This section discuss Site-based implementation topic, or other words, those topic that effect your whole site and how and if data is collected (as opposed to specific variables). There are several site-based implementation options, including the following.

  • Flash.
  • Cookies.
  • Referrers.
  • Redirects.
  • Multi-byte character support.
Each of these topic will be covers in the following section.

Flash is an interactive Web publishing medium created by Macromedia (now owned by Adobe) to be used through Web browsers. Many sites currently contain Flash components and other are almost completely Flash-based. The ability to track activity inside of Flash components and applications has became imperative and crucial to success on these sites.

Introducing Omniture ActionSourceTM
Omniture ActionSource is a new, patent-pending method for natively tracking Flash applications use with the ActionScript programming language (used by applications like Adobe Flash and Flex). This solution removes dependence on JavaScript for Flash tracking through the use of native ActionScript analytics.

Until now, tracking Flash use, while maintaining accurate visitor metrics with other Web site activity, has been dependent on two programming languages: ActionScript and JavaScript. Communication between these technologies complicated to put analytics solution in place. Even for those who could deploy the JavaScript solution, limitations based on language and browser communication have caused performance and data integrity problems including the following:
  • Cancellation of analytics when Flash attempted to communicate through the browser to JavaScript for analytics and link out to another browser page.
  • Limitations of 508 characters per data transmission from Flash through the browser to JavaScript.
  • Playback delay for animation while JavaScript is executing.
  • Localized tracking only - JavaScript must be present on the same page as the Flash file to execute analytics tracking.
Omniture’s ActionScource was developed to simplify the implementation process and improve performance and accuracy. Its native ActionScript engine removes the dependency on JavaScript and maximizes application portability and accuracy.

      Flash Application (Direct Communication, No JavaScript) -> Omniture -> Reporting & Optimization (Analytics in any Omniture Product).

This portability of the ActionScript engine means that you no longer have to have the Flash component on a page that houses Site Catalyst code. The Flash component can be anywhere, including on sites not tracked by Site Catalyst at all. In fact, you might have a Flash component that is meant to run on the Desktop instead of in a browser. Because of ActionScript’s portability, your Desktop Flash application can still be tracked through Site Catalyst.

This section does not go into all the details of programming Flash for Site Catalyst but will cover the main points. To continue learning about implementation methods, download the ActionSource white paper from the Site Catalyst Knowledge base.

Where Does Your Flash Component Fit in?
First you need to decide how you want to track your Flash application in Site Catalyst. This can perhaps best be determined by asking the question, “Where does the Flash application fit into my site?” In other words, how do you want to track it by itself and in conjunction with the rest of your site?

If, in fact, your Flash application is running on its own, and will be tracked in a separate report suite, then you only have to figure out how you want it tracked as it relates to itself. However, if the Flash application is part of your site, you want to make sure it makes sense in the reports alongside the rest of your data.

For example, would you consider your Flash application (as a whole) at the equivalent level as each page of your site? or would your Flash application be more in line with the sections of your site, and the different pages or “states” of your Flash be similar to the pages on your site?

It is imperative that you take the time to define how the business owners of the reports would like to see the numbers show up in the reports. This will ensure that you code the Flash application correctly, setting the right variables when the right action have taken place in the application.

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