one is easily spotted in the debugger, even though they all have the same anchor text and click thru URL.
Dynamic Object ID Plug-in

Now what do we get? If you look at the clickmap report, Site Content>Links>ClickMap, you will now see a number attached to each URL.
Clickmap Report
Now you know exactly which link was clicked.

Here is how I have it implemented on this site. Before the function s_doPlugins(s) I include the code:

/* DynamicObjectIDs config */
function s_getObjectID(o) {
	var ID=o.href;
	return ID;

Then within the s_doPlugins(s) function, I include:

/* To setup Dynamic Object IDs */

And finally in the Plug-ins section I have the plug-in code itself.

 * DynamicObjectIDs
s.setupDynamicObjectIDs=new Function(""
+"var s=this;if(!s.doi){s.doi=1;if(s.apv>3&&(!s.isie||!s.ismac||s.apv"
+" if(s.wd.addEventListener)s.wd.addEventListener('load',s.setOIDs,fa"
s.setOIDs=new Function("e",""
+"var s=s_c_il["+s._in+"],,'onload'),o='onclick',x,l,u,c,i"
+",a=new Array;if(s.doiol){if(b)s[b]=s.wd[b];s.doiol(e)}if(s.d.links)"
+")x='var x=\".tl(\";';x+='s_objectID=\"'+u+'_'+a[u]+'\";return this."
+"]=new Function('e',x)}}}s.wd.s_semaphore=0;return true");

To see this code in the s_code file running this site, you can check it out here.

Ok great. Now what else can we do with this plug-in? Lets say I want to track how many contact form submissions I received from clicking the third Contact link that appears on the Home Page? Well I could add a custom onclick function. I could add a tracking code on the end of the click thru URL. But how can I use this new plug-in to track this?

Recently there was a post on the Omniture blog about using Dynamic Variables. Using these variables we can now grab the value of oid, which is the click thru URL with the new object id added to it, and you can get the pid which is the page the click happened on. I have it set up on this site:


Now with a simple subrelation I can get what link was clicked on what page and what events occurred, all without adding any additional code to the page.


The getCartOpen and resetGetCartOpen SiteCatalyst Plugins

In our quest to make our SiteCatalyst implementation more powerful and lighten the load on the developers and programmers (who for some reason always have more important things to do then add more Omniture code to the site), there are a couple of plug-ins I like to use to help to set the scOpen event.

The scOpen event is used to populate the Carts Report and metric with the number of times visitors view a new shopping cart during an eCommerce process. The scAdd event should be used when adding items into a shopping cart. But what if every time you add an item to the shopping cart, you are taken to the shopping cart? Well then you should set both events the first time. But only first time the shopping cart is opened, the scOpen event should be set. If the shopping cart has already been opened, the scOpen event should not be set again during that visit. So how do we make sure that the scOpen event is only set on that very first instance of the cart being viewed?

What we have here are the getCartOpen and resetGetCartOpen SiteCatalyst plug-ins. What the getCartOpen plug-in does is looks for the very first instance of the scAdd event being set and adds the scOpen event at that same time. Each time after that the scAdd event is set, the scOpen event will not be set again. But what if the visitor completes an order and wants to place another during the same visit? That’s where the resetGetCartOpen plug-in comes in. It looks for an instance of the purchase event and then allows the scOpen event to be set again if a new shopping cart is created.

This first line which goes in the calls to plugins section of the s_code.js file, calls the getCartOpen plugin and returns the events string with scOpen added the first time scAdd occurs during a visit.

/*Get Cart Open*/"s_scOpen");

And here is the getCartOpen plug-in code that should be added to the plug-in code section.

 * Plugin: getCartOpen
s.getCartOpen=new Function("c",""
+"var s=this,t=new Date,'',i=0;t.setTime(t.getTim"
+"else if(s.c_w(c,1,0)){i=1}}}if(i){e=e+',scOpen'}return e");

This line which goes in the calls to plug-ins section of the s_code.js file, calls the resetGetCartOpen plug-in and resets the scOpen event after a purchase takes place, allowing the scOpen event to be set again if the visitor decides to make another purchase during the same visit.

/*Reset Get Cart Open*/; 

And here is the resetGetCartOpen plug-in code that should be added to the plug-in code section.

 * Plugin: resetGetCartOpen
s.resetGetCartOpen=new Function("" 
+"var s=this,t=new Date,'';t.setTime(t.getTime()+"
+"}}return e");

For more information on when to use the scOpen and scAdd events, check out the Omniture Knowledge base Answer ID 440.